With the stories gathered from Achsengeschichten, Philip Matesic and Rahel Grunder developed a theater safari titled Wayfarin' Strangers with Lucerne-based playwright Christoph Fellmann and Lucerne-based director Manuel Kühne. Fellmann wrote the 29-page script with 17 characters based on stories collected in Achsengeschichten. A two-day casting was held in early 2016 and a team of amateur Swiss actors and actresses were cast to play the roles.
Each story was told at a specific site along the Baselstrasse: the Kegelbahn bar, in an alley, in a telephone booth, at a bus stop or the funeral parlor. The mostly female cast would subvert clichés of who really lives along the Baselstrasse, an example being a young, redheaded woman from the Appenzell playing Mohammad, a drug dealer from Niger.
Their collaboration evolved and grew to include a cast and crew of thirty people. But the participatory element involving the residents and their stories was the reoccurring theme that ran throughout the production: unraveling clichés, re-telling (nearly) forgotten histories and making music to endless drone of traffic. Telling those stories back, in transformed way, to the community that first told them. The theater safari sold out after opening night and took place 60 times along the Baselstrasse.
Wayfarin' Strangers Flyer, © Isa Peterhans
"Troll" Scene, Photo © Gabriel Ammon
"Telephone Booth" Scene, Photo © Gabriel Ammon
Guide leading public on the Baselstrasse
"Junkie" Scene, Photo © Gabriel Ammon
"Undertaker" Scene, Photo © Gabriel Ammon
"Mama Africa" Scene, Photo © Gabriel Ammon
"Opera" Scene, Photo © Gabriel Ammon
"Boutique" Scene, Photo © Gabriel Ammon
"President" Scene, Photo © Gabriel Ammon
"Heliofant" Scene, Photo © Gabriel Ammon