Union des Théâtres de l’Europe
Conflict Zones Zones de Conflit Three Years of Battle
CONFLICT ZONES ZONES DE CONFLIT Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit—a three-year programme of the Union des Théâtres de l‘Europe (UTE) exploring the conflicts that have been shaping Europe since the beginning of the Great War until today. Between 2014 and 2017, UTE member theatres worked on various conflicts that have challenged Europe since the outbreak of World War I until today. In the course of this programme, the theme of “conflict zones” grew ever more important. Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit delved into this issue in a fusion of historical research and artistic exploration, in the form of a myriad of different events and projects that both dealt with relevant socio-political questions and the role of culture and theatre, as well as invested in long-term pro-
fessional and artistic relationships. This multi-disciplinary endeavour comprised a multitude of events over the course of three years that ranged from theatrical productions in all member theatres, which were also shown in the context of festivals, to conferences, roundtables, assemblies, masterclasses, residencies, and think-tanks. All of these activities particularly fostered young and emerging artists, who thus broadened their artistic skills as well as their professional international network. Finally, Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit yielded a new online theatre magazine which is a platform for young European cultural journalists who cover UTE events across Europe: conflict-zones.reviews
God Waits At The Station by Maya Arad, directed by Shai Pitowski, Habima – National Theatre of Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel Who is the terrorist? A nurse who strayed from the path when her brother was killed by the enemy? An innocent girl who lost her lover when he was set up to marry another woman? A daughter to a father with cancer who was prevented from getting treatment on time due to the political reality? The point of departure of “God Waits at the Station” is one of the most devastating terrorist attacks performed within Israeli territory by Palestinian terror organizations during the Second Intifada (2000-2005). Terrorist attacks, and mainly suicide bombings, were the central expressions of this violent uprising. Israel responded to these attacks with “targeted killings” of terrorists, which then led to additional attacks, forming an endless cycle of revenge: attack-retaliation-attack. The Second Intifada tore apart the Oslo Accords (1993) and escalated, damaging the Israeli and Palestinian economies, and took the lives of soldiers and civilians on both sides.
5 Mornings by Fritz Kater, directed by Armin Petras, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany The story takes place “on a temporary film set with real cameras, where the understudies are doing a run-through in front of an audience of producers and spectators”: 5 people, 5 matinees. A state of alert is decreed in the city. Is it because of an explosion?; or a radioactive contamination?; a dangerous virus?; society’s “burn-out”? No one knows. It seems that no foreign enemy can be held responsible. The state of panic does not get out of control. The same slogans as always are published in the media and dictate the rules of behaviour. In this exceptional situation, five people develop their own survival strategy and techniques. In order to survive, they all try whatever they can; their attempts being more or less brave, ridiculous, absurd, sad, and inappropriate. Ever since the beginning, even before the disaster, their lives were already lost, continues on the following pages
Between 2014 and 2017, UTE member theatres realized a number of productions around the theme of Conflict Zones / Zones de Conflit that were shown across Europe. Read about them in the left column of this publication
4 INLAY FESTIVALS
14 CONFERENCES & ROUND-TABLES
32 THEATRE STRUCTURES
38 GENERAL ASSEMBLIES
46 ONLINE THEATRE MAGAZINE
50 ISO INTERNATIONAL SUPER OBJECTIVE THEATRE
56 THINK TANKS
62 UTE DECENTRALIZED ACADEMY
68 AUDIENCE DEVELEOPEMENT
70 UNION DES THEATRES DE L‘EUROPE
MEMBERS OF HONOUR
Union des Théâtres de l‘Europe
Tamás Ascher Hungary
Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa | Italy Teatrul Bulandra | Romania Teatro di Roma | Italy National Theatre of Northern Greece | Thessaloniki Teatro Nacional São João | Porto, Portugal Habima — National Theatre of Israel | Tel Aviv Yugoslav Drama Theatre | Belgrade, Serbia Hungarian Theatre of Cluj | Romania Národni Divadlo | Prague, Czech Republic National Theatre of Greece | Athens Maly Theatre, Moscow | Russia Sfumato Theatre Laboratory | Sofia, Bulgaria Schauspielhaus Bochum | Germany Schauspiel Stuttgart | Germany
Georges Banu Romania/France Lev Dodin Russia Jack Lang France Georges Lavaudant France Krystian Lupa Poland Ilan Ronen Israel Robert Sturua Georgia Anatolij Vassiliev Russia
Comédie de Reims | France Théâtre National du Luxembourg | Luxembourg Volkstheater Wien | Austria Vígszínház | Budapest, Hungary Stanislavsky Electrotheatre | Moscow, Russia Schauspiel Köln | Cologne, Germany
PERSONAL MEMBERS Csaba Antal Hungary
UTE TEAM Ruth Heynen | Director Lisa Klien | Project & Content Manager Sophie Adriaens | Executive Assistant Elizabeth Nizzi | Management Assistant
Victor Arditti Greece Tadeusz Bradecki Poland Silviu Purcărete Romania
Several festivals showcased Conflict Zones / Zo or were the platform for relevant Conflict Zones
ones de Conflit productions and/ / Zones de Conflit side activities.
meaningless and useless. These events provide meaning to the life of some protagonists, if only temporarily.
1914 by Jaroslav Hasek, Karl Kraus, directed by Robert Wilson , Národní divadlo, Prague, Czech Republic “The Good Soldier Švejk”, the key novel of Czech literature and an ironic insight into war and its attendant absurdity, is creatively juxtaposed in this production with Karl Kraus’s satirical anti-war play “The Last Days of Mankind”. The modern theatre wizard Robert Wilson transforms all this into a cabaret replete with scenic images, music and surprising humour in a parable not only of 1914 but also, and primarily, our life today, one hundred years after the outbreak of a terrible war that marked the real start of the 20th century. The powerful production about Europe, its optimists and pessimists (beneath the gaze of eternal Time), is a unique project in which—for the second time—the elite of Czech drama joined forces with an artist setting the direction of global theatre.
