Topics XYZ 2008

Young Theatre in Germany

Contemporary theatre for children and young people

by Gerd Taube

Over the past few years it has become increasingly obvious that German municipal theatres are turning more and more towards young audiences. Municipal theatres have adapted their work for this particular sector of the audience from tried-and-tested methods used for decades by children and young people's companies with and for their audiences. In this way municipal theatres have created alternatives to themselves, thereby changing their image. But young theatre is more than just a new label. The theatre scientist Dr. Gerd Taube describes it as dialectically opposed to municipal theatre as well as to the tradition of emancipatory youth theatre. Taube

Typically German?

Tendencies in contemporary theatre for children and young people in Germany

The dramaturge Christian Schönfelder (JES, Stuttgart) and the journalist Nina Peters (Berlin) have discussed recent developments in theatre for young audiences in Germany. There is a large number of productions developed by ensembles and, at the same time, there are certain authors and plays that appear on schedules at theatres all over Germany. There is, as becomes obvious, an enourmous amount of high quality dramatic literature and an array of ways of telling stories. Schönfelder

Young Opera

Modern music theatre for young audiences

The director and music theatre pedagogue Markus Kosuch, who played an active role in founding the Young Opera at the Staatsoper Stuttgart and the director Andrea Gronemeyer from 'Schnawwl' in Mannheim, who founded the Young Opera in Mannheim, talked about challenges and possibilities in the field of contemporary music theatre for young audiences. Taking up discussions and experiences from children's and young people's theatre and reflecting the different conditions under which music theatre is produced, a new art of music theatre for young people can flourish. Kosuch

Things in motion

On the situation of professional dance theatre for young audiences in Germany

The theatre scientist Annett Israel of the Children's and Youth Theatre Centre (Berlin Office) and the dancer and choreographer Livia Patrizi have talked about professional dance theatre for young audiences in Germany, its artistic perspectives, its aesthetic positions and its themes and topics. While contemporary dance in Germany has yet given little attention to developing dance theatre for young audiences, this has been different in neighbouring countries like the Netherlands, France or Belgium. Now, things are changing. Israel

The discovery of the small child as a spectator

Theatre for the youngest

Until a few years ago, there were no theatre productions for children under three years of age in Germany. Two protagonists in this field, the Berlin based performer Melanie Florschütz and the director Barbara Kölling from the HELIOS Theatre Hamm have thought and talked about the small child as a spectator. Increasingly, this group of spectators is addressed and many changes are happening in Germany. More and more theatres put shows for the youngest on their agenda and many festivals include this in their programmes. The initiative 'Theatre from the very beginning!' started by the Children's and Young People's Theatre Centre has contributed a lot to this development. Florschütz

Young Theatre – theatre for children and young people is finally grown up

On the aesthetic programme of a 'Young Theatre'

The German theatre landscape is in a state of flux and theatre for children and young people is experiencing a boom. The dramaturge Henning Fangauf and the director Klaus Schumacher have talked about the specificness of Young Theatre. The theatre is supposed to be a lively place for young people which offers opportunities for experiencing the world and oneself, discover others and the theatre itself. Creating, thinking, active participation and reflection of the spectator's role are to be reciprocal processes that are closely intertwined. Fangauf

Audience participation in children's theatre performances

On a recent development in children's theatre in Europe

by Sinje Kuhn

Starting from three European examples Sinje Kuhn, a student of cultural pedagogy at Hildesheim university, reflects the asymmetric position basic to every theatre performance. Actors are in a role superior to passive spectators. The examples chosen show how scenic situations can be designed and experienced co-operatively. They seem to mark a tendency to develop new models of audience participation in contemporary children's theatre in Europe. Kuhn

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