The Theaterformen Festival is one of the largest international theatre festivals in Germany. For the 2019 edition, the organisers had commissioned new plays from Argentina, Belgium, Great Britain and Russia. Although they had been largely unknown in Germany, the commissioned artists have achieved considerable acclaim in the international theatre scene for their documentary and participative approaches.
The production “Lightspeed” examined long-forgotten city districts and the process of forgetting. The Argentinean director Marco Canale has developed the play with senior citizens from Hannover incorporating a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, stories, voices and music from their places of origin. The directors Laila Soliman from Cairo and Ruud Gielens from Antwerp have been working on a play titled “My body belongs to me”. The piece by the British directors Selina Thompson and Scottee was developed together with local residents. Based on autobiographical questions, e.g. what does it mean to be a black child raised by white parents? Or what is it like to adopt a child as a same-sex couple? – the production highlighted the twists and pitfalls of the European adoption system. The Russian stage director Semion Aleksandrovskiy from St. Petersburg has designed a museum of human relationships, in which the audience could listen to various conversations between a father and his adult child. These family stories between father and daughter, and father and son, have been developed on location in Hannover and highlighted the cultural diversity of the population.
An additional programme supplemented the festival with numerous theatre-educational formats, master classes and a symposium on references to “entangled history” in humanities research. The project has been accompanied by the Institute for Discrimination-free Education which has offered expertise on accessibility and anti-discrimination strategies in theatre and will present the findings to other cultural institutions in the future.
Artistic director: Martine Dennewald
Artists: Semion Aleksandrovskiy (RU), Marco Canale (AR), Ruud Gielens (BE), Scottee (GB), Laila Soliman (EG), Selina Thompson (GB)