A Man Wants to Advance by Hans Fallada, directed by Anselm Weber, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bochum, Germany The protagonist Karl Siebrecht is chasing his dream of conquering the city of Berlin. This big narrative spans many years of German history: It starts in the backyards of Berlin’s impoverished Wedding district and ends in a villa in Berlin Grunewald in 1931. For Karl Siebrecht, these are years of hard work, years in which he grows up. But not only the First World War, austerity, and disappointment accompany his rise, so do his friendships with Rieke Busch and Kalli Flau, as well as his falling in love with Ilse Gollmer and Herta Eich. The writer, Hans Fallada, has a particularly good eye for these characters, with their small worries and big dreams: He tells their stories with great warmth and humour. Anselm Weber’s production, featuring Felix Rech in the leading role, included several songs from the Weimar era and created a panorama of German history.
TERRORISMS FESTIVAL Between 2013 and 2015, theatres from Oslo, Stuttgart, Belgrade, Tel Aviv and Reims dealt with the issue of TERROR-isms. They worked on different points of view and explored different aspects of terrorism that likely determine our societies. Throughout 2013–2015, new plays written by renowned contemporary playwrights from all over Europe gave way to a series of production exchanges among the participating theatres. Two conferences in Oslo and Stuttgart marked the beginning and the end of the project that lead
to two publications (a special edition of a new online magazine and an eBook) dealing with the issue of terrorism and its appropriation by artists. Finally, a festival in Stuttgart showcasing these productions took place in the summer of 2015. The festival showed plays specifically produced in the context of the TERRORisms project by the Schauspiel Stuttgart, Germany; the National Theatre of Oslo, Norway; the Jugoslovensko Dramsko Pozoriste in Belgrade, Serbia; the Habima–National Theatre of Israel; and the Comédie de Reims in France.
International Theatre Festival
Schauspiel Stuttgart Germany 2015
Get an in-depth look into the whole festival by browsing through the special issue of the UTE online theatre magazine: conflict-zones.reviews/terrorism
Rocket Launcher TOS-1A Used by the Assad regime in the conquest of Aleppo during the Syrian War in 2016.
The Dragonslayers by Milena Marković, directed by Iva Milošević, Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Belgrade, Serbia Milena Marković’s “The Dragonslayers” is dedicated to Gavrilo Princip and the Mlada Bosna movement (Young Bosnia—a political movement that pleaded for the people’s emancipation from the Habsburg Empire). A seventeen-year-old-boy with a gun, a would-be poet whose name represents a historical symbol and a frequent subject of dispute, is presented as the protagonist of this new work by Milena Marković, a poet and a dramaturg whose work is about constantly breaking down prejudices. It is not a historical play, but a contemporary piece which examines the position of today’s young man and his need to express the demand to be free. Historical figures are brought to the stage, the conspirators, Young Bosnians, together with the world of ordinary people and their different understanding of the event and its essential meaning.
Intrigue and Love by Friedrich Schiller, directed by Anselm Weber, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bochum, Germany Schiller was only 25 years old when he wrote “Intrigue and Love”. He was an indignant young man who wrote a play about the first love, and a depraved world in which this love cannot exist. 230 years later many young men and women watch this play as Intrigue and Love is read in schools. What does this famous tragedy tell them today? A forbidden love between an aristocrat and a commoner is no longer a scandal since most future kings in Europe come from a middle-class family. Insofar as our world is no longer comparable to Schiller’s world. But maybe we can understand the young writer’s fury: corruption, self-interest, lie, intrigue, and political murder are the means in politics, and the young disappointedly turn away from their fathers. What does the generation of the fathers represent, and what advice can they give to the young? And why has this bourgeois tragedy been so important for theatre to this day? These are the questions Anselm Weber took as a starting point for the staging of one of the most famous German plays.
INTERFERENCES The Interferences festival in Cluj has become one of the major international theatre events in Romania, and regularly attracts a high number of national and international artists, including UTE members. Both the 2014 and the 2016 edition of Interferences was part of Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit. Dedicated to the “stories of the body”, the 2014 Interferences festival featured works by UTE members Silviu Purcărete, Ilan Ronen, Csaba Antal, and Gábor Tompa, alongside performances by various international directors, in addition to concerts, film screenings, exhibitions, and workshops. That year, the festival also hosted the first meeting of the “Think Tank Young Journalists on Performing Arts”, which laid the foundations for the creation of a multilingual online magazine dealing with theatre and socio-political conf licts in Europe.
The 2016 edition included productions by Tomaz Pandu, Armin Petras, Lisa Nielebock, Andriy Zholdak, Frank Hoffmann, Declan Donnellan, Michal Dočekal, Gábor Tompa, Helmut Stürmer, Jaram Lee, Andrei Servan, Yuri Korondsky, Feidlim Cannon and Gary Keegan, Kim Hyuntak, Viktor Bodó, Szabolcs Hajdu, Gavriil Pinte, Margarita Mladenova/Ivan Dobchev, and Jaroslav Fret.
Theatre of Cluj
Festivals As States Of
Romania 2014 & 2016
Culture Within Nation States by Ina Douvlekova
Our Theatre, Such As This Festival, Wants To Belong To The Whole City by Elena Galanopoulou
Dig deeper and read the articles written on Interferences in the UTE online theatre magazine: conflict-zones.reviews
The Stranger’s Odyssey. Who Am I, Really? by Ludvík Píza
In The Stranger I Recognize Myself by Andrea Rádai
Surtitled Theatricality. What Language Do Artists Export? by Sergio Lo Gatto
Rifle AR-15 (M16) Used in the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016, resulting in 46 deaths.
We Chew On The Bones Of Time written and directed by Jonas Corell Petersen, Nationalteatret Oslo, Norway “We Chew On The Bones Of Time” is an absurd and humorous performance about searching for one’s place in history. Four young people meet at a seminar that lasts for 40 days and 40 nights. They cover themselves in mud, play the guitar, dance to salsa music and talk about everything from gardening to loneliness and human development through thousands of years. They reflect on whether humans have a core and how it may have evolved with world history. Maybe life was better a hundred, a thousand and maybe one hundred thousand years ago?
The Shack by Aiat Fayez, directed by Ludovic Lagarde, Comédie de Reims, Reims, France Neither young nor old, Grand and Petit— two futureless and hopeless men—unintentionally get caught in a staggering process of wealth accumulation. Everything gets out of control when they decide to build a homemade bomb and attack the shoe company which they hold responsible for the accident that has left Petit with a disfigured face after falling from a window due to his slippery shoes. A few days after the explosion, a man comes to their place: he has witnessed everything. One after the other, people start showing up and place orders. Grand and Petit try to meet their demands, though they have no ideology and no political awareness of the political meaning of their acts. Using an elliptic form, “La Baraque” displays a succession of rough sketches, in which nothing ever gets too serious: a terribly efficient comical mechanism. A bitter and ludicrous phantasmagoria, in which a couple of cranks almost unintentionally make a fortune by going into the business of war.
