In times when theatre and performance as live art are in a state of emergency and societies rethink necessities, we ask you: Why theatre? For two years now, we have been publishing the series ’The Golden Books’ at NTGent, together with the Berlin based publisher Verbrecher Verlag: books on the theory and practice of contemporary performance art, on individual plays and general social questions. In volume 5 of the book series we want to broaden the focus and ask: Why theatre at all? Why is this art form so unique, so indispensable? What is YOUR personal ’why‘ as a theatre-maker, spectator, activist, citizen – or simply as a human being? We are interested in the whole range of theatre: from classical theatre to performance art and dance, from activism to political theatre and the performativity of everyday life.
You determine the content and format of your contribution: whether you want to start from a concrete artistic experience as a theatre-maker or spectator, or write from a theoretical or utopian point of view. It can be a short essay, a memory, a manifesto, an invented dialogue, a poem, a letter to someone. A moment of epiphany, strong emotion, insight or confusion. A utopian text about the theatre of the future, post-capitalist theatre or one without any ideology, about Oedipus or the performance of birds outside your window. Whatever comes to mind when you ask yourself “Why theatre?“, whatever seems neuralgic to you or makes you feel confident.
With solidarity and kind regards,
Milo Rau, Carmen Hornbostel and Kaatje De Geest”
We received 106 answers in short essays, memories, manifestos, drawings, poems, letters, …. that we gathered in the Golden Book V: Why Theatre? – “A compendium of progressive contemporary theatre” as Deutschlandfunk says.
We continue asking Why theatre? in live events and performances and publish each months between five and ten statements from the book itself and the live events on this homepage.
Why Theatre? Because of all that follows….