Building bridges with street theatre

Photographs: Regula Bearth © ZHdK

Student portrait Leon Blohm

Acting student Leon Blohm wants a theatre without barriers and obstacles, and that fosters direct dialogue.

BIANCA BAUER
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Bianca Bauer: What made you study theatre?
Leon Blohm: I grew up in a very small rural village in northern Germany and first made contact with theatre as a child. The regular visits to the local open-air theatre with my mother influenced me a lot. This expressive and playful art form attracted me, magically, from the beginning. As I grew older, the desire to work in this field grew stronger. When I was in my early twenties, I knew that I wanted to study acting.

What do you appreciate about theatre?
Being human. We meet eye to eye, learn to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings in a constructive way, can read between the lines and understand the nuances. I also appreciate working in interdisciplinary groups and would like to see a bit more of that. We’re based at Gessnerallee, which is incredibly intimate and charming, but isolates us from other courses. I miss meeting other students and enjoy wandering around “Toni” when I do have the chance to go there. And of course, the enriching chance encounters with music and dance students, for instance.

Are you working on a particular project?
A project I’ve long been thinking about and will do this year is “street theatre.” It doesn’t have an official name yet, and perhaps doesn’t need one. I simply want to meet people on the street and introduce them to theatre as an art form. Engaging directly with passers-by is a chance for me as well as for theatre itself to build bridges. In this way, everyone I meet, regardless of their resources, can experience theatre up close and reduced to its essence.

How do you imagine the theatre of the future?
For me, this would be theatre beyond 50-franc tickets. Theatre for everyone, without barriers and obstacles. Theatre that takes place outside, plays and interacts with the audience. The theatre of the future will seek dialogue and tell stories that reflect life. Attention spans have changed due to new media and narrative forms. We watch films on laptops, communicate with friends at the same time and casually scroll on Instagram. The theatre of the future stands up to this, creates a place that demands presence and brings you back into the present moment, into life.

Leon Blohm can currently be seen in the theatre project “Fiume – a historical play”, which will be performed on August 6th and 7th at the Red Culture Days in the Volkshaus.

Further student portraits published in Zett
Bianca Bauer (bianca.bauer@zhdk.ch) is responsible for communications at the Department of Performing Arts and Film.
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