Sweet Home Europa by David Carnevali, directed by Fabrizio Arcuri, Teatro di Roma, Rome, Italy Fabrizio Arcuri brings to the stage the West, its history and its crisis, its repression and its explosion.
REIMS SCÈNES D’EUROPE The Reims Scènes d’Europe Festival is one of the highlights of the Comédie de Reims programme, and took place in the context of Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The festival has gained recognition in France and beyond due to the quality and poignancy of the hosted performances. Reims Scènes d’Europe has also been the longstanding platform for the UTE’s dedication to audience development in collaboration with the Comédie de Reims, the YPAL – Young Performing Art Lovers. YPAL is an international network of young spectators united by the same interest Read m o re in performing arts. about Y PA L on Pag e 69
In 2017, Sergio Lo Gatto, one of the contributing writers for the UTE online magazine conflict-zones.reviews, held a workshop for the YPALs in the context of Reims Scènes d’Europe. “Awakening the Eye” was a two-day workshop dedicated to theatre lovers who wanted to dig deeper into such a complex event as a theatrical play. Thus, the aim of this workshop was not to offer the key to an objective analysis of the play; on the contrary: it was to rediscover the importance of our very role as spectators.
International Theatre Festival
Comédie de Reims, France 2015, 2016, 2017
For an in-depth perspective on the 2017 edition of Reims Scènes d’Europe, read Lucie Beraha’s article “Identity, Sexuality, Language and Power” in the UTE online theatre magazine: conflict-zones.reviews
Handgun TEC-9 Used by Dylan Klebold in the Columbia High School massacre in 1999.
“Sweet Home Europa” is an original and potent fresco of Europe, which unravels right before our very eyes. Fathers, mothers, sons, wives, husbands, friends, strangers, outsiders, politicians and businessmen become the representatives who recount the genesis of a community, shining a light on pacts and compromises, ideological and religious differences and contradictions. All that has created the concept of the dominance of the West and, at the very same time, its cultural and social collapse. Capitalism and consumerism as meter and rule, even of interpersonal relationships, have dismantled the age-old traditional rules, leaving entire generations at the mercy of wars, more or less correct and more or less holy, but above all the struggle to grab the temporary reconstruction.
The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, directed by Anselm Weber, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bochum, Germany The city is broke: Perfect timing for the visit of the billionaire Claire Zachanassian. Everyone has high expectations of the city’s daughter, and the citizens leave no doubt that they are predominantly interested in her money. And really, the old lady holds out quite a bit for them—she wants to give the city one billion. There’s only one condition: the citizens should kill III, her lover from her youth who deeply hurt her in the past. In what’s possibly his most famous play, Friedrich Dürrenmatt analyses the relation between money and morale. His story is a test assembly that has remained controversial to this day. The citizens have busied themselves and their city into a seemingly irreversible crisis through pride and boast, and the downfall can only be prevented by accepting the indecent proposal. It doesn’t take long before selfrighteousness and hypocrisy react anew, and the people are ready to sacrifice their formerly beloved citizen III for the greater good.
The Wedding Party by Judith Herzberg, directed by Eric de Vroedt, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bochum, Germany It’s Lea’s third wedding. The festivities will be at her parents’ house, Ada and Simon. They are survivors of the German pogrom
CROSSROADS PRAGUE In a programme that addressed Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit, the anniversary of the 80th birthday of such an important political and artistic figure as was Václav Havel couldn’t go by unnoticed. This international theatre festival celebrated the Czech Republic’s most outstanding figure, both for his political impact as well as for his dramatic legacy. Celebrating Václav Havel’s exceptional sense for freedom of speech and equality, the festival also provided a stage for plays from countries that have an overlapping historical pattern with the Czech Republic, yet who haven’t overcome their struggles: Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. The world-renowned Belarus Free Theatre, which keeps standing up for freedom of artistic expression and freedom of speech in Belarus, was invited to this festival with their production “Time of Women”. DAKH from Kiev, in Ukraine, and Teatro di Capua in Russia’s St. Petersburg showed “Dreams of A Lost Road” and “Medea”, respectively. Embedding these theatres amongst Czech productions
by or about Václav Havel highlighted the emergency of free theatres to lend their support to artists that suffer from censorship and other hardships. The festival furthermore dedicated 80 hours of activities, theatrical as well as in the form of talks and discussions, to Václav Havel’s dramatic and political heritage.
International Theatre Festival
National Theatre Prague, Czech Republic 2016 & 2017
Visit the UTE online theatre magazine at conflict-zones. reviews and read the articles on Crossroads: Voices At The Crossroads: Or The Soul After Victory by Herwig Lewy, Vaclav Havel: A History Of Mentalities by Sergio Lo Gatto In the context of the Crossroads 2017 festival Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit had its closing event ALL WITNESSES. Representatives of the Young Journalists on Performing Arts, the Emerging Playwrights, young actors from the ISO – International Super Objective Theatre, UTE members, and invited guests, such as theatre professionals, politicians, and critics came together for a dialogue on the role of culture, and theatre in particular, to mould a vision of Europe in the future.
Boeing 767-222 Al Quaida hijacked this plane for the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
CONFEREN & ROU
Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit facilitated roundtables that tackled burning issues related experts and artists alike.
NCES UNDTABLES the implementation of various conferences and
to the theme of the programme, bringing together
in the Netherlands. At the party, old and new relations, connections of family and friends, past and present, meet. Next to the new husband, Nico, Lea’s first husband, Alexander, is also present, as is Nico’s earlier wife, Dory. She is in the same orchestra with Lea, and friendly with both of them. Nico’s mother and brother were killed in the concentration camp. His father, Zwart, is there with his second wife, Duifje, who still seems less real to him than the dead one, even though he has already spent half his life with her. Lea’s ‘second’ mother, Riet, who took care of her during the war, is also invited. And then there is a mysterious guest who wants to keep the wedding from happening. With subtle humour and a swift hand, Judith Herzberg develops a fine web of fleeting encounters and conversation pieces, attraction and alienation, highaltitude flight and fall. The Holocaust that the Dutch writer born in 1934 has survived, just like her characters, forms the traumatic vanishing point.
