Barbara Frey, theater director and artistic director of the Ruhrtriennale 2021–23, has received this year's Swiss Grand Prix Performing Arts / Hans Reinhart Ring. As announced by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, the highest Swiss theater prize honors Barbara Frey's work as both an »exceptional artist« and a »prudent artistic director« at the Schauspielhaus Zurich and currently at the Ruhrtriennale. The laudation for Barbara Frey was held by Federal Councillor Alain Berset (Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs FDHA). Anne Fournier, board member of the Swiss Society for Culture, presented the Hans Reinhart Ring.
»Barbara Frey is a role model in several roles at once. There is the director, the artist, who listens with intellectual rigor to the great materials of literature, plumbs abysses and translates the night sides of our human existence into great images. Her language is the richness of detail of the figures in orchestrated tableaus. These are never empty buildings of ideas, her productions always become a space of experience for the senses. There are these wonderful ›gaps‹, I am allowed to occupy them as a spectator − precisely because not everything is told. I am invited to a complicity in which there is room for my own imagination. And there is the artistic director Barbara Frey. Here, too, she relies on communities. It takes time to let them grow, but above all it takes attention to each individual. If you want to be a director, you have to want to shape things. Barbara Frey has proven that this can be done without a crowbar during her ten years as artistic director in Zurich, and she will continue on this path as artistic director of the Ruhrtriennale. With the Grand Prix Performing Arts / Hans Reinhart Ring, the jury honors an extraordinary artist and prudent artistic director,« said jury member Markus Joss.
In the name of all those involved in the Ruhrtriennale, we are happy for Barbara Frey as well as all the other prize winners in the categories Dance, Theatre, Production and Newcomer: Marco Berrettini, Paola Gianoli, Susanne Schneider/BewegGrund, Frida León Beraud, Sophie Gardaz, Yann Marussich, Mike Müller, Geschwister Pfister, Ticino is Burning, »La Peau de l'Espace« by Yasmine Hugonnet, »Manuel d'exil« by Maya Bösch and the collective InQdrt.
The award ceremony took place on October 21, 2022 at the Théâtre de Carouge in the canton of Geneva.