In 2005 Dr. Frank Hoffmann assumed the management of Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen. His conceptional idea “Quality for all” aims to attract theatre enthusiasts as well as first-time visitors. Every year, the Festival Manager focuses on a selected author respectively a main theme. With extraordinary projects Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen has contributed significantly to the success of the Ruhr Area being European Capital of Culture in the year of 2010.
Concerning the focus of the programme, Hoffmann puts a high emphasis on the involvement of debut performances and premieres. Therefore Recklinghausen annually turns into a “creative place” which invents itself over and over again. With the presentation of coproductions of Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen in both German and international theatres, the festival has an impact far beyond the borders of the region. The exciting readings of famous actors as well as the comedy programme, which presents well-established stars and new talents of the genre, enjoy great popularity.
Furthermore international free artists present extraordinary off-scene-performances. The composition of the FRiNGE programme reflects the latest developments of the contemporary theatrical landscape; at the same time Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen presents itself as a pioneer of new creations. It offers a platform for innovative artistic concepts and new ways of theatre. Beyond the conventional borders the festival offers the opportunity to experience fresh and bold theatre at extraordinary places.
The prelude of the festival is the traditional culture folk festival on May 1st, which draws up to a hundred thousand visitors to the public park and the main theatre.
The Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen activates the whole city of Recklinghausen. Performances do not only take place in the main theatre, but in other venues such as tents, industrial halls, pubs and bars in the city centre, which open up new scenic spaces. More than 80.000 visitors annually prove the ability of the ambitious festival to present quality while reaching a broad audience at the same time.
Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen looks back on a long tradition: The origin of the oldest theatre festival in Europe lies in an act of solidarity, when miners from the coal mine König Ludwig 4/5 in the strong winter of 1946/47 “smuggled” coal for the Hamburg theatres without being noticed by the occupying power. To return the favour the Hamburg theatres presented theatre performances during the following summer. Since that time Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen has developed into a trendsetting theatre festival, without losing sight of its cultural roots.