Impulse Theater Festival

Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mülheim an der Ruhr

4–14 June 2020

ACADEMY #2 — SHOW YOUR CLASS

Social Background and Independent Theatre
Led by: Daniela Dröscher
Language: German

Coronavirus has turned everything on its head. Class distinctions are more acute or become visible and impossible to ignore. And this is why we have decided to stick with the Academy and to transfer the morning programme into the digital sphere. A daily conference programme of keynote speeches followed by discussions provides an opportunity to engage directly with the issue of class.  (The four-day programme of afternoon workshops that we had originally planned has sadly had to be cancelled.)

Social background has an influence on personnel, programming and audiences in the independent theatre – however, this link has rarely been pointed out or discussed until now. The ACADEMY intends to increase awareness of the relevance of “class” by asking: Who gets to speak? Who gets to perform? How are class distinctions presented on stage? And who is watching? Here “class” will consistently be considered in terms of how it intersects with feminist and post-migrant positions. Because there is no conflict between class struggle and diversity — on the contrary. Stages of the independent theatre could become the ideal sites for individuals from a range of backgrounds to practice solidarity and complicity with each other.    


08.06. 20:00 Warm-up:
Working Class STAMMTISCH with Sahar Rahimi (Monster Truck)

The Stammtisch provides a congenial environment to warm up for the ACADEMY. What type of category is class? And what is its meaning for us as independent theatremakers? In our lives and in our work? Bourgeois theatre continuously creates subtle distinctions in order to separate an upper class from what lies below. If someone dares to rise socially and happens to find their way into an elitist position, then this often takes place in veiled manner or by denying their social origins. At the Stammtisch we want to talk about shame, embarrassment and taboos and to try to find a language for all these experiences. We want to talk about a categorisation which is both invisible and life-determining. Have a cold drink ready to hand, then get in front of your screens!

Register here up to 1 hour before the beginning.
You will then be sent all the information and a link to participate by email. If you have not received the link 12 hours before the performance begins, please check your spam folder. In the event of technical problems with the registration, please turn to anmeldung[a]impulsefestival.de. Before and during the events, support is available in a live chat here.

© Robin Junicke
© Robin Junicke
© Robin Junicke
© Robin Junicke
© Robin Junicke
© Robin Junicke

11.06. PERSONNEL
Who makes theatre or: Why we need to talk about class

The ACADEMY starts by turning its attention to those who work in the independent theatre. How strongly does class-ism (i.e. discrimination on the basis of social background) determine access to education, venues and funding? This is an issue that has rarely been raised before in the independent theatre, however, it is significant, particularly in its interaction with race and gender.

Register here up to 1 hour before the beginning.
You will then be sent all the information and a link to participate by email. If you have not received the link 12 hours before the performance begins, please check your spam folder. In the event of technical problems with the registration, please turn to anmeldung[a]impulsefestival.de. Before and during the events, support is available in a live chat here.

10:00 Daniela Dröscher, Welcome

10:15 Luise Meier: Prole-mutation

What does class mean in the 21st century? What do we need to think about in new or different terms? Freelance writer, student drop-out and waitress Luise Meier provides an introduction to the basics and from them develops a new understanding of the proletariat: prole-mutation. As “prole-mutants” we can say goodbye to the fetish of the “pure” or “authentic” working class without abandoning its potential for conflict and accumulated experience. This is where its increased potential lies. Instead of setting themselves apart, “prole-mutants” react by mixing and expressing solidarity.

10:45 Discussion in groups of five

11:15 Sophie Vögele: The role of art education. The potential of diversity and the challenge of classism

The study ‘Art.School.Differences’ aimed to investigate inequality, inclusivity and exclusivity at art colleges in Switzerland and — selectively — to change them. In this lecture, the co-leader of the project Sophie Vögele focuses on training for the theatre and asks how insights into social class can inform educational critiques of migrant society.

11:45 Discussion in groups of five

12:15 Break

12:30 Nuray Demir & George Demir: ‘Semiotics of the Kunstfeld’

Nuray Demir and George Demir have spent years exploring social hot spots in the art world. To do so they entered the exclusive parallel society, made observations and gathered material. Now for the first time they will display their ethnographic collection.

13:00 Discussion: Questions to Luise Meier, Sophie Vögele, Nuray Demir and George Demir

Biographies

George Demir is an artist and a scholarship-holder of the Study Foundation of the German People. He completed his diploma in Media Arts at the Cologne Academy of Media Arts in 2019 and was subsequently awarded the Prize of the KHM Circle of Friends. His practice is located within artistic research. Here he attempts to uncover social imbalances in order to enable those in marginalised positions to have a moment of empowerment and to shift positions of power. His works have been seen at venues including the 1ShanthiRoad Gallery in Bangalore, Paramount Urban Screen in Boston and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia’s office in Brussels.

Nuray Demir is an artist and curator in the field of the visual and performing arts. her practice is characterised by an investigative and radically transdisciplinary approach. For her projects she collaborates with persons from varying disciplines with whom she forms temporary ensembles. She has realised projects at various institutions including Kampnagel in Hamburg, Sophiensæle in Berlin, HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin and the Wiener Festwochen. She currently belongs to the artistic leading team at District* Schule ohne Zentrum in Berlin. Since 2018 she has been one part of ‘Kein schöner Archiv’.

