In The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise, toxic dreams take the audience on an absurd trip across an anonymous corporate universe. As a minor employee decides to ask his boss for a raise, he finds himself lost in the internalised conditional loops of his corporation’s organisational logic. A comedy, sugared with moments of slapstick, and a contemplative reflection on life in the algorithm and the passing of time.
The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise is based on the identically named novel by Georges Perec. Pessimistic yet lovable, funny and always entertaining, Perec takes a pervasive look at the world of office work, no less accuratet today than in 1968, when the story was written. The author extracted six allegorical characters from the employee's inner voices, which director Yosi Wanunu now sends through an absurd and tragicomic choreography of aimlessness and timelessness, in which they move from one crazy and surprising scenario to the next. Stage and sound design also allow the audience to immerse deep into the absurd cosmos of an open-plan office, from the screeching scanner to the rattling shredder.
toxic dreams was established in 1997 by producer Kornelia Kilga and writer/director Yosi Wanunu. The group has since put on more than 70 productions. In perennial work cycles and collaborative procedures, toxic dreams devise both aesthetically and formally diverse formats. Their current cycle is entitled Real Fiction and deals with the meaning of the (political) narrative between the poles of truth and fiction.
"The most delightful set is currently built up in The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise. [...] An absurdly charming evening with funny choreographic elements." (Falter)
"A humorous statement about the modern world of employment that hits the mark." (ORF Kultur heute)
"An entertaining ironic commentary on the unwritten rules of the corporate world [...]. The stage design is a work of art in itself, evoking memories of Jacques Tati's classic film Playtime." (APA)
"The works of Yosi Wanunu, no matter which shape they assume, are carried by great irony and lightness." (Falter)
"This is how Perec's literary formal experiment was loaded with content and yet remained quirky like the original." (Wiener Zeitung)
"Jagged business choreographies bring movement into play, current references [...] spice things up politically." (Falter)
1. The assumption Anat Stainberg
2. The alternative Isabella Händler
3. The positive hypothesis Florian Tröbinger
4. The negative hypothesis Theresa Martini
5. The selection Stephanie Cumming
6. The conclusion Markus Zett
7. The measles Anna Mendelssohn
Stage Paul Horn Sound design Michael Strohmann Text Georges Perec Adapted for the stage and directed by Yosi Wanunu Assistant director Katharina Höltermann Production Kornelia Kilga
Loosely based on L’art et la manière d’aborder son chef de service pour lui demander une augmentation by Georges Perec, Editions Fayard, France. English translation by David Bellos, Verso Books, GB.
A co-production by toxic dreams and brut Wien.
With the kind support of the City of Vienna’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.
Nordwestbahnstraße 8-10, 1200 Wien
Nordwestbahnstraße 8-10, 1200 Wien
Subway: U1, U2 (Praterstern), U4 (Friedensbrücke), U6 (Dresdnerstraße) Tram: 5 (Nordwestbahnstraße) Bus: 5A (Wasnergasse)
Zieglergasse 25, 1070 Wien
Subway: U3 (Zieglergasse), Tram: 49 (Westbahnstraße / Zieglergasse)