Leonie Pichler

Two and a half years ago, I gave up my apartment and became a nomad. Traveling within Europe from job to job and when there was no work, I decided where in the world I wanted to live for some weeks. When Corona started, I was in Oslo and had jobs waiting in Sweden and Bosnia. In the middle of March it seemed like everyone was called back to their home countries, like a contemporary biblical call. Borders were closing all around me and I had to return to Germany with the last plane, without a plan. I stranded at my parents place and felt deeply lost. All the sudden, the whole world was talking about staying at home. Where was my home? My whole concept of living was dependent on traveling and open borders. I felt like I had missed something essential in my life: building a home, growing roots, having a place or a person I could really call my home. 

For some days I was in denial. Fighting and struggling with the situation. Trying to find acceptance and peace, but I missed being free. I felt locked inside out. 

In Germany, the crisis is a little bit like a phantom. No hospitals are overfilled, we have very few people dying of Corona and everything is under control. Yet, the politicians keep a super strict lock down and imagined state of crisis, which doesn’t feel completely real. It doesn’t sink into the body memory. It stays an idea and therefore resembles hysteria more than crisis. We have created a political system which can be compared to the States after 9/11. Fear rules everything. Under the umbrella of protection and security, hideous laws are being welcomed and people are very eager to give up their freedom, in order to create a false sense of safety. Everyone is turned into a potential enemy, disguised by a virus and you can’t trust no one. Two days ago our politicians decided to keep the lock down as it is for even longer. However, the less we actually feel the crisis, the more presence and control of police patrols we have. Fines and laws to make sure, that we are scared of the phantom.

Moreover, Germany puts billions into saving the economy, yet artists are not allowed to apply for support. They are being send to social services, as if we weren’t loosing our income and work, like everybody else. Something strange is underlying the whole situation, here. Yet, one is not allowed to question the system openly. There seems only one narrative/truth which is allowed, but as theatre makers, we find having only one plot and narrative, limiting. To say the least. 

After two weeks, I moved to my friend and spiritual mother Zuzana to stay there. Her place is next to a river and often, I found myself being envious of the water, that could pass several countries so easily and just flow. 

Where was the home of the river?


Where was my home?? 

The only thing I could say clearly was: My soul lives in my body. 

My body is my home. 

Realizing that was my own turning point and I concentrated on my body and mind and a whole universe opened up inside of me. There were thousands of borders to cross, secret doors to open and mysterious to be explored. 

Every-body is a cosmos. Our cells store millions of stories. Every night our subconsciousness leaves the third dimension to solve riddles in another world. 

I learn that time and space can be transcended as I mediate, practice qigong or yoga, go into nature or my dreams. I concentrate on crossing borders inside, as long as I am not allowed to travel. 

For the first time, in a long time, we don’t know how the world will continue. What the world will look like after Corona. We lack clear images of a future and I can find a lot of freedom in that. Having images of any kind, always forces us to check in between vision and reality. Now, that there is no vision, I allow myself even more to be at home in my body and feel at home in every single moment. 

I use the slow dance with the world to explore my own body memory, learn to receive messages and ask for signs. During the last weeks I learned that every breath I take, creates waves. In every single second, I can throw myself like a stone into the universe. Fall into the universe, as if it was a warm lake and not the most unpredictable, scary, beautiful and magnificent source of all existence. 


Leonie Pichler

Playwright and director


photos @ helle Tage Fotografie