Commons Forum #1
“Practicing ‘Incubationism’: Time, Body, and Narrative of ‘Eclosion/Latency’”

  • Forum
  • Online participation

The term incubation has the dual meaning of “eclosion” and “latency”—the former referring to the birth of new life, and the latter indicating the anxious waiting period before the symptoms of a virus appear. In the pandemic, many humans experienced a time of “eclosion/latency” through a period of endless quarantine and waiting. How do artists in the post-pandemic era view the experience of illness, stagnation, and suspended time, so often dismissed as unproductive from the perspective of modern values? How are they renewing their creativity?
In this forum, we will hear from artists who resonate with this concept of “incubationism” as they prepare new works for Theater der Welt. Together, we will discuss how diverse and creative a world derived from “incubationism” could be.

Part 1: Presentation of the concepts and issues
Chiaki Soma (Director of Theater Commons Tokyo)

Part 2: Discussion
Panelists | Suzan Boogaerdt & Bianca van der Schoot (Artist), Susanne Kennedy (Director), Satoko Ichihara (Playwright, Director, Novelist, Artistic Director of Kinosaki International Arts Center)
Moderator | Chiaki Soma


The work of the artist-duo Boogaerdt/VanderSchoot revolves around the relationship between humankind, nature, and technology. They create liminal spaces in which the homo digitalis can train its bodily perception to engage with new (virtual) worlds coming into existence. Boogaerdt/VanderSchoot’s work lends itself to the grey space, a zone between the black box and the white cube, stretching theatrical and museal rules and conventions. After an exploration of image culture in the Visual Statements-series (2011–2014), they continued their artistic research on digital creatures in a non-human era in the Future Fossils-series, and are now developing a new series titled “Rooms for Transformation” (2021–2024). Attempting to make space for the future, Boogaerdt/VanderSchoot questions the fixed idea of what is human so as to transition towards a more livable future. Commissioned by Theater Commons Tokyo in 2022, they created and presented “TRAVELING WITHOUT MOVING,” an online lecture performance on the theme of “incubation.”

Photo: Annaleen Louwes

Susanne Kennedy
Born in Germany in 1977. Susanne Kennedy studied theater direction at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam and debuted on the Dutch stage. In 2011 she was invited to work at the Münchner Kammerspiele. For “Fegefeuer in Ingolstadt,” she was voted Young Director of the Year by Theater heute magazine in 2013. In recent years, she has been based at Volksbühne Berlin and Münchner Kammerspiele and produced “ULTRAWORLD” and “ORACLE” with Markus Selg in 2020. Distorted by masks, playback dialogue, doppelgängers and multimedia, the actors confront the audience with a post-humanistic subjectivity.
Commissioned by Theater Commons Tokyo, in 2021 she premiered “I AM (VR),” in which she utilized VR technology to create a theater experience exclusive to the virtual realm.

©Franziska Sinn

Satoko Ichihara
Playwright, director, novelist and Artistic Director of Kinosaki International Arts Center(KIAC). Born in 1988 in Osaka, raised in Fukuoka Japan. Studied theater at J.F. Oberlin University. Ichihara Satoko has led the theater company Q since 2011. She writes and directs plays that deal with human behavior, the physiology of the body, and the unease surrounding these themes, using her unique sense of language and physical sensitivity. In 2011, Received the Aichi Arts Foundation Drama Award with the play “Insects.” In 2017, Nominated for finalist of 61st Kishida Kunio Playwriting Prize for “Favonia’s Fruitless Fable.” In 2019, she published her first collection of stories, “Mamito no tenshi (Mamito’s Angel).” In the same year, “The Bacchae−Holstein Milk Cows” based on a Greek tragedy, premiered at Aichi Triennale 2019 and won the 64th Kishida Kunio Playwriting Prize. In 2021, she co-produced “Madama Butterfly” with the Theater Neumarkt (Zurich), which was presented at Zurcher Theater Spektakel, SPIELART Theatre Festival (Munich) and Wiener Festwochen.

©Bea Borgers

Chiaki Soma
Before establishing Arts Commons Tokyo in 2014, Soma was the inaugural Program Director of Festival/Tokyo, where she served from spring 2009 to 2013. She has produced or curated global projects that transect categories of theater, contemporary art, and community-engaged art. She was the recipient of the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France’s Minister of Culture in 2015. Since 2017, she has served as the Chairperson of the Theater Commons Tokyo Executive Committee, as well as its Director. She was the Curator for the Aichi Triennale 2019. She is the recipient of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs’ 71st Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize in 2021. Since 2021, she has been the General Producer of Toyooka Theater Festival 2021, and the Curator of Aichi Triennale 2022. She was appointed as the Program Director of Theater der Welt 2023 in Germany.



February 23rd [Thu] / 19:30–21:30

Performance times

120 min.



How to participate

Please access the program via the link on the dedicated page sent upon purchase of your pass.

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Japanese (with English interpretation)