Identitti rezeptionista

And now I’m standing before you again and talking about myself, because who plays what role plays a role again here.

Directed by: Simone Dede Ayivi

Adapted from the novel Identitti by Mithu Sanyal

The student Nivedita can’t believe it: her Professor Saraswati is white! Despite the fact that Nivedita sees her as a paragon, a role model for questions of identity politics as well as a figure to identify with. Saraswati’s have opened up a new world for her, someone born in Germany to a father from India. In the first hour of class alone, the professor has banned white students from the classroom, written “Decolonize your soul” on the blackboard and discussed the origins of and how to deal with struggles of identity. And now it seems that Saraswati’s career has been built upon a gigantic lie? A complex and highly emotional debate flares up. Nivedita posts on Twitter under the pseudonym “Identitti” and her friends organize demonstrations against this unbelievable case of cultural appropritation. During all of this, Professor Saraswati continues to elaborate on all of the arguments, so that soon no one knows anymore what PoC (“Person of Color”) really means now.

Photo: Lex Karelly

These and similar debates are held everywhere: on the street, in the university, on the internet and ultimately also in the theater, as the field of culture has now become a powder keg for identity politics, which, however, provides an invitation to conduct negotiations on identity. In 2020, Mithu Sanyal’s novel Identitti asked: who is who and who can speak for whom? This is a question that we see again and again in the theater: who can authentically portray a white professor who has passed herself off as a Person of Color?

Photos by: Lex Karelly


A staging of Identitti most definitely needs a new argument: Identitti Rezeptionista is a piece of theater about the reception of this much-read, much-discussed novel by Mithu Sanyal, which has also been adapted by numerous theaters. The production invites the audience to become aware of one’s own contradictions and to further discuss the political questions surrounding the material.


DIRECTED BY Simone Dede Ayivi



SOUND AND MUSIC BY Katharina Pelosi


PERFORMED BY Vernesa Berbo, Iman Tekle, Chen Emilie Yan, Katrija Lehmann, Alexej Lochmann


The world premiere was on March 18, 2023 at Schauspiel Graz