Impulse Theater Festival

Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mülheim an der Ruhr

13— 23 June 2019


Mülheim an der Ruhr


The Impulse ACADEMY plays a key role in understanding independent theatre. In both Academies at Ringlokschuppen Ruhr participants with backgrounds in both theory and practice address the restrictions placed on artistic freedom and the independent theatre sector’s strategies for self-optimization.

In this, its second edition, participants with backgrounds in both theory and practice once again come together to address what are currently key issues for the production, aesthetics and social positioning of the independent theatre scene in two four-day programmes at Ringlokschuppen Ruhr. On the first weekend of the festival the ACADEMY will address the freedom of art in the tension between the political shift to the right and debates around the critique of representation from feminist, anti-racist and decolonial perspectives. On the second weekend it will examine current efforts to make the independent scene more professional, more efficient and also fairer.


City project

A site-specific project has been developped in co-operation with studiobühneköln combining urgent issues of our time with a local context — a working method within the performing arts developed by independent theatre.

For FEARSPACE COLOGNE four groups of artists devise works about the fears that continually haunt the media and accelerate social division — a problem that has been particularly present in Cologne since the events of New Year’s Eve 2015. The artists have examined open drug scenes, sex work in the streets, Islam and non-white men and attempted to trace the origins of these fears. As a result, performances, installations and forms of movement have been created that will be presented in various public spaces in Cologne. With these works, the artists invite audiences to look at the complex reality behind scandalous headlines: they make what has been repressed visible and expose many unsuspected links.

What is reality and what is exaggeration? FEARSPACE COLOGNE makes an effort to use artistic intensification and perspectivisation to find a way through to reality. It also raises the question what role theatre can and wishes to play in the battle between competing accounts of reality. An attempt at de-dramatisation.

Concept/Dramaturgy: Haiko Pfost, Wilma Renfordt
Production management: Anna Bründl
Technical direction: Nino Petrich
Project assistants: Lea Peter, Kathrin Sonnenschein, Fatima Sonntag, Laurin Thiesmeyer

A co-production between studiobühneköln and Impulse Theater Festival, funded by Kunststiftung NRW, the Sparkasse KölnBonn and the City of Cologne.

With thanks to our research and project partners Sakher Al-Mohamad, Archiv für alternatives Schrifttum (afas) Duisburg, Arslan‘s Kebap, BFmF e.V., Gabriele Boos-Niazy, Bosnisch Islamische Kulturgemeinschaft Köln e.V., DİTİB — Türkisch Islamische Union der Anstalt für Religion e.V. Köln, DOMiD e.V. (Dokumentationszentrum und Museum über die Migration in Deutschland), Frauen gegen Gewalt e.V., FrauenMediaTurm — feministisches Archiv und Bibliothek, Gewerkschaft der Polizei NRW, Ana Valeria Gonzalez, Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln, Kölner Frauengeschichtsverein e.V., Dr. Michael Koenen, LIB e.V. Köln, Looks e.V., Dr. Riham Galal Mahfouz, Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen e.V. Köln, Verein der Förderer des Austauschs deutscher und syrischer Kultur e.V. und weitere, die nicht genannt werden möchten.

Entry is free of charge.