10 October 2015

D&D Berlin: What Are We Going To Do About Theatre In Our Changing Society Now?

TAK Theater im Aufbau Haus Prinzenstr. 85F 10969 Berlin

LAFT Berlin

PAP Berlin

10:30 - 15:00

Dear All!

I have been involved with professional theatre and performance since I left school in 1994. I was searching and I found theatre and theatre found me.

For eight years I found Heimat in the German Staatstheater and worked with heroes from a now-fading era.

I loved it a lot, and later I hated it a lot. I was devoted and disgruntled.

And I wished it would be different.

Then I left and became a free agent. I have created and co-created shows, wrote radioplays and tv shows, performed sometimes, helped others create and perform. And in the landscape of free performing arts in Berlin I found (obviously not always, but often enough) some kind of societal relevance, because so many people here think deeply about life and work conditions. The dulling comforter of a fixed contract with benefits is absent, and how my colleagues and me work, how we produce, manage and administrate our work and lives influences the stories I search and long for on stages.

Our society seems to tranform mindblowingly fast. Formerly highly treasured resources are now freely available. The increased degree of closeness is so palpable. People's stories are heard unfiltered, "undramaturgised" and immediately available. And with every newcomer, new stories

arrive and also new needs for different stories. Burg or the Deutsches Theater are not synonymous with success anymore. Though those structures

really try to throw their baggage overboard, they seldomly seem to cope with the speedy shifts in society and the landscape of the arts.

My learning from Ulf Schmidts lecture at last year's Get Together still resonates with me: When theatre doesn't embrace and permeates the stories and streams that are virulent in a changing society, it stops beeing theatre. It's just boring. Because theatre is the space where society thinks about society in society. And I think the torrent of changes and new themes is a massive challenge and even bigger chance, for people who are professionals in telling stories, working with emotions and being curious in general. But it is still a lot easier when all hands are on deck and when there is the possibillity for collaboration.

And on another note, as a frequent conference-goer and organiser, I am bored out of my mind by most panel discussions and angered by the degree of ignorance towards the knowledge and expertise of the participants in the auditorium and the power thing that immanently happens when some audience member tries to articulate himself in the dark on a bad microphone towards well illuminated and elevated representatives. (And I never left an Open Space or a BarCamp frustrated.)

That is why I invite you to Devoted & Disgruntled, a real Open Space Event for all people interested in the future of the free performing arts. On 10th of October the Industry Get Together of the free performing arts, collaborating with Improbable, will be hosting an Open Space Event, which Greg McLaren will facilitate. Phelim McDermott and his collaborators at Improbable have been using this format for the performing arts for ten years.

His words:

"Devoted & Disgruntled hopes to support some creative ideas and actions around the issues you might feel devoted and disgruntled about. It will address the things you care about and maybe wish could be different in any aspect of our profession. The things which you feel are important or

unaddressed in our community."

It will be the first time we have hosted an event like this and I invite you to join us in this new adventure, even if you are just curious about a new way of working with groups in a self organising way. A strong point of Open Space is it's ability to unite groups of enormous diversity, to that end

we are encouraging all participants. Together we will create the agenda we want to work on. Nothing is censored and every voice can be heard. Bring your ideas, questions, challenges, requests, problems and joys. There's room for all of them.

If you think this event is not for you, it probably needs you there.

So please come and join us!

Julian Kamphausen

Further information and application: www.pap-berlin.de/igt

Booking for this event has now closed.