Over the past spring, we have all learned what it feels like suddenly to have no plans, while an uncertain future demands insight, empathy and imagination. Artists offer us that – and so much more! So we at Kaaitheater join forces with them to explore (new) possibilities to breathe new life into their projects. The result of the balancing act between risk, care and daring is that Kaaitheater is reopening its doors to the public at the end of the summer.
Nevertheless, this is not a normal season launch. Like a sequential drawing — a cadavre exquis – the new Kaaitheater season will take shape gradually over the coming months. 2020-2021 is the first season to be headed by the new artistic and general coordinators Agnes Quackels and Barbara Van Lindt. Under their direction, Kaaitheater is working on 2020-2021 with many artists and Brussels-based and international organizations. Who they are is being announced today. Over the coming months, this list of collaborations will continue to grow.
We are also announcing the first dates and performances that will take place on the Kaaitheater stage starting in September. In order to comply with the latest measures at the end of the summer, ticket sales will only open at the end of August. Audiences can use an I'm Interested button to sign up for updates and to receive a reminder when the box office opens. We will continue to work on our autumn programme over the summer, adding new productions, talks and collaborations. At the end of August, our autumn programme will be complete. For the time being, the Kaaistudios will only hosts rehearsals and no public performances. The size of the Kaaitheater at Sainctelettesquare lends itself better to larger gatherings of people.
Before we begin our own Kaai programme, we will open the Brussels performing arts season with The Theaterfestival. From 3 to 13 September, Kaaitheater will be the main partner and base of operations for the festival, which will take place in Brussels this year. Along with The TheatreFestival, we will welcome the first audiences back to our theatre.
How to Be Many?
Over the coming years, Kaaitheater will be guided by the question How to Be Many? A question that resounds in many places in society. Agnes Quackels and Barbara Van Lindt have made this question a leitmotif of Kaaitheater. How can we make space for many perspectives in our programming and in our operational methods, and work towards a theatre in which many voices are self-evident.
Kaaitheater has become very successful as a venue and partner for artists who create their own unique artistic worlds. Experimentation and breaking new ground have led to innovative forms. Many of these artists now belong to the canon of the contemporary performing arts. Today, guided by the question How to Be Many?, we also seek to scrutinize and open up the way our institution works, and foster new kinds of collaborations. We will regularly hand the keys to Kaaitheater to various Brussels-based organizations that actively work around community building, social justice or support artistic practices that have not yet found their way to larger stages. What do they think are urgent topics? What do they think is currently missing on the theatre stages of our city? These hosts make room for a broad spectrum of stories, voices and bodies. We believe this is what our society, our city and our theatre urgently need today. Voices, stories and bodies. Many of them. In one society. In one city. In one theatre. A theatre by and for many.
This is a learning path. How to make room for more people to make decisions? And how to reserve space for the unexpected?
A Theatre for Many
This Autumn, we are focusing on the maximum use of the big auditorium at Sainctelettesquare because we are able to welcome a larger audience there, in line with corona regulations. We hope that the number of seats can gradually be increased. Because the question ‘How to be Many?’ currently also literally means ‘how can we make our programme available for as many people as possible?’ Or rather: How can we ensure our theatre, at limited capacity, is not only visited by those who already know us? How can we create space for new audiences?
The Stimuli of Asking Questions
Over the past few months, many creative processes have been stopped or interrupted. Besides the disappointment, that vacuum also led to the renewed realization that art is more than the end product. Luis Camnitzer calls this Art Thinking: art as a way of thinking and seeing, which results from the stimuli of asking questions. Art as an area where artists and audience can share questions.
That is why we asked the artists in our programme to share a question with us. The question that lies at the heart of their project. We are publishing their contributions in The Question, a series-in-progress.
Return to the Theatre
After the summer, we can return to the theatre. The theatre will again be able to do what it has done for centuries: make things visible. Space is available there, an empty space, where precision leads to imagination and unsuspected connections are made. That is where intimate insights among the audience can be discovered, and you and the audience can find the same wavelength. That is where what you already knew can arrive as a shock because you had never seen it like that. The performing arts shape (new, personal) reflections on our times and history. And that will be no different in the 2020-2021 season.
Kaaitheater is working on the 2020-2021 season together with (list in progress):
ACT | Ahilan Ratnamohan | Anna Rispoli | Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker/Rosas | Anoek Nuyens & Rebekka de Wit/Frascati | Be My Guest | Bronks | buren | Charleroi danse | Citylab | David Weber-Krebs & Jeroen Peeters | de KOE | Diederik Peeters | Ecopolis | Einat Tuchman | Enkidu Khaled | Eszter Salamon | Etienne Guilloteau & Ictus | Femke Gyselinck | For All Queens! | Francesca Grilli | Globe Aroma | Guy Cassiers/Toneelhuis | Gérald Kurdian | Het TheaterFestival | Ingrid Berger Myhre | Ivana Müller | Kate McIntosh | Kristien De Proost & Bwanga Pilipili | Kuno Bakker & Mokhallad Rasem/Toneelhuis | Kunstenfestivaldesarts | Kyoko Scholiers | Lara Staal/NTGent | Maatschappij Discordia | Madeleine Fournier | María Acaso | Maria Jerez & Edurne Rubio | Marion Siéfert | Markus Öhrn | Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods | Mestizo Arts Platform | Mette Edvardsen | Michiel Vandevelde | Mohamed El Khatib | Mothers&Daughters | Moussem Nomadic Arts Center | Myriam Van Imschoot & HYOID | Radouan Mriziga | ROBIN | Simon Allemeersch | tg STAN | The Mouvement | Tibaldus | Tine van Aerschot | Vera Tussing | Volmir Cordeiro | workspacebrussels