zäsur 2020

Request for proposals
Special project “Zäsur 2020 – Theatre and Society in Upheaval” (Working title)

The 22nd international figuren.theater.festival 2021 Erlangen, Nuremberg, Fürth is looking for innovative short theatre projects and performance skits for an intercity parcours.

Bühnenbild aus Bubble Jam der Performancegruppe Rimini Protokollder

© international figuren.theater.festival – Photo: Georg Pöhlein, 2019


Within the framework of the 2021 festival, the cities Erlangen, Nuremberg and Fürth would like to call to life a performative parcours, with the working title “Zäsur 2020 – Theatre and Society in Upheaval”. It shall include a broad spectrum of genres, ranging from puppet theatre to virtual reality experiences and should be compliant  with the current health regulations.

Each festival city seeks to invite five to ten artists to create short experimental performance skits of ca. 10 to 15 minutes. Proposals may include interventions in public spaces, installations in temporary vacancies or store windows, formats for individual spectators or small audience groups etc. Durational performances are also welcome.

Following an overarching dramaturgical concept, the individual works will be linked as circuits in each city and can be explored by the public within a set timeframe from Thursday, May 13 through Sunday, May 16, 2021. The frequency of the daily performances remains to be determined in consultation with the organizers.

The short projects can be newly developed for the occasion or derived from existing projects and adapted to the parcours concept.


From the very beginning of the Corona pandemic it was clear that the upheaval it has caused would take on historic significance. Hardly any incident prior has had such consequences on communities throughout the entire world. These will accompany us for quite some time still, with deep implications across societies. Our realities are changing rapidly, on a daily basis. Customs and values that were established over generations are now subject to the fluctuations of pandemic incidents.

Corona confronts states with profound debates and repeatedly requires impositions and restrictions on fundamental rights. Individual freedoms are sacrificed for the greater good. Thus right-wing groups and conspiracy theorists gain momentum. Nationalist factions polarize with xenophobic speech, while the Black Lives Matter movement delivers global inspiration. Cultural battles are renegotiating the world order and human rights are deliberated upon at Europe’s borders.

Digitalization strides ahead in leaps and bounds, while the education sector struggles to meet the demands of home schooling and hybrid learning. Work-life increasingly takes place at home, while human interaction and relationships are reduced to a minimum and avatars progress. The return to the private sphere revives traditional gender roles, which had long been left behind.

The world is caught in a state of rapid transformation and yet many questions emerge as “catalyst for debate and conflict which take place anyway” (Thomas Ostermeier, September 2020). The pandemic has magnified questions we must ask ourselves regarding our future. Some processes may be accelerated while other advancements have already begun to decline. The pandemic also raises questions as to the significance of theatre, its societal function and its existence in times of changing formats and forms of representation.


The festival provides approximately 5,000,- € for the development and realization of a short project or skit, depending on expenditures and number of persons involved. The exact amount of reimbursement has to be agreed upon based on a project calculation. Travel expenses, transport, technical equipment (if required) and lodging during the presentation period will be covered additionally upon agreement.


Please send your project proposal (max. 1,000 characters) and budget to parcours@figurentheaterfestival.de by Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
Proposals intended for a specific city should be indicated accordingly. We will get in contact with you once all submitted proposals have been considered. Please refrain from inquiries by email or telephone in the meantime.

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