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Take it like a Man

"A herb could grow in the mind of a Man. It could grow like climbing plants and creepers, uncivilizing the ruins. It’s a ghost catcher in the coal mines, catching the ghost of Manliness, besieging it."


Pics: Dirk Rose

Somewhere in the near future, in the ruins of capitalism: segregation, destroyed landscapes, militant splinter groups. The "Man" has destroyed the world and is now on the verge of disappearing. Against the backdrop of an impending apocalypse, a few "Beta Males," the losers of the white patriarchy, meet in an abandoned garage and remember a myth of tenderness, care, and solidarity. 

In "Take it like a Man", the third part of the cycle "New Men*s Movement", THE AGENCY deals with the effects of patriarchal exploitation of humans and non-humans. The audience enters a world that is hardly worth living in anymore and encounters creatures that are barely human. Caught between the degradation of the losers and the stolen gestures of the oppressors, five "beta males" try out a new union of empathy and emancipation. Will the "Men" let themselves be infected by the longing for other relationships? Does mutual contamination create the possibility for a post-patriarchal togetherness?

A production by THE AGENCY. Coproduced by Münchner Kammerspiele and FFT Düsseldorf. 

Shown in the context of the exhibition „Masculinities“ - A Cooperation between Bonner Kunstverein, Kölnischem Kunstverein and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf. 

Funded by the Cultural Office of the City of Munich.

With friendly support of Pact Zollverein and Saison Foundation Tokyo.

by and with

Nile Koetting, Heinrich Horwitz, Liina Magnea, Neave Arjin Helve, Robert Gallinowski, Daniel Degeest, Münchner Knabenchor.

Sound Design und Composition Boys Choir 

Nile Koetting

Composition Boys Choir

Evelyn Saylor

Direction Boys Choir Felix Rücker 

Management Boys Choir Angelika Rücker


Thanks to

Arlie Russell Hochschild and Michael Kimmel


Rahel Spöhrer

Artistic Production Management

Sofie Luckhardt

Technical Direction

Amina Nouns

Assistant Director 

Stella Nikisch

Assistants Stage and Costume

Nicola Gördes, Johanna Senger

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New Men*s Movement


“New Men*s Movement” is a cycle, which is dedicated to the connection between masculinity and far-right thinking in the post-digital age. The identity of the white, heterosexual male is said to be in a “crisis”: he is unsettled and angry at the increasing questioning of his privileges. At the same time, we are not only experiencing the strengthening of far-right ideas in Europe and the USA, but the spread of it which is mainly organized by men in online forums and analogously in movements and parties. If we assume with the US sociologist and masculinity researcher Michael Kimmel that "a certain understanding of masculinity creates certain political attitudes." (Kimmel, Angry White Men, 2013) - could new understandings of masculinity also create new political attitudes? From the analysis of these relationships, THE AGENCY created  the productions Gather up, Man up (2018), Boys Space (2019) and Take it like a Man (2019), which occupy the digital and the analog space in order to design a countermovement: A New Men*s Movement.


Our research in Japan in May/June 2018 and in Munich in September/October 2018, made possible by the scholarship Bloom up from the Rodeo Festival, has revolved around the phenomenon "Herbivore Men". The sociologist Maki Fukasawa used this term to describe heterosexual men in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties who do not pursue a typical career, do not play the role of breadwinner and husband, and - very present in the Western media - perhaps even have less or no sex. Herbivore (= plant-eating) is associated with Buddhism and is associated with descriptions such as "peace-loving", "noble" and "reaching a higher spiritual level". Soon the term became an insult to a generation of men among Japanese politicians, who were blamed for the low birth rate and the economic decline of the Japanese state: These men did not fulfill their duties, they were not men, it was said. This phenomenon, which takes place very quietly, is our starting point: What happens when men move away from the roles attributed to them by neoliberalism and patriarchy? And what would happen if this phenomenon were to develop into a movement beyond Japan?


The strongest contrast to the herbivore men of Japan are probably the American Angry White Men, with whom THE AGENCY dealt with in a research trip in March/April 2019 as part of the work grant from the City of Munich. The Angry White Men include various phenomena such as the so-called Incels (Involuntary Celibats), whose demand for a male right to sex also includes the legalization of rape, or the anti-feminist group “Men going their own way”, which are characterized by aiming to achieve their “sexodus” to liberate themselves from women and a world which they feel dominated by women. In interviews with Michael Kimmel (Angry White Men, 2013 or Healing from Hate, 2018) and Arlie Russel Hochschild (Strangers in their own Land, 2016) THE AGENCY investigated the complex of male entitlements, a supposed loss of privileges and outdated hero characters.

Part of the series MOVEMENTS

Part of the series MOVEMENTS

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