EXTENDED, EXTRAORDINARY, EXHILARATING. LIVE.
I Don’t Want To Be An Individual All On My Own – this is the title of the new show by composer and theatre maker Genevieve Murphy, which premieres at SPRING in Autumn. This title is almost emblematic and prophetic today. In times of „social distancing“ we don’t want to be all on our own. We want to be part of something. We want to come together. In any way that is possible.
Welcome to this very exceptional edition of SPRING in Autumn in a very exceptional year.
Due to Corona we had to cancel SPRING in May. But we came up with alternatives. Alongside an online programme in May we initiated a big public space poster project. It was titled Messages from quarantine. In July we presented Dries Verhoeven’s U bevindt zich hier at the Werkspoorkathedraal in almost 40 sold out shows. Every audience member had their own room, but they were together in one space.
Over the last months we have been working on an edition of SPRING in Autumn, which is longer than the usual three days and that we organize in co-operation with the Stadsschouwburg Utrecht. In times of isolation we did not want to let go of our live art form, where people come together and experience art. On the contrary: we find these encounters more necessary than ever.
We would like to thank all partners and venues who have helped us and offered slots in their agendas and made this autumn edition possible, first of all the generous Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, but also Theater Kikker, Het Huis Utrecht, De Bibliotheek Utrecht, De Lik and the Janskerk.
We faced a big challenge. How can we show theatre and keep a safe distance? Together with the artists we have found creative solutions. The programme is meant to work under the (current) distancing rules of 1.5 metres and complies with all safety measures. We have almost no traditional audience settings, as the artists have opted to work mostly with different formats: installations, which are open all day; durational shows, where smaller numbers of people can come and go over a longer period of time; stage-on-stage settings, where audiences are on stage with the performers; and one-on-one shows that allow very personal and intimate encounters.
Some artists adapted to the new situation and changed their shows during the creation process. Others decided to produce totally different work. Some performances are older but gain new meaning in a new situation. None of the works have lost their urgency, since the virus functions like a magnifying-glass and makes all sorts of conflicts in the world more visible.
All in all, we want to present shows and installations that also offer comfort and hope. Monica Calle shows the power of female collectives, Kris Verdonck creates wondrous installations with machines and (sometimes) humans, Radouan Mriziga portrays the fragile beauty of the human body, Doris Uhlich insists on its sexual power. We can have very intimate human encounters in the works of Francesca Lazzeri or Laila Soliman. Ula Sickle invites us to a silent protest. And Marc von Henning sums it up in his large-scale video installation: This is for everyone. Everyone being not an anonymous mass, but a collective of individuals, nobody on their own. Welcome to an exceptional SPRING in Autumn XXXL: Extended, Extraordinary, Exhilarating. Live.
On behalf of the whole Stadsschouwburg Utrecht and SPRING team:
Ivette van Ooijen, programme manager Stadsschouwburg Utrecht
Rainer Hofmann, artistic director SPRING