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Projects with Teens
The FFT develops projects with young participants on a regular basis aiming to provide more chances for children and teens to partake as equal partners in the development of pieces in the fields of dance, theater and performance. The artistic teams introduce children and teens to contemporary art as they produce innovative artistic formats together with them. Participation and authorship are central to the artistic processes.

Dance Theater with Stefanie Elbers and Oleg Zhukov
Choreographer Stefanie Elbers and actor and director Oleg Zhukov have been working together since 2005. The performance formats in their youth projects combine dance, language and sound. Their work centers around the artistic participation of the teens sharing in the process. Their daily lives and realities form the starting point for mutual artistic work. In June 2015, they successfully premiered “Mutanten”, their first dance theater production with teens at FFT, which was then revived in January 2016 as part of the symposium “On/live – Das Theater der Digital Natives”. In “Mutanten”, young performers question the influences and challenges they will have to deal with in the future and how technological developments change their relationships to their bodies. In September 2016, rehearsals begin for the new production “Mehr Tote als bei Haiangriffen” (“More Deaths Than Shark Attacks” – working title), thematically related and focusing on selfie culture, as part of “Take-off: Junger Tanz.”

Theater Projects with Ingo Toben
Ingo Toben and his interdisciplinary team from the fields of music, theater, film and visual arts are specialized in collaborating with children and teens from Düsseldorf. Together, they create new experimental performance formats every year, which vary between concert, installation and performance and which are in a constant process of transformation due to the collaborative nature of the projects with teens. These projects combine reality and fiction into new forms of storytelling and open up the artistic work to engage with the teenagers’ everyday lives and realities.

Three productions on the subject of “bodies” were created as part of the project series TREATMENTS (2009-2011): “Unter der Haut” (invited to Favoriten10), Liberation is a Journey (invited to Theatertreffen der Jugend in Berlin) and The Magic of Believing.

The subsequent project series from 2012 until 2014 dealt with democracy and art: Gesellschaft für gefährliche Gedanken, Insekten (invited to MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, Kampnagel) and SCRASH! (nominated for the 36th Theatertreffen der Jugend)

The first performance “Quartiere“ of the new project series “new urban stories” (2015-2017) premiered in October 2015. This series deals with modes of perceiving the city and future visions of urban life. It consists of interdisciplinary performances that take place in spaces, which correspond to the respective topics and are outside of the accustomed theater context. “Mazing Cities” premieres in October 2016.

Only ask Valery!
The young ensemble “Only ask Valery!” was founded in summer 2015 at FFT. “Only ask Valery!” seeks to integrate teenagers from the lively Düsseldorf school theater scene, who are already experienced in acting and theater, into a professional production context and to pursue individual artistic approaches together with them. The specific points of departure are always a contemporary theater text. Under the artistic direction of the highly experienced school theater director Michael Stieleke and dramaturge Gila Maria Becker, the ensemble explores the relationship between independent theater, student theater and drama. The goal is to develop an individual theater aesthetic in collaboration with the teenagers.

The ensemble members are thereby closely supervised and guided by professionals from various theater departments to further develop their personal artistic and organizational strengths.

In February 2016, the young ensemble premiered their first production Morning. In mid-January 2017,  "Only ask Valery!" will present its second production “Das Tierreich” at the FFT Kammerspiele.

In cooperation with the Competence Center for Talent Düsseldorf

Close Up
The summer academy CLOSE UP was established in 2008 as an artistic experimental and sustainable project for outreach and cultural education at the FFT. During the first two weeks of the summer school holidays, artists work with teens from primary and secondary schools, special and comprehensive schools in Düsseldorf and explore various artistic practices with them. Every year, a new main topic is emphasized (e.g. war, work, education, power, heroes, the city), the range of artistic labs expanded and the target group reviewed. Autonomous collaboration and the development of new participatory formats between artists and teens are paramount.

CLOSE UP 2016 took place from July 9th to 22nd and ended with the presentation of workshop results in form of a summer party on July 22nd at 6 pm. Based on joint research in the art forms of performance, storytelling and music, the academy examined the subject of the city on the Internet.

CLOSE UP is funded by the Department for Culture and the School Administrative Office of the City of Düsseldorf.

Kultur macht stark
Bündnisse für Bildung
In 2013, the FFT began implementing outreach and cultural education projects as part of the “Kultur macht stark. Bündnisse für Bildung”, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The projects are directed at children and teens and supported by local coalitions. The goal is to engage in a constant dialog with local parties in the field of youth work and to encourage access to art and culture for all children and teens. The participatory and open-end laboratories at the FFT concentrate on the contemplation of art, on personal artistic research and on learning to deal confidently with art. The assumption thereby is that perception is not a passive act, but can be transmitted on a reflective and formative level.

Previous projects were realized as part of "ChanceTanz" of the Federal Association of Dance in Schools and the ASSITEJ’s Wege ins Theater! Scouts im Kinder- und Jugendtheater“ program.

Current projects:
SOAPBOXING (2014-2016) as part of the ASSITEJ’s “Wege ins Theater! Scouts im Kinder- und Jugendtheater” porgram. Artistic Director: Ingo Toben. Local Coalition: Kinder- und Jugendfreizeiteinrichtung V24, Terno Drom e.V.

HINTER DEN SPIEGELN as part of the ASSITEJ’s “Wege ins Theater! Scouts im Kinder- und Jugendtheater” program. Artistic Directors: Alice Ferl and Birgit Günster. Local Coalition: JugendKULTURcafé Franzmann, Lore-Lorentz-Schule.
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Further Calls for Participation
subbotnik is musically interested people age 12 and up for the new music theater production “Götter. Wie die Welt entstand”, who would like to join a cross-generational choir.
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Interested children and teens can inform themselves at any time at 0211-327210 about the current call and about possibilities to actively participate in the FFT program.