Tuesday, 15. May
Comedia Theater

in cooperation with

what does school need theatres for?

A politico-cultural panel discussion

Theatres for young audiences predominately schedule their performances on weekday mornings. So-called family matinees on weekends or in the evenings merely constitute a small percentage of showings. Why is that?

The opportunity for entire school classes to attend these performances harbours enormous societal potential for exposing children from all income brackets and social classes to cultural practices. Theatres for young audiences are thus able to draw a cross-section of society into their auditoriums. And schools? What ´s in it for them?

By attending the theatre, school classes are confronted with an intense situation requiring listening skills, and possibly interaction, participation or even outright active involvement. Presented by artists who know exactly how to address their target audience - artists who research issues relevant to children and young adults and develop ways to transport them, yet who also bring literature and topics that promote maturity to the stage. Or don ´t they?

So why do classes head for the theatre? So that they can see Kafka on stage instead of having to read it? The panel for this discussion consists of NRW Minister of Culture and Science Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen; state ministry official Dr. Norbert Reichel from the NRW Ministry of Schools and Education; Dr. Wolfgang Schneider, Professor of Cultural Policy at the University of Hildesheim; long-time artistic director of Junges Ensemble Stuttgart, Brigitte Dethier; and Irina Barca from Forum Freies Theater Düsseldorf, a dramaturge and member of the schools and theatre task force of the NRW Children ´s and Youth Theatre Workgroup. The discussion will be broadcast on WDR as part of the series WDR 3 FORUM.

Presentation: Peter Grabowski