Boulevard is collaborating more and more with the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, partly because of the pandemic. The programme Lijn73 came about in 2020, when no regular festival was possible because of covid. However, there was a need to do something. With the help of Covid funds, Boulevard was able to create Lijn73 in which a dozen creators, who could no longer produce/play, were given the opportunity to work with a local community or audience. Although these projects were all different, they had one thing in common: it was not about the product, and perhaps not even the process, but rather about openness, curiosity, and dedication of the makers, of the residents of 's-Hertogenbosch and of Boulevard to each other. There was one common desire; a desire to continue to connect with our artists and with the city. 


After these experiences, Boulevard decided to continue Lijn73 in collaboration with its makers to maintain the relationship with the residents of 's-Hertogenbosch.  


In the method of Lijn73, in which the hierarchy between audiences, festival and artists becomes more democratic and fluid, roles and positions shift. The audience is not only a spectator at a performance, but can also contribute or collaborate on a production and thus co-own the outcome. Experts by experience and (social) partners are often inspirers or knowledge providers. 


As a festival, Boulevard is more than a place of performances, because we can also engage in the creative process. When having an artistic conversation with an artist, our project leader in audience development joins in and asks questions to artists about reaching and involving participants and the reciprocity therein. These conversations have often led to new practices among artists and companies. 


Moreover, we are able to engage in broader collaborations, with artists, with our partners locally and nationally and in European projects. Artists develop a different way of working and create a connection with the city that goes beyond ‘arriving and playing’. This can be during the festival in August, but also at another time. 


Since Lijn73, collective Schippers&VanGucht and Boulevard have an ongoing conversation about broad accessibility of their work. Over the past few years, various experts have inspired a different way of thinking and acting. For the performance ODE, Schippers&VanGucht worked intensively with (performers from) Theaterwerkplaats Tiuri, but they also consulted deaf experts at an early stage and tested with wheelchair users. All experiences led to a richer and more inclusive creative process.  


During the festival in 2023 there were a few performances which were part of Lijn73. These were SOTTOBOSCO by Chiara Bersani, A True Story by 71BODIES, Papa was a rolling stone by Minoux and Corpo Máquina Society with It takes a child to raise a village/free. They engaged with specific groups as audiences or co-creators within different projects. This way, Theaterfestival Boulevard continues to delve into and connect with the city and its residents.   


Previous collaborations include: Shailesh Bahoran (IRC), Alexandra Broeder, Schweigman&, Benjamin Verdonck, Jija Sohn and Melanie Demers. 


Photo: Karin Jonkers - Voorstelling It takes a child to raise a village/FREE door Corpo Máquina Society.

Theaterfestival Boulevard thanks:
  • Gemeente 's-Hertogenbosch
  • Provincie Noord-Brabant
  • Fonds Podiumkunsten
  • Brabant C
  • VSBfonds
  • Fonds21
  • BankGiro Loterij
  • Cultuurfonds
  • Creative Europe Programme (EU)
  • De Versterking
  • Verkadefabriek
  • Theater aan de Parade
  • Apap
  • Performing Gender
  • Feminist Futures