October Research Labs

October 5th-23rd, 2020

For the October labs artists and curators from around the world have been invited to share their urgent questions responding to the current situation, and to put these to work, exploring them together with DAS Theatre participants in a series of intensive practice-oriented workshops, As a result, three parallel labs will unfold for 3 weeks in October with a main focus, respectively on:

Reckon – What Happened?

What are we facing, what is the present as a historical moment? How has it been produced, historically, politically, culturally? How can theatre and performance be ways of reckoning with it? Guests for this lab include Rabih Mroué, Ogutu Muraya, Lara Staal, Maarten van Hinte, Quinsy Gario and Jerry Afriyie, as well as encounters during the Afrovibes Festival, moderated by Marjorie Boston

Repair – What Now?

If this is our present time, how can we act? How do we understand our living together, between humans and with other than human entities? How can theatre and performance offer forms, ways of thinking and ethics, to navigate the present moment as an uncertain, opaque time? Guests for this lab include Eleonora Fabião, Piersandra Di Matteo, Ivo Dimchev and Lotte van den Berg

Reimagine – What If?

What about the future? What human and technological practices do we have to explore possible futures? How can theatre and performance offer forms of speculation about possible futures, forms of collective and radical imagination, to rehearse a future of which we do not have an image yet? Guests for this lab include Annie Dorsen, Mala Kline, Kee Hong Low and Samara Hersch

Each of the three artistic research lab trajectories that run parallel at the studios of DAS as well as online have their own separate program, but are in continuous interaction and exchange with each other. The invited artists and curators together with DAS theatre participants form a temporary collective of performing arts practitioners, actively probing the question: What can theatre do? They are joined by an interested public who can follow the programme online through various open door events.


November Research Labs

November 2nd-13th, 2020


Reckon – What Happened?

DAS talks. Curated by Asa Horvitz and Andrej Nosov

The current situation and eventual consequences of covid-19 currently are and will continue to reshape the fragile artistic landscape and especially theater networks, houses, and festivals.

How do theater institutions work today and who are the institutions? What happened to programs, concepts, artists, frames, and networks? How are they adapting and with what future in mind (knowing we cannot predict or control what will come)? What changes in institutions can creators and artists expect? What is the perspective of the institutions themselves, what processes have started and will they be slow, fast, etc.? Maybe all of these questions could be put into one very simple question, what happened, what is happening, and what will happen to us?

Over 14 days we will explore these questions in 10 public online conversations with individuals leading influential institutions in the performing arts across Europe. At the same time a small group of DAS participants working with Silvia Bottiroli will develop a set of “DAS ethics”, proposing a set of agreements for current and future work between artists and institutions. Guests will include Mark Yeoman and Judith Blankenberg (Gronginen Grand Theatre/Noorderzone festival), Kopano Maroga (Vooruit), Rainer Hofmann (SPRING), Bojana Panevska (TransArtists), Milica Ilic (ONDA/RESHAPE), Melih Gencboyaci (Theater Rotterdam), and more TBA.

Repair – What Now?

Signals with Delay. Curated by Juan Miranda, Mazlum Nergiz and Eli Steffen

Artistic research takes place in spaces. In the current times, the consciousness of spaces as potential risks has been pushed to the foreground. Any encounter: contamination. How to inhabit and renegotiate spaces if access to them has never been so precarious? How to leave traces if traces are everything but welcome?

In this two-weeks research lab, a group of DAS Theatre participants embark on the fundamental question of re-calibrating the imaginative access to their space(s) of artistic research in an in-depth dialogue with two artistic mentors whose practice is fundamentally rooted in thinking through the problematics of spatial composition and movement.

The core idea of this workshop works with the idea of signals as content: this workshop enables its participants to enter and sustain a practice-based conversation around their main artistic problems and question by being confronted with the artistic position of the mentor and creating a chain of provocations.

Reimagine – What If?

WHAT IF…. We already started? by Pankaj Tiwari and Tom Oliver Jacobson with Agat Sharma, Ainhoa Hernández Escudero and Luis Guenel

This November lab is part of an ongoing speculative institute that deals with the relationship between imagination and uncertainty for fostering artistic responses. It is created to rehearse the futures that we often imagine in our impassioned discourses but never find the energy to act out. It is therefore an epicenter of experimental energy, built from the dialogue between critical theory and concrete artistic responses. It is honestly very overwhelming to face an uncertain future as time collapses on us. While the Covid storm hit us we were already neck deep in the climate crisis and in denial of the incumbent social inequalities that should have been addressed generations ago. Now we face all of this all at once. The emergencies that keep piling up on the shoulders of a younger generation all require a specific, close-range attention, making it increasingly difficult to dwell in fabulous, non-chronological imaginaries. As theatre makers as well as activists, we are fuelled by an impulse to create better alternatives, but our vision has somehow gotten blurred. We are creating this institute because we are willing to work hard on new ideas with others. We will fail in our actions, often, hard, too soon and too late, but we are committed to keep translating the ideas to artistic responses. As artists what can we do except tell new stories and create glimpses of the future.


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