opening gala

Hello friends! Hello enemies!
Hello individual, hello community!
Hello wolves and hello pigs!
Hello finch, hello starling, hello chickadee!
Hello darkness and hello light!
Hello to you, hello to him, hello to me!
Hello air, hello to everything with stripes!
Hello to everyone disguised as others,
All things that feel, all things that think, all things that write,
All things that dig, steer, float, suffer
and all things that remain silent –

Dear audience!

As some of you have surely noticed: We would like to kick off this year’s WESTWIND opening gala with a bang, or more precisely, with a hit – the hit song “Der Anfang ist nah” (“The
Beginning is Near”) by Käpt’n Peng! Beginnings are the time to get to know each other, so the festival’s artistic directors Romi Domkowsky and Florian Fiedler will start off by introducing our international observers as well as the children’s and youth jury members. And because beginnings are the best time for words of welcome, they will promptly yield the floor to Ms Pfeiffer-Poensgen, NRW Minister of Culture and Science; Wolfgang Stüßel, German board member of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ); and Kirstin Hess, dramaturge at Junges Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf and one of the four spokespeople of the NRW Children’s and Youth Theatre Workgroup.
The remainder of the programme will be led by actors Ayana Goldstein and Mervan Ürkmez, who will introduce all of the invited groups. As they do so, the selection committee responsible for choosing the plays these groups represent will explain why they found each of the productions so great that they absolutely had to be invited to the festival.
And because the beginning will be far away by this point, there will be a closing song – before the festivities move into the foyer for a fizzy reception. At 17:30, we will present a guest
performance by the group “La Fleur BB” from Paris. Afterwards, visitors are invited to stay for a wonderful festival meal prepared by the Oberhausen Refugees’ Kitchen.