Job by Joseph Roth, directed by Lisa Nielebock, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bochum, Germany “Job” tells the story of an Eastern Jewish family that starts in rural Galicia and ends in America. Mendel Singer is a simple primary school teacher who has two sons and a daughter with his wife, Deborah. A fourth child is born, their son Menuchim, who seems mentally retarded. He suffers from epileptic seizures and can’t say any other word but “mum”. The parents see his medical condition as a punishment from God. Their other three children grow up and also give reason for concern: Jonas wants to go to war; Shmerayah to America; and Miryam has too many men. The miracle rabbi once said to Deborah that Menuchim would be healed if only they stayed with him. Nonetheless, Mendel decides to leave to America without their youngest child in order to get Miryam away from the Cossacks. Far away from home, Mendel becomes aware of how much he misses Menuchim and home; then other calamities occur. He can no longer bear the misfortune and renounces his faith. However, at the end, Joseph Roth has miracles happen.
ARTISTS BOYCOTTING ARTISTS The roundtable “Artists Boycotting Artists” kicked off numerous events dealing with conflicts of many kinds. The objective was to reflect on the role of theatre and its social responsibility towards the world it stems from. It also outlined different conflict zones that theatre could be involved in, and discussed whether or not it should be. The speakers of the roundtable were five UTE member representiatives: Georges Banu, author and professor at the Sorbonne and UTE member of honour; Viktor Bodó, stage director. Michal Dočekal, Director of Drama at the National Theatre
in Prague and current president of the UTE; Ilan Ronen, then Artistic Director of the Habima–National Theatre of Israel and then-president of the UTE, UTE member of honour and board member; and Gorčin Stojanović, Artistic Director of the Yugoslav Drama Theatre in Belgrade; along with six other theatre professionals, politicians, academics, and experts: Joshua Sobol, Israeli playwright, writer and director; Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, Vice President of Research at Israeli Democrat Institute, where he heads the Constitutional Principles, National Security and Democracy,
and Arab-Jewish Relations projects; Thomas Engel, director of the International Theater Institute (ITI) in Germany; Manick Govinda, co-ordinator for the Manifesto Club’s Visiting Artists campaign; Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg, President of the NGO Monitor, Political Studies at Bar Ilan University; and Lior Fridman, journalist and TV reporter (Channel 2), who covered boycott events against the Habima’s “Merchant of Venice” at the Globe to Globe World Shakespeare Festival 2012.
Kalashnikov Rifle (AK-47) Used by Al Quaida in the Charlie Hebdo shooting in 2015.
Habima – National Theatre of Israel Tel Aviv, 2015
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, directed by Silviu Purcărete, Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Cluj, Romania “Julius Caesar” is arguably Shakespeare’s toughest political drama, and it is powerful not only because of the tremendous insights it offers, but because of its surprising timeliness. The conspiracy of the Republican party organized by Brutus and his company for the public good does not establish order, but induces civil war and decay in Rome. Are we on the same road, a road beginning with the Arab Spring that ends with world chaos?
Kangaroo by Vasilis Katsikonouris, directed by Dimitris Mylonas, National Theatre of Greece, Athens, Greece Dreaming of a better tomorrow, a young man decides to leave Greece, as life abroad offers better prospects. However, things do not turn out as he expects. A dilemma that brings emotions into conflict with harsh reality leads him to re-examine his decision and, in the end, to a form of compromise similar to that which his father had once chosen.... With immediacy and a penetrating eye, Vassilis Katsikonouris shone a light on what is wrong with today’s Greece and the problems faced by the country’s young people. At the same time, he made an apposite comment on responsibility and the consequences of the choices that determine our lives.
The Shipwreck Trilogy by Lina Prosa, Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa, Milan, Italy “Lampedusa Beach” is the first of three works which make up “The Shipwreck trilogy” by Lina Prosa. Written in 2003, it was produced and staged in 2013 in Paris by the Comédie Française. It is an intense monologue on clandestine immigration, the poetic and dramatic testimony of Shauba, a young African woman shipwrecked off the shores of Lampedusa. Swallowed by the sea, Shauba recounts her own experience: the dream of a
THEATRE AND CONFLICT IN EUROPE Emilio Gentile (University of Rome La Sapienza), Marco Mondini (University of Padova and Institute of Italian-German History in Trento), and Thierry Vissol (Adviser to the European Commission in Italy) gave speeches about “Italy during the First World War” in the first part of the conference. The second part was focused on “Theatre and war, violence and drama. Italian and European experience”, featuring Italian and international experts: Christopher Clark, historian, University of Cambridge; Marco Baliani, stage director, actor; Giuseppe Cederna,
dramaturge, actor; Domenico Suriano, stage director, actor; Lisa Ferlazzo Natoli, stage director; Roberto Scarpetti, writer; Marta Gilmore, stage director, Patrizia Zappa Mulas, writer and stage director; as well as UTE members Ilan Ronen, then UTE President and Artistic Director of the Habima–National Theatre of Israel, Tel Aviv, UTE member of honour and board member; and Anna Badora, then Artistic Director of the Schauspielhaus Graz, Austria, now Artistic Director of the Volkstheater Wien and UTE VicePresident.
Car bomb Used in numerous attacks of the “Islamic State” in their war against the Western World.
Teatro di Roma Italy, 2015
better life and the injustices of the world, but also her primordial bond with water, with her Mediterranean identity. “The drowned words of Shauba - explains Lina Prosa - give life to an underwater odyssey in which the end, the arrival on the sea bed, is a long breath which tells a story”.
Magda Goebbels by George Veltsos, directed by Angela Brouskou, National Theatre of Greece, Athens, Greece The Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda, a model spouse and mother in the Germany of the Third Reich, consider their future together and re-examine their ideology and actions and their place in history, giving a harsh personal account of the rise and fall of Hitler’s worldview... Describing the stage-managed death of the Goebbels family, Veltsos’s play talks about what modern culture cannot suppress: the overriding arrogance of mankind, the pleasure of violence, the rhetoric of domination and hate, and everything else that characterises the “radical evil” that seizes the human imagination and can be detected within ourselves irrespective of race or nation.
