Graduate Student Workshop with Jürgen Kuttner: Heiner Müller’s Der Auftrag (The Mission)

This workshop by director Jürgen Kuttner is open to graduate students in German and Comparative Literature as well as Performing Arts. The discussion will be in English.

Liberty, equality, fraternity – the values of the French Revolution are to be spread even to the distant colonies. The export of an idea, for everyone, everywhere. The three emissaries of the revolution Debuisson, Galloudec and Sasportas have the mission to instigate a slave revolt on the island of Jamaica. The three could not be more different: Debuisson is a bourgeois son of slaveholders, Galloudec a peasant from Brittany, and Sasportas a Black revolutionary who has experienced colonial rule firsthand. When Napoleon takes power in France, a new era begins. The trio gets into a dispute about whether the order is still valid. Heiner Müller wrote The Mission (Der Auftrag) in 1979, based on the story The Light on the Gallows (Das Licht auf dem Galgen) by Anna Seghers. The result is a play about betrayal and the failure of utopias.


Jürgen Kuttner was born in East Berlin and studied Cultural Studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin, where he received his PhD in 1987. Before, during, and after the fall of the Berlin wall, he worked as a newspaper editor, talk radio host, stage director and performer. He has been giving lectures based on video snippets at the Volksbühne in Berlin and the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Working in Berlin, Hannover, Munich, Basel, Hamburg, and elsewhere, Kuttner has staged plays based on texts by Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Müller, Michael Frayn or Ayn Rand. 


If you have any questions, please email André Fischer at