Daniela Dröscher writes prose, essays and stage texts. She studied German, Philosophy and English in Trier and London and completed her doctoral thesis at Potsdam University on the poetics of Yoko Tawada. The themes of her work are the relationship between public and private life and the layering of culture, class and gender. The autobiographical text ‘Show Your Class. The story of my social background’ was published in 2018 by Hoffmann & Campe. She has been involved in theatre productions that have been seen at venues including Ballhaus Ost and the Sophiensæle Berlin.

Luise Meier works as a freelance author and dramaturg in Berlin, having broken off her studies of Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Literature and Social and Cultural Anthropology in in Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder). She has written essays of cultural criticism on topics including capitalism, the women’s movement, ‘The Brothers Karamazov’, drones, terrorism, Rosa Luxemburg and Valeska Gert for the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Freitag, jungle world, Theater der Zeit and the Berliner Zeitung. In 2018 she published her book ‘MRX Machine’. She has regularly worked together with the HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, recently creating the evenings ‘KEEP IT REAL’ and ‘Schleefian Excrescence’ there. She is currently working with the choreographer and performer Jule Flierl, the performance collective andcompany&Co and the director Christian Filips.

Sophie Vögele studied Gender Studies and Ethnology in Basel, Geneva and Heidelberg. She was subsequently affiliated for several years to York University Toronto (Sociology). She is currently a research assistant and lecturer in Art Education at Zürich University of the Arts. In her research she is interested in the complexity of processes of othering in educational institutions and in the field of art, their criticism and institutionalised mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion from a feminist-post-colonial perspective. In the blog Art.School.Differences (bit.ly/a_s_d) she reports on further experiences in developing participatory curricula and universities.

12.06. PROGRAMMING
How
does independent theatre engage with the issue of class?

The second day, the ACADEMY examines the independent theatre’s programming. For all the diversity of the independent scene, is it possible to make out shared perspectives on the issue of class or even simply on class as a topic? What does looking back at history reveal? What are the class-conscious aesthetics of the present day? What are the sticking points in the attempts to see class as an intersectional issue?

Register here up to 1 hour before the beginning.
You will then be sent all the information and a link to participate by email. If you have not received the link 12 hours before the performance begins, please check your spam folder. In the event of technical problems with the registration, please turn to anmeldung[a]impulsefestival.de. Before and during the events, support is available in a live chat here.

10:00 Daniela Dröscher, Welcome

10:10 Anja Quickert: From the APO to post-migrant theatre

Critic and dramaturg Anja Quickert has examined the history and present of the independent theatre by looking at the issue of class: How does it engage with social background and/or class (differences)? What are the recurring themes? What is omitted and why? And do specific class-conscious aesthetics exist?

10:40 Discussion in groups of five

11:15 Francis Seeck: Distinction. Classism and cultural work

Cultural anthropologist, gender researcher and anti-discrimination trainer Francis Seeck subjects programme booklets from the independent theatre to a close reading: what languages are being used here? Who is welcomed, who is excluded? And what is the relationship simply in the leaflet between queerness and classism?

11:45 Discussion in groups of five

12:15 Break

12:25 Discussion: Questions to Anja Quickert and Francis Seeck

Biographies

Anja Quickert studied Theatre Studies, Modern German Literature and Philosophy in Mainz, Bologna, Warsaw and Berlin. As an author she writes freelance for ‘Theater heute’ and other outlets, as a dramaturg she has also worked freelance and at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. She has been the Chief Executive of the International Heiner Müller Association since 2011. She has been responsible for producing the events series ‘Müllermontag’ (2012—2016) and ‘Müllersalon’ (from 2017), has worked as a dramaturg and production manager on various of the Association’s workshops, co-directed the international conference ‘Das Rätsel der Freiheit’ (“The Enigma of Freedom”) on Heiner Müller and the theatre festival ‘Heiner Müller!’ at the HAU. Since 2018 she has participated in the DFG research group ‘Constellations of Crisis in the Arts’.

Francis Seeck is an anti-discrimination trainer, author and doctoral candidate who teaches Gender and Queer Studies in Social Work at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. Francis Seeck is also active in the Institute for Classism Research, a network of academics and political educators from an impoverished or working class background. ‘The Right to Mourn. Funerals from a power-critical perspective’ was published in 2017, in which Francis Seeck looks at the connection between classism and practices of mourning.

13.06. AUDIENCE
Who
are we making this for?

After personnel and programming we focus on audiences. Who do independent theatre productions reach? Which working methods and aesthetics in themselves address audiences irrespective of class? Which ones use subtle distinctions to keep them at arm’s length? And how can theatre reach an audience that can then actually see its own perspective represented on stage?

Register here up to 1 hour before the beginning.
You will then be sent all the information and a link to participate by email. If you have not received the link 12 hours before the performance begins, please check your spam folder. In the event of technical problems with the registration, please turn to anmeldung[a]impulsefestival.de. Before and during the events, support is available in a live chat here.

