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When you think you're in control, you're not driving fast enough."
Mario Andretti, Racing Driver

Theatre artists everywhere have understood that they can no longer create new subjects, forms and tasks solely out of the theatre itself. They have all begun to pick and copy from other art forms and disciplines. But despite great interdisciplinary endeavours and a craving for relevance, the theatre has not quite managed to arrive in the here and now. That is because theatre is a space for memory. And not only in the sense of merely being an efficient storage for filing and retrieving the latest data and information. Not only the professional biographies of the "working population" have been radically changing from a vertical and hierarchical orientation (from one job to the next, higher ranking one) to a horizontal one (from one project to the next).

The work outline of artists and theatre makers is subjected to the same development. We are all experts who lead a nomadic existence, we build our patchwork careers alone and we know how to make use of the mechanisms of the market to give our products an appropriate presentation. But the theatre is by definition a space of public assembly, its art is created only through a common act of theatre makers and audience. The analysis of its significance within a changing society, however, remains difficult, theoretical and extrinsic to theatre makers. And anyway, as everybody knows: between desire and ability runs a gap as wide as the Mississippi river. While we will intensively further trans-disciplinary careers at the Academy, we will at the same time follow up the idea of the theatre as a space for communal assembly. Is the theatre still fit for this task, or in which other space should we gather today? And: which space do we allocate to the audience? But most of all: how can we make the encounter with the audience unexpected and surprising again? The Academy offers a month between action and thoughtfulness.

Experienced theatre makers will work with students in seminars and practical exercises. At the same time, theory will make unexpected appearances at many different places at the Academy - a seductive buccaneer. Theoreticians from a range of disciplines will discuss the far-reaching questions of world society that have an impact on our profession: in which way are the values of work and future professional biographies changing? Are there new models for clever networking between individual creative workers? How can we find a new definition of the social function of the theatre without boring ourselves and others?

All courses run for four weeks. They offer a full programme of classes, practical assignments, teaching of theatre craft, and field-work, as well as events and presentations. They will form a laboratory of study and research, a four-week multiple production unit. Students will encounter two to three tutors per course, all of them internationally renowned, who will teach between one and three weeks each. In addition to this, we have invited guest lecturers from various cultural disciplines, who through lectures, work demonstrations and short workshops will shed a different light on the subjects under consideration. Amongst these guest lecturers there will be historians, photographers, makers of documentary films, tourism researchers, archivists, journalists, world reporters, sociologists, economists and DJs. A group of mentors will accompany the courses.

The Opening:Guest Performance by Theatergroep Hollandia
"Two Voices"

Director: Johan Simons
Performed by: Jeroen Willems
Kammerspiele Bochum 2nd of july, at 21.00

Drawing on texts by the Italian author and film-maker Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jeroen Willems draws a portrait of four modern-day rulers: an intellectual, an entrepreneur, a criminal top executive and a cleric. Together, they hold society in their grip as if it were a brood of vipers. A fifth ruler makes an appearance: the current C.E.O. of Shell International, Cor Herkströter, who ponders on the moral dilemmas and the social responsibilities faced by multinational conglomerates. The text of this "character" is derived from his own speeches and articles. With apparent ease, chatting with charm and courtesy, Jeroen Willems transforms into these five smiling characters of power. By confronting literary texts with real statements from the realm of international top management, the company Hollandia creates a new from of political theatre.

Open to the general public.