The Crossing
A Queer Sci-Fi Told With Brand New Words

Format: Performance
Premiere: 27-30 Oct 2022* 
Venue: Ballhaus Ost
Language: Damiá (with English & German surtitles)
Duration: 75 min
Tickets: Available here

* Premiere performances cancelled due to illness in the team. A film version of The Crossing will be presented in early 2023. 

Direction, text, performance, design: Chris Gylee & Aslan
Light design:
Elliott Cennetoglu
Sound design:
Mars Dietz
German translation:
Lea Martini
Outside eye: Mmakgosi Kgabi
Óscar González
Banner design: Elena Polzer
Documentation film:
Ethan Allison Folk
Graphic design:
Kruse & Müller
Surtitling support: Panthea
Production management:
ehrliche arbeit — freies Kulturbüro

Funded by: Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
Kindly supported by: Hiljaisuus / Silence Residency

“Heaal ten iaa mo silé mo cacsel vai dol-dol
Cacsel zeza ten taa caden sie ga
A iaa t-helia silé mo helia maa?
A iaa benai sibé mo donia mazze?”

Somewhere across an unimaginable void, set apart from the rest of humanity, lies a world inhabited only by Queer people. A utopia for sure. But how long would it take for the storm clouds to gather even here? The Crossing is the story of how fault lines arise and drive a dissident back across the void to their former home in search of answers to painful questions:

How do we face up to the failure of our ideals?
In the face of inevitable compromise, how do we remain true to ourselves?
A crumbling theatre in a future Berlin, a city struggling to find its feet again after a series of great upheavals. The dissident stands before an audience. They once burned with zeal for their new home. But now, they find themselves cast out, unable to conform or stay silent. In brand new words, they tell us the story of their journey back home.

The dreams of their youth have been exposed as a lie. Will they admit defeat and let those dreams die?  Or will they try again in the hope of a better future?

The Crossing is written and performed entirely in Damiá, a Queer art-language developed by Aslan since they were a teenager. The text is translated for the audience with surtitles into English and German.

The Crossing asks: Could a revolutionary Queer language be the place where we finally build our home?

The above images include photography by Óscar González. 

The Crossing is a ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS production in cooperation with Ballhaus Ost. Kindly supported by Hiljaisuus / Silence Residency.

Additional thanks to: the team at Ballhaus Ost; David Maß at Panthea; the team at Theaterwerkstatt Pilkentafel; Hiljaisuus / Silence Residency and the people of Kaukonen village, Finland.