What does someone who can hypnotise chickens, someone who only irons jackets in the front on principle and someone who names all the objects around him have in common?
That's right - the study of theatre and performance!
And what festival is better suited to a potpourri of people visiting the theatre with completely different preferences and desires than a pluralistically oriented programme with diverse themes, forms and languages?
That's right - the SPIELART Theatre Festival 2023!
We are students of theatre studies in Munich in our fifth, seventh and ninth semesters at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, an intergenerational, intercultural and interdisciplinary group that is now seeking a common discourse. With different backgrounds and minors, such as visual arts, music, literature, language, culture, philosophy and pedagogy, we want to experience our study city Munich in a new way and find differentiated ways to reflect and celebrate theatrical and performative art.
Some of us have already met at our building in Georgenstraße before the festival began, but we really want to get to know each other in the context of this festival.
In this way, we try to follow the idea that the curatorial team has also made its task: Artists, theatre-makers, theatre-watchers, academics - all should enter into a common dialogue, broaden their horizons, break their viewing habits and enter into a productive discussion. For this purpose, the festival team is acquiring student groups from Amsterdam and Munich, of which we are also a part. We already got to know students from the August Everding Theatre Academy at the festival opening day on 20.10.2023, and we will meet them more often during the festival. While we theatre students bring an analytical view with us, the budding directors enrich us with perspectives from practice.
These encounters will take place at special locations throughout Munich, at the venues chosen for each performance. In addition, a festival centre has been created in which this intention is explicitly given space. On our first festival weekend, we attended three parties, an exhibition and a dramaturgical introduction, where we were also able to meet the international artists of the previous theatre evenings and ask them questions.
Since we are attending the festival as an "excursion" module of the degree programme, we are in close contact with our lecturer Veronika Wagner, who has not only prepared a tight schedule of events for us, but has also taken over the head of events at the "Guggenheim Munich", or GGGNHM for short. A place where encounters between the most diverse people are also initiated, the concept of the festival is presented and people are encouraged to attend events.
Through the multitude of performance visits, we can broaden our own view, adopt differentiated points of view, experience new themes and perspectives and always critically question them. To this end, we take part in workshops, exhibitions, installations, concerts, performances and other theatre evenings, which, with their unusual formal languages, are intended to help us develop new ways of seeing and gain experience in international art. This is important not only in terms of our academic studies, but also in light of the fact that we all have artistic ambitions that are inspired and motivated by the events.
We are looking forward to experiencing an exciting programme over the next two weeks, feeling the festival pathos, enjoying interesting encounters and growing together as a group to the point where we will soon know more about each other than "fun facts", like hypnotising the chicken.