Who we are
theater wrede + is a free theater founded in 1985 and which runs its own stage in Oldenburg since 2000. We see our focus in studying and testing new, progressive forms of theater beyond the mainstream. The program includes theater for children, teens and adults. As of October 2009 the theater and the stages in the area of the train station bear the name theater wrede +.The ‘red’ emphasized in wrede represents ‘passion’. The + indicates intensified international networking and artistic exchange, e.g. through lasting cooperation with theaters in Canada.
We dare experimental theater
The desire to experiment has forever driven the theater team to study modern adaptations and content for adults, teens and children. The artists participating in our projects come from all over Germany. Together we create new forms of theater. Our plays are distinguished among other things by the manifold use of new media. The performances for adults interweave space, video, drama, sound, music and movement into a unique composition. The separation of stage and audience is very often dissolved entirely. This creates unusual perspectives, which expand the constraints of contemporary theater. The production of ‘Blind Date: Mensch 2.0’, for example, employed elements taken from gaming and 3D video mapping.
We believe theater knows no age limits
Theater for the little ones: since 2009 theater wrede + has been very successful with this concept realized in its theater series 2+. We believe theater is becoming more and more important as a thematic and aesthetic counterpart to the virtualization of our world. Theater opposes the phenomenon that children are confronted with smartphones and laptops more extensively and at an increasingly early age with immediate sensual experience. Four experimental plays have been developed already within this series. In each new production, two artistic disciplines meet and join into small associative units of meaning. In the spring of 2017, the baby stage for audiences from the age of 0 to 14 broadened the repertoire of our program. It provides an extraordinary theater experience for toddlers.
We support young artists and their whims – flausen+
Initiated by theater wrede+, flausen+ launched the first research fellowship of its kind in Germany in 2011. The topic of stage research has rightly gained in importance everywhere since then. 26 groups of fellows, with 116 artists (last revised: 2016), have completed a research residence to date. Each year, we receive an average of 140 applications with more than 600 artists for which we can offer seven research residences in three of the German Länder [states]. The flausen+ national network arose during this same period and currently numbers 19 theatrical houses from twelve states.
The artists-in-residence project is setting standards: by granting research fellowships, artists and groups can concentrate on their work, free from economic pressures. With its explicit promotion of daring approaches and highly current socio-political topics, the model remains the only such programme of its kind. There are other models in the works as well, such as e.g. a production model or a touring model to enable performances – of the resulting productions – to travel throughout Germany and to create formats for discourse that would encourage exchange beyond urban centres. An international exchange is also being considered not to mention festivals and conferences that are part of the programme as well.
The aim is to provide continuous support of talent in the performing arts, all the while observing the principle of ‘art but fair’. This will enable long-term artistic development concomitant with the relevant performance practices that will make the artists more competitive both nationally and internationally. And all this, apart from our intention to gain the support of the citizenry beyond urban centres, who can then become part of a democratic discourse being played out in small- and medium-sized theatrical houses all over Germany.
The flausen+ national network is a group open to all small and medium-sized theatrical houses, with the aim of working together to create models for the independent scene, but equally to direct attention to the problems, the structural fragility and the untapped creative potential of venues, and to make these issues a focus for policy-makers nationwide. As experts in our own venues, and equipped with the knowledge of the precarious financial situation we confront, we ourselves need to talk through the ways out of this predicament, develop concepts and advocate for their implementation. Membership in this group is not tied in any way to participation by or in flausen+ models. It is free of charge and yields a great deal! In close connection with the scene and our lobbying organisations such as BFDK, what we seek to achieve is a situation in which not only the independent scene but also the federal and state governments acknowledge the immense importance of small- and medium-sized venues to the future of the performing arts. Only with federal funding can models be established nationwide and be made available for all small- and medium-sized theatrical houses, and for all artists.
We create networks across national borders:
Since its beginning, theater wrede + advanced international networking of theater houses and people in the creative industries – with worldwide productions, cooperation, tours, workshops and festivals. Some examples:
- 2017: invited with the play „sching schang – hui“ to the Kinder- und Jugendtheaterfestival in Hamedan, Iran
- 2017: hosted the international directors’ seminar „streets and crossroads“ in cooperation with Assitej e.V.
- 2013: German-canadian co-production of „Catkiller“ together with the Presentation House Theatre in Vancouver, Kanada.
- 2007: Our theater initiates the festival ‚The Sound of Time‘ („klang der zeit”) and gathers in Oldenburg guest companies from Serbia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
- 2005-2007: two tours through Korea and Japan as well as additional guest appearances in Spain, France and Serbia.
- 2004: Project „Story Telling” in Island on behalf of the European Union, participating countries: Island, Greece, Scotland and Germany.
- 1994: International production for festival in Bogota, with subsequent tour through Colombia.
See also flausen national network