The Bündnis internationaler Produktionshäuser (International Production Houses Alliance) is among the foremost associations within Germany. FFT Düsseldorf, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste (Dresden), Kampnagel (Hamburg), Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt am Main), PACT Zollverein (Essen) and tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf) all channel their abilities and experiences as central stakeholders in culture and sociopolitics, bringing international perspectives into a continuous, open and diverse exchange with local artists, local groups of audiences, as well as with diverse urban societies. The Office of the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media has been supporting the Bündnis internationaler Produktionshäuser with a sum of 12 million since the 2016/17 season, for a total duration of three years.
This support enables the production venues to realise special artistic endeavours together as well as on their respective sites, sometimes spanning several years, and going beyond their customary programmes and practices.
They deal with the economic, social, cultural and ecological urban and global changes in the 21st century, playfully exploring the future of society, theatre, dance and art, exemplarily trying out scenarios of communal living. Furthermore, the venues connect their competency in the ongoing development of advanced means of production in the field of performative art and their far-reaching local and international networks more closely than before.
Tried practices can be further developed and expanded, with an eye towards the future, in this decentralised co-operational model; among them, for example, the possibility of artistic residencies, commissioned works, co-productions and site-specific project development as well as the consolidation, the artistic agency for and strengthening of artistic positions on a trans-regional and international scale and for local contexts. So, the Bündnis has set up, among other things, an academy for freelancing producers, and it is accordingly significantly involved in an occupational area that is gaining in importance.
The current communal project ›Connecting Cities – Das öffentliche Leben‹ (›Connecting Cities – The public life‹) is a cross-venue undertaking, dedicated to the questions and challenges of progressively diversifying, conflict-ridden and disparate urban societies. During the 2017/18 season, international artists in six cities investigate the role of the arts in social change of our local as well as global urban societies, posing the question for their potential in differentiation and articulation of varying designs in thought, for life and the future. In June 2018, the different artistic approaches, experiments and contributions from the six cities will reflect in a joint programme in Berlin.
Supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Academy for Theatre Journalism
Journalistic coverage of the heterogeneous landscape of independent productions, working methods, organisational structures, protagonists and aesthetics is an essential part of theatre, plus it is also a demanding profession. The Alliance of International Production Houses now offers a framework in which to discuss the role played by journalism and criticism in the independent theatre scene. Journalists make joint trips to the different production houses, where they gain deeper insights into the working structures of the independent scene, as well as their varying profiles and programmes. In direct conversations with artists, journalists are invited to learn more about working methods, issues and structures and also to engage in group discussions revolving around how artistic works can be transferred into language and text.
At the same time, discussions also centre on the role played by theatre criticism and journalism in the public discourse today, as well as which developments will be conceivable and desirable in the future. Above all, however, the academy is designed to serve as a site for reflection and the training of journalistic practices. Different forms of writing about concrete contemporary performing arts projects that are as heterogeneous as possible create the foundation for mutual exchange, reflection and a mutual critique of criticism.
The Theatre Journalism format launched in autumn 2019 in three modules. The concept for this academy was developed by Esther Boldt (author & theatre critic for nachtkritik.de, Theater heute, Zeit online, tanz Zeitschrift and die taz) and Dr. Philipp Schulte (dramaturge and author, managing director of the Hessische Theaterakademie, lecturer at the Norwegian Theatre Academy).
The first module took place from 14 to 17 Nov at PACT.