Case Farmakonisi Or The Right Of Water by Anestis Azas, National Theatre of Greece, Athens, Greece Taking the drowning of 11 people in January 2014 near Farmakonisi as a starting point, Anestis Azas and his cast and crew created a production about the attitude of the justice system towards the major issue of refugees and migrants faced with a Europe of closed borders. Following the tradition of documentary theatre, backed by many months of research, the play utilised the personal accounts of people associated with the event and lay somewhere between a reconstruction and on-stage testimony.
REFUGEE MOVEMENT AND RIGHTWING POPULISM The roundtable took place right after the height of the “Willkommenskultur” (welcome culture) and looked not only into the positive atmosphere that had been dominant among the countries providing refuge at the time, but also cautiously explored the right-wing populism that was concurrently becoming tangible. The context of the roundtable was abruptly changed due to the Paris terrorist attacks that had shaken Europe the night before. The high number of refugees who have reached Europe since the summer of 2015 has led to a political crisis and a crisis of supply. Where the state has failed, civilians have taken over. Their solidarity as well as the pressure due to the refugee movement briefly led to the opening
of Europe’s borders, while the (far) right attempted to arm their interior and exterior borders. Under the moderation of journalist Corinna Milborn, Chantal Mouffe, political scientist from the University of Westminster; Anton Pelinka, political scientist from the Central European University in Budapest; Matti Bunzl, director of the Wien Museum; Daniela Pichler, head of the research team and spokesperson of Amnesty International in Austria; Michael Genner, chairman of Asyl in Not; and Ibrahim Amir, participant in the UTE think tank Emerging Playwrights and author of the play about the Viennese refugee protests “Homohalal”, shared their expert opinions on the refugee crisis in Europe in general, and with respect to the recent terrorist attacks.
The speakers, while disagreeing on some aspects, agreed to distinguish between two prevalent emotions amongst people: fear and hope; the latter being the optimism that things could get better, the first being the pessimistic suspicion that things could get worse, an emotion deeply exploited by right-wing populism. While right-wing populism splits society in ‘us’ versus the ‘immigrants’, there’s also such a thing as left-wing extremism, which promotes a different kind of ‘us’ vs. ‘them’, namely the intellectually enlightened minority who morally condemns the ignorant uneducated voters of right-wing parties. Rightwing refugee-baiting and left-wing refugee-welcoming are two extremes that will always co-exist in a debate on refugees.
Volkstheater Wien Austria 2015
Read the interview with Chantal Mouffe conducted by Sergio Lo Gatto in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews !
Drone General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper Used by the CIA in the targeted killing of terrorism suspects in the “war against terrorism”.
Amerika by Franz Kafka, directed by Michal Dočekal, Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Cluj, Romania Aren’t we responsible for the failures and disappointments that we have experienced during the past quarter of a century? If this is how we read Kafka, we might get closer to the spirit of the novel’s stage adaptation. We witness Karl Rossmann’s encounter with national hatred, social injustice, the world of money and power, and the world of the unemployed and homeless. At the end he himself becomes a slave of the new world, because the mechanism of money and sex represented by Brunelda, the singer, captures him too. He is confronted with the cold rejection of our society, expressed by the student: “Give up all hope!” The way indicated to Karl by his Uncle, that is both punishment and experience, ends at the Natural Theatre of Oklahoma, and this world theatre is, in a sense, a metaphor for eternity. The ending of the novel is open: we can consider America to be a world of automatized and instrumentalized human relationships (as Chaplin stated in Modern Times with brilliant wit), but also as a dream-world, a world where human freedom needs to rise above the horizon like an unconquerable Indian warrior who overcomes a (maybe lost) battle.
What Happened After Nora Left Her Husband; Or Pillars Of Society by Elfriede Jelinek, directed by Snežana Trišić, Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Belgrade, Serbia The play “What Happened after Nora Left Her Husband; or Pillars of Society” by the Austrian author Elfriede Jelinek, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, could be perceived as a sequel or a paraphrase of two plays by Ibsen–“Nora (A Doll’s House)” and “The Pillars of Society” The play follows the story of Nora Helmer after she left her husband seen through a theatrical kaleidoscope of male projections/phantasms of women in the role of a wife, mother, labourer, artist, lover, prostitute, concubine, dominatrix and ultimately a business woman. Will Nora get to live her dream and hope of self-realisation or will she have to
TRANSLATE A symposium on surtitles, dubbing and more
Théâtre National du Luxembourg, 2016
Intercultural exchange is happening on the stages of theatres across Europe and the globe. This leads to the growing necessity of forms of translation for theatre productions. So far this is done through surtitles, dubbing or a translated synopsis. However, translation is not just a means for communication, it can be an artistic means in its own right, which can be included in the intercultural conception of a production. Coupled with the idea of theatre as a universal language, international experts and theatre makers from all over Europe discussed these topics at a symposium held at the Théâtre National du Luxembourg, in collaboration with the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe. The audience followed an interesting debate on the
In this context, we’d like to thank our translators and interpreters without whom none of what we do would be possible:
future of theatre, while translators, interpreters and theatre people gained new insights and ideas for practical implementation. The discussion took place between the author, dramaturg and professor emeritus at the Sorbonne Georges Banu; artistic director of the Theater an der Ruhr and theatre director, Roberto Ciulli; the renowned translator Jean-Louis Besson; translation and surtitle expert Yvonne Griesel; translator and interpreter with the Wiener Festwochen Isolde Schmitt; artistic director of the Théâtre National du Luxembourg, Frank Hoffmann; interpreter Irina Bondas; and research fellow at the University of Luxembourg Natalie Bloch; under the moderation of Andreas Wagner, head dramaturg at the Théâtre National du Luxembourg.
