Together with my colleagues Paul Brutsche, Dariane Pictet and Heike Wies I have acted leading roles in four plays that are concerned with significant facets of C. G. Jung’s long and eventful life. Murray Stein was the original source of inspiration and became the director of all four performances.
The Jung-White Letters (adapted by Murray Stein, Paul Brutsche, John Hill and Heike Weis) describes the conflict between an English theologian and a Swiss psychologist. It is an intriguing experience of drama and intellectual stimulation as the story of this rich and multifaceted relationship unfolds. The 90 minute performance based on a careful selection of letters exchanged between Professor Carl Jung and Father Victor White is available on DVD. You can also preview an excerpt on YouTube.
In A Performance of C.G. Jung’s Red Book (adapted by Murray Stein) I took on three roles: the prophet Elijah, the warrior Izdubar and the magician Philemon. The drama encourages the spectator to explore Jung’s vision of the psyche as an arena of multiple personalities that provides a stage for dissociated parts of the self to emerge and gain presence in our conscious mind. The play illustrates how Jung maintained a conscious and critical presence in this confrontation with the unconscious. He later described the process as Active Imagination, which has become a useful instrument in psychotherapy.
The performance of The Jung-Neumann Letters (adapted by Murray Stein) focused on Erich Neumann who was one of the most gifted students of Jung. Already in 1934 Neumann warned Jung about the dangers of the antisemitic revivals of the Nazis. I played the role of an angry Neumann. When we performed in Israel I met Neumann’s son and asked if I had overacted the anger. His replay: Oh no. My father could be angrier than that.
The last play we performed was called The Analyst and the Rabbi (written by Murray Stein and Henry Abramovitch), in which I took on the role of Rabbi Baeck. This was very different from the previous plays. The text was not from Jung but created by Murray Stein and Henry Abramovitch. It describes an imaginary encounter between Baeck and Jung and focuses on the conflicts that involved both men during the Nazi period. It is a story about ‘coming to terms with individual responsibility for decision made in the “grey zone.”’ This play is available on DVD and in a book publication.