In Estonian, the phrase “God’s zoo” is used to refer to a group of different people. It’s often said that the God’s zoo is large, colourful and diverse.
The play “God’s Zoo” is an attempt to observe one part of it which is made up of 1.3 million people inhabiting a 45,339 m2 piece of land in the South-eastern part of Europe, also known as Estonia.
It feels a bit pointless to be doing a documentary theatre performance about religious people in a country which takes pride in its atheism and where only 13% of people consider themselves to be religious. However, that’s exactly what we’ve done. Because we – and hopefully also you – are interested in how these people found religion, what kind of life they lead, how they perceive their role in the society and what people think of them. And also because by looking at them, we hope to learn something about ourselves similarly to those people who took the first look at the most elaborate Hieronymus Bosch painting more than 500 years ago and didn’t see what Estonians would call a God’s zoo on it but instead, saw a reflection of something within themselves.
Director: Laura Jaanhold
Dramaturge: Anne-Ly Sova
Art director: Illimar Vihmar
Music designer: Taavi-Peeter Liiv
Lighting designer: Kristen-Kalev Lina (Universtiy of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy)
Cast: Fatme Helge Leevald, Kadri Rämmeld, Liis Karpov, Ago Anderson, Nils Mattias Steinberg.
The premiere was held on April 2, 2022 in the Barn Hall of Endla Theatre.
The performance consists of
two acts with an intermission and lasts for 2 hours and 45 minutes.