© Jan Grygoriew
Age is just a number – nevertheless, there is no getting around ageing. In the midst of debates about the climate movement, identity politics and body images, it is time to renegotiate generation contracts that have long been outdated. It is not only the recent pandemic that has shown that questions of responsibility and solidarity have to be asked anew.
The performance festival COMING OF AGE, which takes place at the Sophiensæle from 15 September to 7 November, is dedicated to different facets of ageing in society – and looks at the different challenges of a phenomenon that affects us all.
In premieres, guest performances and discussions, the Sophiensaele focus on intergenerational exchange and at the same time want to counteract the invisibility of ageing in theatrical, social and political contexts.
The festival’s plays design alternative models of care, reckon with outdated traditions, rework parental relationships and intergenerational contracts and rethink families of choice and societies. The much-discussed tension between responsibility and demarcation between the age groups has currently come to a head in the wake of the pandemic.
The festival also takes a critical look at the challenges of ageing in the performing arts: Why does the independent scene have the appearance of eternal youth? How long can the balancing act between pressure to innovate and sustainable theatre work be maintained? And why are ageing bodies still taboo on stage?
In the current discourse around diversity efforts and power-critical stocktaking in culture, the discussion of pervasive ageism and its intersectional linkages has been largely left out. How can we fill this void? What structural changes are needed to be able to afford ageing in theatre professions? And what strategies can be used to positively occupy life and work experience within the framework of the performative arts?
With AHH (Golshan Ahmad Hashemi / Banafshe Hourmazdi), Cora Rudy van Dongen Frost/Franz Reimer, Corinne Maier, Doris Uhlich, Interrobang, Jaha Koo/CAMPO, Lajos Talamonti, Liz Rosenfeld & Rodrigo Garcia Alves, Marjani Forté-Saunders/7NMS, Olivia Hyunsin Kim/DDANDDARAKIM, Samara Hersch and Company, Sheena McGrandles, Schwenk & Schmans, Siegmar Zacharias, Ursula Martinez, and many more. CURATION Joy Kristin Kalu, Franziska Werner DRAMATURGY Alexander Kirchner
The festival will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sophiensæle and the 30th edition of the Tanztage Berlin. On this occasion, the publication Openings will also be released, which tells of and reflects on the discourses and atmospheres of the independent scene since 2011 in numerous texts, statements and photos.
The festival is funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
The detailed programme will be published on the Sophiensaele website at the end of August.
Learn more: sophiensaele.com/en/festival/coming-of-age