New Dramaturgy Sonia Antinori, Charlotte Barslund, Zornica Hristova Bodakova, Eran Erdv, Steven J. Grieco, Lydia Hagel, Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel, Yvonne Griesel, Bob Lüder, Rachel McGill, Chaterine McNaughton, Matthias Naumann, Tami Rubin, Marija Stojanovic, Frank Weigand
Online Magazine Ana Maglhaes, Isabella Mannino, Ifigenia Ntoumi, Jenny Pat Tochtermann, Lydia Ziemke
At UTE Events Stephanie Becker, K. Bursková, Alessandra Cali, Adele Donati, Melzi Davide, Sara Dragunchev, Ursula Fischer, Frigerio Maria Giovanna, Galina Hausknectová, Hildegarda Hearne, John Hearne, Cerne Ida, Edita Jiráková, Simon Judit, Julianna Kopeczi, M. Kavanová, Kerstin Krolak, Ulrike Lehmann, Marcela Magdová, Mariolina Mapelli-Bailey, Katja Roloff, Paolo Sturm, Isolde Schmitt, Heinz Schmolz, Justus von Verschuer, Csép Zoltán
Parabellum Stock pistol of the German Forces in the First and Second World War.
embrace the destiny set aside for her by the history of drama and a role determined by the modern consumerist society?
Lost and Found by Yael Ronen and cast, Volkstheater, Vienna, Austria Yael Ronen creates her plays in collaboration with the actors. At the beginning, there are certain interests and biographical stories they pursue during the rehearsal process through the means of theatre, which are then combined and further developed in Yael Ronen’s writing process. “Lost and Found” is based on today’s family structures, an actress’s personal story and the story of her cousin, who fled from Iraq to Vienna.
The Robbers by Friedrich Schiller, directed by Daniel D. Kovács Vígszínház, Budapest, Hungary Schiller was not even twenty-three years old when “The Robbers” first premiered with huge success: the audience raved and the performance almost had to be stopped. The success brought quick fame to the author and his first critic already referred to him as “the German Shakespeare”. The story of the two brothers fighting for their legacy and their love became popular mostly among the younger generations, however, the exciting plotline, fuelled by the opposition between the cold-hearted Franz and the self-confident idealist Karl, captivates audiences of all ages even today.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, directed by Sotiris Hatzakis, National Theatre of Greece, Athens, Greece In the performance of the National Theatre of Greece in Athens, Dostoyevsky’s world meets Papadiamantis’ language in a unique translation that reflects the two great writers’ deep understanding of the pain of human existence. In 18th century St. Petersburg, the law student Raskolnikov commits a double murder, in the cloak of an ideological justification that is based on a curious form
THE OWN AND THE FOREIGN The dramatic increase in refugees coming to Europe and the global threat of anti-Western terror groups were particularly dominant issues in public and private discourse in April of 2016. The German Chancellor’s optimistic approach of “we can do it” and a wave of helping hands met worried concerns and expressions of rejection that don’t even shy away from violence. So the questions posed were: Can we still afford to have an open society characterised by the right to freedom? When will defending this freedom become the opposite? What’s our definition of the own and where does the foreign begin?
Another priority was the opening night of Elfride Jelinek’s heavyset work on the European refugee crisis “The Suppliants”, directed by Hermann Schmidt-Rahmer. “Appendix”, “Coda” and “Epilogue on the Ground”—the latter was only developed in January 2016 and was used as a stage version for the first time— also formed part of the evening. The Schauspielhaus Bochum also held an open discussion in the Kammerspiele as part of the state-wide initiative “Open Society”. In the context of the matinee for “Lampedusa”, the Schauspielhaus encouraged the audience to look into the
situation of refugees on location. At the matinee for “The Suppliants”, the Schauspielhaus tackled the worries, resentment, processes of defence, and the question of whether we’re facing a war of the worlds.
Schauspielhaus Bochum Germany, 2016
For more information, read Sergio Lo Gatto’s The Own And The Foreign in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
Tank Mark I The first war-fit battle tank used by the British Army in World War I.
of justice. However, his crimes challenge human and divine law that seek to make him pay for them as he travels down a lonely and nightmarish path. The harshest punishment is his conscience, from which he can only escape by choosing the path of love and repentance. The deep study of the human soul and the dark laws that rule it establish the masterpiece of the great Russian writer as a topical literary anatomy of the subconscious, written at a time when the term had not even been invented.
Boy With A Suitcase by Mike Kenny, directed by Mihalis Sionas, National Theatre of Northern Greece, Thessaloniki, Greece The multi-award winning British playwright Mike Kenny touches upon a highly topical issue, and the performance directed by Michalis Sionas strives to raise young spectators’ awareness regarding the refugee crisis and the issue of forced migration. Little Naz lives in a Middle Eastern country. War breaks out and his family is forced to flee. However, there isn’t enough money for everyone to leave and Naz’s parents send him to his brother to London by himself. Naz imagines that he is Sinbad the Sailor crossing deserts, mountains and seas with Krysia as his only source of company. Krysia is a girl, who is also going to London. In his suitcase, Naz carried with him the stories that his father would tell him.
War by Richard Aldington, Nikolai Gumilev, Homer, directed by Vladimir Pankov, Teatro Nacional São João, Porto, Portugal In Paris, a group of young artists get together for Christmas supper. In their minds, war is a remote prospect, a merely rhetorical eventuality, a literary subject. But the year is 1913, and in a few months they will experience all the unimaginable horrors of reality. Someone has described “War” as a “cruel operatic ballet”, meaning that everything in this show is music and movement: from the words said and sung by the actors to the percussive military marches; from the gas-masked choreographies to the zigzagging motions of a giant
TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE The Emerging Playwrights met with the Young Journalists on Performing Arts together with the director of the UTE in the context of the Europe Theatre Prize. The participants were both able to see some of the most prominent current European theatre works, while also taking part in the UTE roundtable “Turn and Face the Strange”. President of the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe, Michal Dočekal, gathered members of the UTE board of directors and former European Theatre Prize winners Gisli Gardarsson (Vesturpoort Theatre, Island), William Docolomanski (Farm in the Cave, Czech
Republic), Pippo Delbono (stage director, Italy) and Armando Punzo (Compagnia della Fortezza, Italy), Young Journalists on Performing Arts and Emerging Playwrights to discuss a crucial topic of contemporary theatre: wondering about the actual function of theatre is not only a task for the ones who reflect on theatre, it also is a vibrant urgency for the ones who make, think, and create theatre.
XV Europe Theatre Prize in Craiova, Romania, 2016
Find more in-depth information on the event in Lucie Beraha’s Facing The Strange In Craiova and Sergio Lo Gatto’s Europe Theatre Prize: A Jungle Of Languages in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
Junkers Ju 52 Used by the German Legion Condor in the air strike on Guernica in 1937 in support of Franco.
chandelier that crashes down on stage, suggesting a grand world on the verge of extinction. This production, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014, World War I’s centenary year, is a disturbing incursion into the sights and sounds of war that challenges art’s power to deal with devastation.
