Milo Rau's work as artistic director of Ntgent: Toward an art of creating and listening together

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Milo Rau’s somewhat surprise move in 2018 to follow Johan Simons as Artistic Director of NT (Nederlands Toneel) Ghent, the Dutch-language theatre in the regional city an hour outside Brussels, in the Flemish-speaking part of the multilingual country, deserves particular attention when considering his theatre work. In this essay, we suggest that Rau’s directorship of this Belgian city theatre with its four stages and around 100 employees adds a crucial institutional dimension to what we shall describe here as the political poetics of Rau’s œuvre. This became immediately visible when Rau introduced his first Ghent season with a programmatic brochure entitled The City Theatre of the Future that culminated, on its backpage, with the by now famous “Ghent Manifesto” consisting of ten principles of theatre-making. Rau thus seeks to newly invigorate the city theatre as a locally rooted, civic institution at the intersection of art and politics, even (and, in fact, even more so) in the face of this institution’s inherent complicity with the hegemonic culture of White, Eurocentrist coloniality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-95
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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