Over the last three decades theatre for children and young people in Germany has often sought its inspiration from aesthetic developments and trends in young people’s theatre in neighbouring European countries. On the basis of the experience gained from working with foreign directors and authors, German theatres for children and young people have intensified their cooperation with partners from abroad, and are increasingly initiating joint cross-border projects. Whether this be with the support of the Wanderlust Fund of the Federal Cultural Foundation, or the Goethe Institute throughout the world, or by means of specially created European networks for artistic exchanges and joint productions, the European and, indeed, increasingly global dimension of aesthetic thinking and action in German theatre for children and young people is almost a part of everyday artistic life in the theatre for young audiences in Germany.
That said, artistic coproduction with partners from abroad holds risk factors and unforeseen influences in addition to the normal unpredictability involved in preparing a theatre production: cultural differences, language barriers and geographical distances. Then there are budgetary and logistic challenges which apply, no matter what kind of theatre you are running. But when it comes to the work itself, the possible risk factors – cultural differences, language barriers and geographical distances – have turned out to be an enriching source of experience. Artistic production is torn away from everyday routine. Risking something together also means discovering something together – like another culture, for example; or even your own culture as reflected in the mirror of the other. Ethical values, firmly held fundamental beliefs and general attitudes to the world all come under scrutiny, and might even be seen in anew light. Looking at the world influences the way we see the world.
This is the third time that IXYPSILONZETT is published in English, this time once again on the occasion of the ASSITEJ International World Congress which is taking place this year in Copenhagen and Malmø. Two cities in two countries divided by the Baltic Sea but nonetheless linked by a bridge. This symbolic construction has inspired the Danish and Swedish organisers to adopt the motto “Building Bridges – Crossing Borders” for this year’s World Congress and international theatre festival.
It’s a powerful motto that can also be regarded as political shorthand for the self-evident fact of international cultural exchanges in the 21st century. This edition of our children’s and young people’s theatre magazine has taken up this idea. The articles report on successful international coproductions and on the networks and support programmes which provide an framework for cross-border artistic encounters.
If, after reading the articles, your taste for making discoveries and taking gambles has been aroused, at the end of the magazine you will find plenty of information on go-between organisations which can answer concrete questions and give general advice on questions of international cultural exchange amongst theatres for children and young people.
By Gerd Taube
Das Magazin für Kinder- und Jugendtheater erscheint aus Anlass des 17. Weltkongresses des ASSITEJ International im Mai in Kopenhagen (Dänemark) und Malmø (Schweden) in englischer Sprache. Die deutschen Originaltexte können unter www.jugendtheater.net nachgelesen werden.
Internationality needs Cultural Policy
International coproduction in theatre for young audiencesvon Wolfgang Schneider
From local to Global Exchange
The international work of the Children’s and Young People’s Theatre Centre in Germanyvon Henning Fangauf und Jürgen Kirschner
Programms and Networks
International Theatre Partnerships
The Wanderlust Fund in the Federal Cultural Foundationvon Anne Maase
The European Theatre Convention (ETC) and their “Young Europe” projectvon Kay Wuschek
Ideas behind European Cultural Support
Experiences with European Networks in Theatre for Young Audiencesvon Dirk Neldner
Possibilities and strategies of the Goethe Institutevon Thomas Stumpp
Experiences in Art
Heads or tails
A German-Cypriot encountervon Anne Paffenholz
Finding the thread. Time and time again
“Simurgh’s Last Feather” – An Iranian-German cooperationvon Stephan Weiland
A house containing a tree
On the cooperation between the Oldenburg State Theatre and the Kopergietery Arts Centre in Ghent (Belgium)von Matthias Grön
Broadening the perspective
International coproduction in Austriavon Kai Krösche
Assitej and Centre Festivals in Germany