The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol, directed by Viktor Bódo Vígszínház, Budapest, Hungary This coproduction between the Vígszínház and Viktor Bodó’s independent Sputnik Shipping Company received tremendous critical acclaim, and numerous invitations to festivals. Gogol’s ingenious comedy presents an ever-topical, grotesque image depicting the hypocritical system of corruption, where only individual interests matter. In a desolate Hungarian spa, where all the water dried up ages ago, the mayor and his staff await fearfully the day when one of his superiors will notice the fact. When a mysterious foreigner arrives, a wild circus of corruption ensues that has no chance of ending well… This witty, politicizing update of Gogol’s classic comedy is directed by the award-winning director Viktor Bodó, who created a magnificent comedy of numerous sharp stylistic twists and crisp performances. The fast-paced, aggressive, markedly physical acting style is accompanied by jokes, gags, and clowning. Instead of a conversation piece we find ourselves following a nightmare, driven to the point of absurdity and packed with significant references and quotations.
Zappzarapp – From the Heart to the Sky by Adelheid Schulz, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany “A performance with students and participants from integration classes Going to Europe means: Either I’ll die or I’ll have a future ” Nasim, 23, from Syria. Germany 1940, Croatia 1991, Syria 2015: “Zappzarapp” looked into the issue of escape and its causes—this drama between hopelessness and future grew out of documentary and literary material.
ECONOMICS, ART AND EUROPE Many call him one of the most important living names in the field of economics: Tomáš Sedláček is a Czech economist born in 1977, author of the best-selling book “The Economics of Good and Evil”, a work that brings into question a number of crystallised clichés regarding economics, which is, according to him, a cultural and civilizational phenomenon that is inseparable from myth, philosophy, anthropology, religion and the arts. It is for that reason that his reflection on economics encompasses a multitude of subjects, ranging from the epic of Gilgamesh to the rise of Christianity, from Descartes and Adam Smith to David Fincher’s Fight Club… Economics, Art and Europe, a round table conference organised by the Teatro Nacional São João and the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe featured this enfant terrible of economics alongside Sergio Escobar, director of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano since 1998, a man
of wide experience in the fields of the theatre and opera and author of several texts on the economics of the performing arts, and Rui Moreira, the mayor of Porto, whose work comprises giving culture and knowledge an important place in the city’s life. Nuno Carinhas, artistic director of the TNSJ, also took part in the discussion, as well as Francisca Carneiro Fernandes, president of the TNSJ’s administrative board, who hosted this meeting, whose target audience comprised not just economists, cultural operators and artists, but all those who define themselves as citizens.
Teatro Nacional São João | Portugal 2016
Read Sergio Lo Gatto’s article Art, Economy, Europe. Strategies Against Dystopia in the UTE online theatre magazine: conflict-zones.reviews
Tank Renault FT Used by the French Army in the Battle of Amiens in 1918 during World War I.
The Children of Herakles by Euripides, directed by Armin Petras, Adelheid Schulz, Stuttgart, Germany Euripides’ play “The Children of Herakles” tells the story of escape and displacement. In order to put this almost two-thousand-year-old material on stage, the Schauspiel Stuttgart invited a mixed theatre group of refugees and students from Stuttgart University to work on this subject matter together. After Herakles’ death, his children have to flee Argos. The persecuted believe to be safe when they’ve reached the gates of Athens, and ask for asylum. Demophon, the son of the king of Athens, takes them under his protection, and thus finds himself confronted with a fatal choice: send the refugees to their certain death or risk a ferocious war for his own people. The encounter between the professionals and the amateurs, new and long-established citizens of Stuttgart, was at the heart of this theatre project; so was the objective of learning from each other.
To the End of the Land by David Grossmann, directed by Hanan Snir, Habima—National Theatre of Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel This is a great love story between Ora, Avram and Ilan, who meet in a hospital at the age of 16, in the midst of the Six Day War. This random encounter ties them together and shapes their fate in light of the fragility and anxiety of the Israeli existence. 35 years later, Ora, whose combat soldier son goes off on a military operation, runs away from home in order to avoid the torment of awaiting the tragic news that is bound to arrive: by refusing to accept the news, Ora hopes she might be able to prevent it and save her son. On her way to Galilee, she almost kidnaps Avram, her childhood sweetheart, and for days she travels with him across the country on foot, doing the only thing she can to protect her son—she recounts his life story, as if through the power of this story alone she were able to keep him and herself safe from the dreaded news.
TURN CONFLICT INTO DRAMA Conference
Die Schweigende Mehrheit at the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Vienna, Austria, 2017
This conference brought together different players, ranging from artists, cultural players, academics, representatives from NGOs, and refugee artists, who discussed the impact of theatre projects on developing platforms where newcomers and residents meet and exchange ideas, where newcomers learn about their new cultural and human surroundings, and where new forms of social encounters can be developed. This conference aimed at being a platform for exchange between theatre groups working with refugees and academics and NGO workers, to discuss the challenge of theatre as a catalyst for positive developments in the encounter between refugees and residents. Based on the results of this conference, the Department for Theatre Studies at the University of Vienna will publish a manual of best practices for theatre work with refugees.
DEMOCRACY IN A MIGRATION SOCIETY After the UTE roundtable on the refugee movement held in Vienna right after the height of the “Willkommenskultur” (welcome culture), the UTE convened a follow-up roundtable discussing how democracy and a migration society go together. Western Europe will continue to be a shelter for millions of newly arriving refugees in the upcoming years, given that sustainable solutions for the reasons of seeking refuge, such as political conflicts, poverty, and climate change in the countries of the Global South aren’t anywhere in sight. Instead of discussing the situation in the light of a crisis, people have to actively shape it instead. How can the democratic processes be strengthened and cultivated? Which rights and what kind of status are our democracies willing to grant refugees? What does democ-
Moderated by Corinna Milborn, these and other questions were discussed by the Pakistani journalist Meera Jamal; Ionna Petrisi from Thessaloniki of the NGO ARSIS– Association for the Social Support of Youth; film, text and theatre worker Tina Leisch (Die Schweigende Mehrheit); political scientist and activist Monika Mokre from Vienna; as well as the Ukrainian director of the independent DAKH theatre, Vlad Troitzkyi, from Kiew.
