Impulse Theater Festival

Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mülheim an der Ruhr

4-14 June 2020

On the current situation


Call for donations

At our virtual opening party last Thursday you were able to meet almost all the artists who could have been seen in the anniversary edition of the Impulse Theater Festival that we had originally planned. One SHOWCASE artist was not there: Nicoleta Esinencu.

After speaking to her we would like to explain the reasons why she was missing – because these make it clear that not everyone is equal in the face of the virus. Nicoleta Esinencu lives in the Republic of Moldova and is currently completing a residency with DAAD in Berlin. She will return to Chişinau in mid-June without knowing how she or her company will be able to continue without any money and without any support.

The situation is uncertain for many artists in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. However, we must not forget that the situation elsewhere is much more difficult. The performance ‘Die Abschaffung der Familie’ would have shown just how acute it is.

Nicoleta Esinescu and her company are in urgent need of support. Please donate the money you have “saved” on tickets for this year’s Impulse Theater Festival to the following PayPal account: PayPal.Me/spalatorie


The full programme for Impulse 2020 is now online! Even though we don’t know whether the festival will be able to take place. But we want to be able to present the outstanding productions that we have invited to the SHOWCASE in more detail. We don’t want you to miss out on the results of the intensive discussions our two ACADEMY directors, Kolja Burgschuld and Daniela Dröscher, have had about issues, formats and speakers. And even though the CITY PROJECT in collaboration with Club Real won’t be able to achieve its full complexity by interacting with civil society in Mülheim (yet), we still want to draw attention to its theme: the ever increasing division between rich and poor.


We have already spent over a year preparing the festival’s 2020 edition. We have viewed more than 300 productions and ten outstanding works have been invited to our SHOWCASE. A CITY PROJECT and two ACADEMIES have been conceived. The programme is ready. However, it is already clear that the festival cannot take place as planned.

All travel and face-to-face meetings within the team and with those involved in the festival have been cancelled for the time being. The four projects in co-operation with universities will not be able to start as planned: they must be postponed or cancelled entirely. To continue working on the CITY PROJECT in collaboration with Club Real requires, among other things, intensive exchanges with civil society in situ in Mülheim an der Ruhr — this portion of our preparations has been suspended for now. The international visitors’ programme run by the NRW KULTURsekretariat can currently only make provisional travel plans for our guests.

All these restrictions have direct consequences for the continued planning and delivery of the festival. We are working on alternatives and hope to be able to celebrate the opening of ‘Impulse’ 2020 together with our audience on 4th June after all, even if it turns out differently from what we had planned. Right now, however, we do not know whether the festival can take place. We will keep you up to date with the latest developments here.

In the event of the festival being cancelled, we are already working intensely together with city, state and federal governments to guarantee as far as possible that the freelance artists in our programme will be paid cancellation fees.