Symposium 2017: Loving the Countryside – Theater in Regional Contexts


Symposium 2017: Loving the Countryside – Theater in Regional Contexts


This event is held mostly in German.

9:30 am Admission

10:00 am Greeting by the LAFT board

10:15 am
Katja Lebelt (Brandenburger Theater)
"From the Founding of a Theater Festival and the Consequences in a Village with 160 Inhabitants"
After 15 years of working in theater as a freelance set and costume designers and a workload of up to 11 productions per year, Katja Lebelt left life in the big city behind and moved to a small village in Brandenburg. She then started a farm and raised horses on the 300-year-old feudal estate.
The theater, however, continued to gain egress there and began to take up more and more space on the farm - this resulted in the creation of the LehnschulzenHofbühne Viesen and the Viesener Theaterfrühling, or Viesen Theater Spring, created new theatrical structures in the countryside with professional artists working in close collaboration with the rural surroundings. After 8 years, Katja Lebelt left the festival and became Artistic Director of Brandenburger Theater.
Her presentation will explain the development phases of the festival, the positive and negative insights and the concept for Brandenburger Theater.

10:30 am
Kristin Bäßler (TRAFO, Kulturstiftung des Bundes)
"The Transformation of Cultural Institutions in Small Cities and Rural Spaces"
Within the scope of the program TRAFO – Models for Culture Undergoing Change, an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, a variety of cultural institutions in small cities and rural areas such as theaters, museums and culture centers prepare themselves to reinvent themselves in terms of content as well as structure. Their goal is to develop the cultural offerings for the future together with the people of their community and region. In this short presentation, the TRAFO program will be presented as well as the various transformation approaches for the participating institutions, especially the two participating theaters.

10:45 am
Franz v. Weizsäcker (GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)

11:00 am
Ralf Lippold (HighTech x Agency)
"Broadband Brings Arts to the Countryside"
What significance does access to the Internet have for the development of village and small-town structures?
How and why can art benefit from digitalization in the countryside? What prerequisites are necessary (and what may stand in the way of this)? Creative examples from rural (and “semi-rural”) areas will provide stimuli. 

11:15 am
Steffen Klewar (copy & waste)
"Village Society and Theater"
In Alzey-Dautenheim, a small village in the region of Rhenish Hesse, theater makers from a variety of disciplines have been arriving here every summer for a number of years to create theater productions together with the inhabitants. “Classic plays” are analyzed and performed which take place in a rural context, such as The Broken Jug by Heinrich von Kleist or Anton Chekov's The Cherry Garden. In contrast to contemporary ensemble theaters, they are not updated by all means available and introduced to the urban society, instead, the attempt is made to use the production to make village structures which shapes and are disappearing visible and legible, by translating the plays into the reality of the village and integrating them. You could say these are theatrically produced historical analyses. 

11:30 am
Shared coffee break

12:00 pm
Herberth/Mohren (Die Institution)
"The Theater – What would it be like if an entire village were staged?"
From October 2015 to May 2017, Herbordt/Mohren invited participants to Michelbach an der Lücke to take part in performative country parties on every second Sunday. The Theater took the audience members on a walking tour composed of theater installations. Vacant spaces surrounding the central village square were performed in – as an archive, guest house, cinema, museum and theater. The audience was invited to take part in an excursion located somewhere between the stage and the everyday, between citizens’ initiative and art. Over the course of a short presentation, the project and book documenting it published by Alexander Verlag Berlin will be presented.

12:15 pm
Karoline Weber (Fonds Neue Länder, Kulturstiftung des Bundes)
„Randlage - oder was das Theater im Dorf macht“ / "A View from the Fringe – or What the Village Theater is up to"

12:30 pm
Christian Holtzhauer (Kunstfest Weimar)
Bewegtes Land" / "Land in Motion"
Travel – formerly the epitome of having encounters with others – has become a virtual bypassing of distance. High-tech transportation technology means a fast connection, but one that separates the travelers from the land they are crossing and from the people who live there.Bewegtes Land, or Land in Motion, a project of the 2017 Kunstfest Weimar with the Berlin artist duo Datenstrudel and numerous additional partners makes the daring and contradictory attempt of defying speed. With the active participation of the local population, the ICE train route from Jena to Naumberg becomes a 30 kilometer-long stage for a week end, transforming the train passengers into the audience.

12:45 pm
Jana Blöchle / Dominik Fornezzi
Over the course of an artist residency, Blöchle and Fornezzi conducted performative and high-tech research in a prefabricated building in the Uckermark: by using a secret electronic interface, they are able to control some of the stage technology using their thoughts. In their presentation, they will tell us how and why something like may be especially successful in a secluded prefabricated building.

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Parallel table conversations with the speakers during a shared snack
Over the course of in-depth conversations, the ideas and realizations of the participants can be exchanged, discussed and refined amongst themselves as well as with the representatives of funding institutions and the speakers.