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Karlsruhe is a welcoming city and attracts numerous visitors every year. For some of them, individuals forced to leave their previous homelands, our city is a port of arrival. In some cases, their realities may only overlap temporarily with ours; for others, our city will become their new home. I am especially glad to say that this season Karlsruhe has become a second home for me as well. I am very happy to have enjoyed such a friendly reception and to have had so many positive encounters with you, whether in everyday life or on the stages at our theatre.

The term “second home” isn’t just an expression, but rather the reality for many of us. For we live in a society in which these words are gaining a new dimension. This expression stands not only for the place in which one was born and lived through one’s earliest experiences - the place which shapes one's identity - but is also directly associated with the right to freedom, shelter and protection. We share almost two hundred square kilometres of space with one another, and our realities overlap at various points within the city. Where we meet, we create new spaces with common memories, thereby also creating new opportunities: where we work and live, on the streets, on the way to our destinations and here, at your theatre.

During this season, which will focus on the motto OF MANIA AND REALITY, the VOLKSTHEATER wants to speak directly to your life. That is why we are taking you along on a research expedition into the urban environment, with the goal of understanding what home means. Over the course of the season, we will speak with you and your neighbourhood about your homes, discovering small and hidden homelands within Karlsruhe. We will be performing Inschrift Heimat we develop in collaboration with you right outside your own doors, in five theatre episodes. At the end of the theatre season, the project will culminate in a finale on the stage in the GROSSES HAUS.

In our production of Wie der Soldat das Grammophon repariert (How the soldier repairs the gramophone), an adaptation of the novel by Saša Stanišić, we will be showcasing our common homeland for you, as seen from the perspective of the younger generation, in a STUDIO performance featuring young people from different cultural backgrounds. The book itself is based on the true story of the author’s life and deals with his flight from the Bosnian civil war and his arrival in the west.

VON WAHN UND WIRKLICHKEIT (OF MANIA AND REALITY) will also be playing a central role in our THEATRE LABORATORIES. There, we will create a free space for theatrical experimentation.

The question of our origins is directly connected to our reflections on the concept of home. It has been a theatrical archetype since antiquity and is becoming especially relevant today in these politically explosive times. The German word “Wirklichkeit” (reality) includes the verb “wirken” (to act, to have an effect) – referring to current actions. With this in mind, I would like to invite you to participate, for your “Mitwirken,” or your contributions, make it possible for us to all gain direct insight into the parallel realities which exist within this city, allowing us to translate important topics into works of art. My job, which is to connect people from the city with the VOLKSTHEATER ensembles through artistic activities, fills me with pride. Read the following pages to find out how you can take part in the projects and programmes offered at the VOLKSTHEATER. I am looking forward to working with you and, in that spirit, would like to welcome you in my native tongue as well: Serdecznie zapraszam do naszego teatru!

Beata Anna Schmutz

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