Good old times…
A year ago to this day I was soaking up the sun on one of the summer festival’s terraces, together with my colleagues Erin and Merel. We go here every year, in July or August, to try and find the last pieces of the puzzle that will complete our programme. We see lots and lots of performances every year, and hope to find performances that might trigger your sense of discomfort, as well as performances that you can hopefully identify with. Many performances will have found their final form by then, so we can easily add them to the Jonge Harten line-up. This process isn’t as easy as it might sound, but our programme team is a well-oiled machine by now, and we know how to put a programme together smoothly.
And there she was: Miss Rona
And then, all of a sudden, everything changed. Lots of things change all the time, of course. But Miss Rona turned out to be rather uncompromising. Just like everybody else, we had to reconsider our way of life, as well as the way we work. We had to re-invent ourselves.
So here we are, at home. I’m still in the sun, in front of a fan (as it’s boiling hot!), but I’m not at a summer festival. A lot of productions couldn’t be made this year, so we had to rethink our approach.
Rethinking our approach
We see Miss Rona as a wrestling partner, who cannot keep us in her grip. She has given us the opportunity to try and do something different, and that’s a lot of fun too. Jonge Harten must go on, that’s for sure. And we want it to be a live experience. Live encounters are what make theatre and Jonge Harten special. The only question is: how are we going to do this?
But what about social distancing?!
Shouldn’t we be keeping 1.5m distance from each other? True. These rules are important, because we don’t want people to get ill. That’s why, together with a number of theatre makers, we tried to find ways in which this necessary distance might actually add something to the performances. As a result we’ll be presenting many different forms in many different locations, even away from the theatres.
Only a very small number of people would be able to experience a performance from a large gallery, and that doesn’t feel right. That’s why we won’t be including any gallery performances this year. All the theatre makers have tried to find their own form in which the required distance can be kept, while at the same time, something is added to the experience. You will be able to experience a performance in a space, all by yourself, or you might be sitting in a circle around a performance, together with a small audience. No experience will be the same. We don’t know how it will turn out exactly, until November. And we must admit, that makes it rather exiting for us too (in a good way).
A unique and special edition
We do know that we’re very much looking forward to the festival! And we know that ‘Jonge Harten Goes Intimate’ will be a unique and very special edition. There will be a limited number of tickets for every show, so all visitors will feel like VIP’s. We will continue to inform you about the programme in the next few months, and hopefully we’ll be seeing you in November, as a bit of a distance shouldn’t be a problem.
Choose your battles