Parktheater’s International Program To Host Season’s Final Welcome Night With Bending The Walls
This Saturday, May 12, the Parktheater in Eindhoven presents Bending the Walls by Spanish choreographer and dancer Fernando Hernando Magadan along with Korzo and the Nederlands Dans Theater. This performance, which the Parktheater says “is about the human desire for happiness”, is the fourth and final show in this season’s Welcome Night series for Eindhoven’s international community. The evening includes a brief pre-show gathering in the theater’s café with an English introduction of the performance. After the show, the audience may return to the café to interact with the dancers.
“It’s a perfect way to give the international community a taste of what the theater offers,” says Carola Eijsenring of Indigo-Wereld. Parktheater hired Eijsenring to assist them in creating and coordinating the Parktheater’s International Program (PIP). The Welcome Night series began in 2014 when the theater realized the world around them was changing but their audience was not keeping pace. They had to find a way to reach out to an ever-increasing community whose first language was no longer Dutch.
“There are hundreds of performances offered by the theater,” says Eijsenring. “For the Welcome Nights, we choose performances that offer a broad variety and appeal to as many people as possible, such as dance, a circus, music, anything an audience can follow even if they don’t speak Dutch.”
Eijsenring sees her role as a link between the theater and the international community. To build an audience she and her theater colleagues created focus groups comprised of internationals. This audience would go to shows and give feedback, letting them know what they miss from their home countries and what they would like to see on stage.
In addition to the Welcome Nights, the Parktheater made their website bilingual, providing flyers and newsletters in English, created a storytelling group, a program group and played a big role in setting up the International Theatre Collective in Eindhoven. These PIP groups provide internationals a chance to express themselves, come together, and create activities. Eijsenring provides the coaching and support to bring their ideas to life. As enthusiasm for the project grows participants bring other people into the fold and the community continues to grow.
The Parktheater International Program’s goal is to open up the theater to everyone with the Welcome Night, the storytelling, and other experiences. “It’s a way for people to get involved, be entertained, and have an impact,” says Eijsenring. “They can come, enjoy a performance that’s easy and relaxing, and it’s a good way to meet other people. We have some come by themselves and leave having made friends with others.”
For tickets to this season’s final Welcome Night performance contact the ticket office at 040-2 11 11 22. Tickets are € 17.50, and the Parktheater’s, the main entrance is located at Elzentalaan 50. The pre-show gathering begins at 7:45 p.m. this Saturday, May 12.