Over the course of the festival, I’ve been asking theater makers within and without tt10 about the state of German theater by asking them about the past of theater from the perspective of the future. I’ve been asking the theater makers to assess or reassess their position to the theater of now by looking out from an imaginary future. This tactic, which has been developed by two critical theorists, Manuela Zechner and Anja Kanngieser, is called the future archives and it provides a space to think about the possibility of change. I’ve asked:
Imagine you’re living in the year 2050. Please describe the theater of 2010 as you remember it. What’s improved? What do you miss?
In my correspondence with theater makers, some have said they’d prefer not to discuss the future of German theater or the future at all. Others have said such speculations of ‘visionaries’ have proved to be dangerous over the course of history. But others have agreed with Manuela Zechner and Anja Kanngieser, that talking about the present in the future in the now can help us reframe our desires. These answers can be read and discussed here.
Continue reading The Future Archive of Theater
Thomas Arzt, Hannes Becker und Sandra Kellein sind die diesjährigen Teilnehmer(innen) des Stückemarkt-Workshops. Unter dem Motto “Vorsicht zerbrechlich” arbeiten die drei zusammen mit Autor und Dramaturg John von Düffel an kleinen Textausschnitten, die heute Abend präsentiert werden. Ein Werkstattbesuch.
Continue reading Als Autor ist man ja gerne mal verletzlich
Conflicts and crises are better partitions than cubicle walls. Crises separate the wheat from the chaff, the optimists from the pessimists. While the pessimist may fall into existential angst and question whether or how one should continue, the optimist keeps hoping that things aren’t all that bad and that they will get better.
Young stage writers in Germany have been faced with a theater specific crisis: the Heidelberger Stückemarkt held back its prize this year, and last year Vienna’s Burgtheater cancelled its workshop for young dramatists. In other words, the current dramatic output has been categorically put into doubt. The question “what’s to be done?” would seem to naturally arise in face of this conflict. Are these events reason to worry for the general state of theater? Or do they serve as motivation for young authors to flex their dramatic muscles? This year at Theatertreffen, things look rather optimistic. The jury has not only selected a group of (relatively) young writers, but these writers themselves are (mostly) hopeful. I asked them about critical optimism, their hopes for the Stückemarkt and the types of questions theater can answer that, perhaps, other forms of art are unable to.
Continue reading Optimistic Young Authors