10:00 Daniela Dröscher, Welcome

10:10 Eva Plischke (Turbo Pascal): UNTERSCHEIDET EUCH!

Which performative tools do I use to represent the issue of class on stage? What role does participation play? What is the audience’s role? An insight into the devising process of the children and young people’s play UNTERSCHEIDET EUCH! which can be seen in the Impulse SHOWCASE.

10:40 Discussion in groups of five

11:45 Nele Stuhler: Inviting and collecting

Who feels that independent theatre is for them? In this lecture performance, theatremaker and author Nele Stuhler examines the tools that have so far been used in an effort to gain audiences for the theatre and asks why how sustainably these might or might not be effective.

So it would be good if everyone could be invited or at least if everyone could feel they’d been invited even if not everyone has to come, it’s not being done so that everyone comes but a few will have to come for anything to be done at all and usually some people do come but they’re not just anybody, they’re usually the same ones and a few others ought to come after all so much effort goes into this and into inviting other people, the ones who have not come again who might have come once who maybe had to come once with the whole class they were simply invited once but they didn’t feel that they’d been collected, even though a bus was sent specially they still didn’t come again.

11:45 Discussion in groups of five

12:15 Interval

12:25 Plenary discussion: With questions to Eva Plischke and Nele Stuhler

Biographies

Eva Plischke is a co-founder of Turbo Pascal and completed her doctorate at the Graduate College of Arts and Sciences ‘Assembly and Participation – urban public life and the performative arts’ in Hamburg. Turbo Pascal devise interactive performances that turn the theatre into a space to come together and negotiate social processes, dynamics and utopias. Turbo Pascal also produce participatory projects with adults or children and conceive formats for discussion and communication in diverse contexts. ‘Make Your Mind Up!’, Turbo Pascal’s first interactive performance for children at the Theater an der Parkaue in Berlin, was the winner of the Ikarus Prize for 2019.

Nele Stuhler was born in Berlin. Her first theatrical works were created at the Volksbühne’s youth theatre, P14. She studied Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen and Scenic Writing in Graz and is a member of the theatre collectives Leien des Alltags and FUX. Recently her work has been seen at venues including the Schauspielhaus Vienna, Münchner Kammerspiele, Hebbel am Ufer Berlin and Schauspiel Frankfurt. She was awarded a scholarship to the Theatertreffen’s International Forum and won the Else Lasker-Schüler Prize in 2018 for her stage play ‘Fishes’.

14.06. SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

Day four clears the stage for the results of this year’s ACADEMY. What can we take away from three days of digital work on class consciousness? Which processes have been stimulated, which have not received sufficient attention? Where does the issue of class in the independent theatre go from here? What are the (cultural) political and aesthetic consequences of our ideas?

Register here up to 1 hour before the beginning.
You will then be sent all the information and a link to participate by email. If you have not received the link 12 hours before the performance begins, please check your spam folder. In the event of technical problems with the registration, please turn to anmeldung[a]impulsefestival.de. Before and during the events, support is available in a live chat here.

10:00 Frederick Krieger and Samira Weiner: observations, discoveries, questions

Frederick Krieger and Samira Weiner from FFT Düsseldorf have been following the events in the Academy. To conclude they describe their subjective discoveries and open questions and offer these for discussion.

11:00 Working Class STAMMTISCH with Sahar Rahimi (Monster Truck)

Biografien

Frederick Krieger studied Theatre Studies and Social Sciences at the Ruhr University Bochum and took part in numerous student and independent theatre productions. From 2015 to 2018 he worked as an assistant director at Schauspielhaus Bochum where he worked with Olaf Kröck, Roger Vontobel, Jan-Christoph Gockel, Marius von Mayenburg, Heike M. Götze and Anselm Weber. He directed Sartre’s ‘No Exit’ at Schauspielhaus Bochum in 2018. Since 2019 Frederick Krieger has been Assistant to the Artistic Director and Chief Executive at FFT Düsseldorf.

Sahar Rahimi, born in Tehran, is a director and performer currently living in Munich. She studied at the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies at Gießen and co-founded the performance group Monster Truck. The group works in the fields of theatre, performance, video and the visual arts. Monster Truck produces projects both independently and in city theatres, in venues including the Sophiensaele in Berlin, Mousonturm in Frankfurt, the Münchner Kammerspiele and Schauspielhaus Bochum and has been invited to numerous festivals such as the Impulse Festival, Radikal Jung, the Israel Festival and lagos_live Festival. Monster Truck has been awarded the Favoriten Festival Prize and the Tabori Prize in recognition of its work

Samira Weiner studied German and Theatre Studies at the Ruhr University Bochum. From 2013 to 2015 she worked as an assistant director at Schauspielhaus Bochum, moving in 2015 to become an assistant director at Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus. From 2016 to 2018 she was Assistant to the Artistic Direction of the Bürgerbühne at Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and was production manager for the Asphalt Festival in Düsseldorf. During her time working as an assistant she ran several youth clubs. Since 2019 she has worked at FFT Düsseldorf in the artistic production office with special responsibility for projects with children and young people.