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Open Lab Teater Garasi, Bantul, Indonesia
Between Tradition and Experiment

The Open Lab Teater Garasi in Indonesia offers a theatre programme at the intersection of aesthetics and socio-political engagement. Theatre and audience meet here for a continuous learning process.

  • Garasi Indonesien filming process 2 © Tertib Suratmo
  • Garasi_Indonesien_A session on theatre making workshop © Goethe-Institut
  • Garasi_Indonesien_A session on theatre making workshop © Goethe-Institut
  • Garasi_Indonesien_Class on gender perspective © Goethe-Institut
Teater Garasi can be described as an experimental performing arts collective that critically engages with the changes and renewals in the world and seeks to translate them into new artistic approaches. In 2013 it was awarded the Prince Claus Prize for “its adventurous attitude and pioneering, stimulating performance art.” Its impact radiates far into the South Asian region.

The theatre collective contributes to aesthetic and civil discourse in Indonesia with workshops, seminars, training programmes and public discussion panels. With its Performing Arts Production and its Laboratory Programme, it facilitates research of the performing arts, their development, as well as the further training of young artists and the realisation of theatre productions. The collective experiments with new forms and ideas without losing touch with the traditions of Indonesian culture: In its performances, it refers to ancient legends, contemporary fantasy, television culture, pop music, as well as historical and everyday events.

Methodologically and thematically, the focus is on pluralism of ideas, cultural exchange, gender awareness and intergenerational encounters. The learning content is informed by almost thirty years of experience and collective knowledge of performance development.

In the coming months, the relief funds will be used to implement training programmes for the next generation, to expand the network and to promote socio-critical exchange with the public.

On 6 October 2021, less than one month after starting the the project, the director of Teater Garasi Gunawan Maryanto, artist, actor, writer and director, unexpectedly died at the age of only 45. The Teater Garasi collective nevertheless is both professionally and valiantly continuing its work.