With this festival we set an artistic counter-point

...11 heavens - 11 theatre groups from 9 countries present their work; invite the audience into their own world. Each group brings along a piece of their sky - with its storms and thunders, its width and openness, its showers, mirages and mild winds, whirlwinds and tornados...

The sky - a mirror of the soul? A mirror of the spirit?

In any case the liberty of spirit.
No dungeon, no cell, no isolation.

Where heaven is, hell is not far away. According to the old vertical view of the world, heaven is above, hell below, humans somewhere in between. But our language also knows the picture of hell on earth, which many people have suffered through. This applies to the emotional pains particularly.

Theater as vacation from hell?

We take the liberty - a jester's license - madness flat. Theater can be a trick to outwit the fate of stigmatization and labeling. Madness and folly proves to be an advantage rather than a disadvantage.

With this festival we set an artistic counter-point.

Manfred Kerklau, Festival Director

Through this festival the world will become more open and even wider

...4 years of theatre-playing with Sycorax. For me, that means 48 performances and 226 rehearsals. Rehearsals and performances are the basis, but they aren't everything we experienced together. Looking back, I remember many, many hours when, after rehearsals and at other times, we ate, discussed, celebrated and mourned together. When we where on the road by bus or train, when we slept in camp beds and tents. I cannot calculate the amount of hours. The memory of these common experiences is, however, very formative and lasting.

Some of the views, perspectives, outlooks, and experiences have turned upside down, straightened, rotated. At most times, the moment came as a surprise and often astounded me.

I see it with me and as well with my co-players, we grow and have grown, we continuously accept challenges and master them, each one at their own speed. Full of amazement, I witnessed how we changed through the theatre, through engaging in Sycorax and how many resources, potential and creativity, sometimes buried, were set free. That is how our world widened.

The explanation of conditions, of situations and feelings becomes less important, more important for me at Sycorax is the experience and the feeling...

That includes enthusiasm, delight, happiness and pleasure as well as emotion, to feel accepted, to be a part of it, mourning and envy, to be absorbed, reflectiveness, to be moved, to be carried away, to be stirred and also to be proud.

This can be expressed through capers, jumping for joy, tears of affection, sometimes fatigue, screams of jubilation, luck frenzy, and through dreams.

This experiencing and feeling is like fuel from which we and I profit in daily life, and which drives us. And even if this fuel works and looks different for every actor, a common power and energy and mutual support in the rehearsals, on stage and in contact to each other becomes clear.

Through this festival the world will become more open and wider.

Alexandra Brink, Actress Theater Sycorax

The Unreasonable die out

„What kind of a masterpiece is man? How unlimited his capabilities, how noble by reason!” Thus speaks Shakespeare's Hamlet, of all people, who does not really shine with presence of mind anymore, but has long started to doubt his reason and his mind. A tragical character, lost. It is a narrow ridge between rationality and irrationality, on which this Hamlet, slowly going mad, is walk– ing - and with him all of those trying to explain the unmanageable world and the dark nature of human kind. For those who want to understand what makes man work. Is it really reason, the Ratio, as Plato's term was translated by roman philosophers? That reason of which the philosophers of the Enlightenment thought later it can bring the truth to light? Which was levied to be the main munitions of all cognition yielding, to endow sense into life? At least, the rational reigns as a dogma in many parts of life in our western world, believing in reason. For once, be reasonable! Use common-sense! That is already hammered into children's heads...

Our festival “madness & arts” invites to irrationality. To craziness. Not because we, as court jesters of culture politics, enjoy breaking ranks. But out of necessity. Here we are, we don't know otherwise. Our art does not follow reason, it is not meaningful, it is not, as you might conclude, “logically necessary”. It is free, it is, it is... Disorder is welcome. „Order is the zest of reason; disorder is the delight of fantasy” (Paul Claudel). The festival offers a room for nearly everything: fantasy and improvisation, boldness and tolerance, self-mockery, subversion, immorality, blasphemy, insanity and laughter. Anything but reason...

„The only person behaving reasonable is my tailor. Anytime I see him, he takes new measurements, while all others just use the old measures, thinking that they still fit today!” George Bernard Shaw once wrote. Also for that we fight. For the openness of our art, which continuously develops and grows, with which we create new rooms and realities and real life truths. In our society, it's still not normal to be crazy. But, to say it in the words of Voltaire: “Wishing to be reasonable in an insane world is insanity in itself.” We hope that the unreasonable never die out!

Paula Artkamp, Festival Director