The independent theatre group andcompany&Co. has recently founded a state theatre for the stateless: the “Citizen Theatre” at the Junges Schauspiel Düsseldorf. What does it mean to “be a citizen” apart from holding citizenship? Can citizens vouch for non-citizens? What does civic commitment look like today? To better understand the present situation, this project draws parallels to the Nazi era when German artists and intellectuals were forced into exile. The project is based on the model of Rick's Café from the play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”, which served as the basis for one of the most famous Hollywood classics of all times, “Casablanca”, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergmann.
Andcompany&Co. opened a café called “Café Eden” for citizens and non-citizens in 2016. There, the refugees of today will encounter the spirits of famous refugees of the past – those German exiles of the likes of Brecht, Döblin, Horkheimer and Adorno. The project will develop a play in 2017 based on these encounters in which the refugees will not play themselves, but rather anti-Fascist German exiles.