For the first time in its almost 75-year history, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, one of the oldest and largest theatre festivals in Europe, will not be able to take place in May/June 2020. Like so many other festivals, Ruhrfestspiele had to be cancelled due to the Corona Pandemic. Ruhrfestspiele is nevertheless setting an artistic example this year. For the duration of the cancelled festival period, it will present the participatory Inside Out Project Group Action. In these times of crisis and of social distancing, this project not only illustrates the fact that this year's Ruhrfestspiele will not be taking place, but it is further a reminder of the power of art and of the people for whom art is an essential part of life. The project will present portraits of both audience members and artists, showcasing the variety of people that would have come together at the festival, to experience theatre, dance, performance art, literature and contemporary circus. The Inside Out Project Group Action will be presented in Recklinghausen in its most literal meaning: in times of isolation, it turns people’s lives from the inside of their homes to the outside and makes them visible on the façade of the festival’s main venue (Ruhrfestspielhaus). Several hundred portraits thus take the place of the cancelled festival and remind us of the power and significance of art as a life-sustaining space for reflection and play, of its necessity for a common self-image of a lively society.
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