Volkstheater Wien Austria, 2017
The Young Journalists on Performing Arts covered this event in Role(s) Of Arts In Migration Europe by Ina Doublekova and Europe: A Library Or A Supermarket by Elena Galanopoulou for the UTE online theatre magazine: conflict-zones.reviews
racy have to look like in a migration society?
Tankette L3/33 Used by the Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie in the Battle of Guadalajara in 1937 in support of Franco.
THEATRE STRU The UTE commissioned journalists to write indepth pieces on the theatre structures in their
respective country. Furthermore, the UTE held two conferences on this subject matter. The first one took place in Milan in 2016, while the second one was held in Belgrade in 2017. Both conferences allowed their speakers to present an overview of their countriesâ€™ individual situation.
Orestes. Electra. Women of Troy by Euripides, Sophokles, Aeschylus, directed by Stephan Kimmig, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany At the end of the war, peace is more distant than ever: in “The Trojan Women”, Euripides doesn’t focus on great heroic deeds, but rather on the period after murder, deceit and war. Troy has been defeated after ten years of war. The Trojan men are dead; their women, those who survived the carnage, must submit to the Greeks’ despotism and revenge. John von Düffel’s classics adaption connects the Trojan women, Sophocles’ “Electra”, Aischylus’” The Libation Bearers”, and Euripides’ “Orestes” into a story about the devastating effects of war. At the center of the narrative: Orestes and his sister Electra, who motivates and supports him in slaughtering his mother Clytemnestra and her husband Aigisthos in order to take revenge for the murder of her father Agamemnon.
Lampedusa by Anders Lustgarten, directed by Olaf Kröck,Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bochum, Germany The Mediterranean is the cradle of European identity origin of our centuryold cultures, vantage point of German wanderlust since Goethe’s time. Today, it is fast turning into a well-guarded mass grave. Almost one million people crossed the Mediterranean last year in an attempt to reach the safe shores of Europe. 3,600 of them drowned. How many would there be this year? Stefano used to be a fisherman. Now his job is to pull bodies out of the sea around his native island. Denise is a payday-loan collector working in a big European city, putting her foot in doors, waving court orders, listening to shabby old lies in shabby old flats. The two have nothing in common. And yet, there is one thing connecting them: They work at the coalface, at the point where politics turn into hard facts. Lose your job and get behind on the payments, lose your balance and slip over the railings, and you are one of their customers. Not exactly a great job. Until in both their lives, something extraordinary happens.
In addition to the individual essays on theatre structures, these conferences have also been covered by the Young Journalists on Performing Arts. Visit the UTE online theatre magazine at conflict-zones.reviews/topics/theatre-structures to explore the various essays that have been published on theatre structures in different European countries.
On Serbia: Theatre in Serbia
On Great Britain: Theatre
Today: The Resilience of the
in UK: Politics, Poetics
Socially Engaged Artists
by Ana Tasić
by Diana Damian Martin
On Russia: The Threesome
On Hungary: Where Do
Parallel Lines Meet?
by Emilia Dementsova
by Andrea Rádai
On Greece: Is Athens
On the Czech Republic:
Ready For Take-Off?
Theatre of Diversity
by Elena Galanopoulou
by Ludvík Píza
On Germany: German
On France: (A)Live
Theatre: Behind the Scenes
by Lucie Beraha
of Its Structures by Herwig Lewy
On Italy: Contemporary Theatre(s) in Italy – Introduction by Sergio Lo Gatto
Stay tuned—there are more to come!
CONFERENCE ON THEATRE STRUCTURES I The Union des Théâtres de l’Europe offered a conference on theatre structures in Europe and the Mediterranean at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano–Teatro d’Europa in Milan, Italy. Various funding and management models, organizational systems, production structures, and theatre regulation systems were analysed and compared, with a view to better understand how the general principles guiding national and cultural policies can impact the way theatres are structured. The event was part of the UTE’s endeavour to provide an overview of theatre structures in Europe, with the objective of stimulating the exchange of information, knowledge, and know-how of the structures of
public theatres in Europe and the Theatre Structures Mediterranean, bringing forward in Europe and the innovative approaches, and trigMediterranean gering new ideas; but also of better understanding the links between Piccolo Teatro di Milano politics and theatre, and opening Teatro d’Europa a dialogue between politicians and Italy, 2016 theatre professionals. This conference covered the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Portugal and Tunisia thanks to the following speakers: Michal Dočekal; Armin Petras and Jan Hein; Enikő Eszenyi; Ilan Ronen; Sergio Ecobar; Francisca Carneiro Fernandes; and Fadhel Jaibi. Sergio Lo Gatto provided a comprehensive overview of this very complex subject matter in his article “Theatre structures in Europe. Arts between economy and identity.“ Read it in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
German Hand Grenade 39 The most-produced hand grenade of the German Forces in World War II.
I’m Searching for I:N:R:I (A Fugue of War) by Fritz Kater, directed by Jossi Wieler, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany A secret agent thriller, melodrama and film noir: the story of Maibom, a journalist and Nazi hunter, and that of the mysterious Rieke as well as the fateful failure of their love and lives is told on three time levels: during World War II, in a German economic wonderland in 1959/60, and in West Berlin shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Fritz Kater’s play “I’m searching for I:N:R:I (A Fugue of War)” tells German history from a particular perspective. The war has ingrained itself in peoples’ bodies, minds and hearts. Living means the continuation of war with other means. The story is not told chronologically; instead, in musically composed flashfowards and flashbacks. The unstable identities of the characters, made up of many facets, slowly develop over time.
Pre-Hamlet by Michele Santeramo, directed by Veronica Cruciani, Teatro di Roma Rome, Italy King Hamlet is not dead. Hamlet craves power. Gertrude feels that everything eludes her. Claudius does not wish to poison his brother. Polonius waits for things to turn to his own advantage. Mafia dynamics have taken control of Hamlet’s characters. The King, who is still alive, looks sick and is in charge like Provenzano, like a Mafia boss, the truly big “company” that Italy has exported worldwide. Shakespeare’s characters are captured in private before the tragedy starts. And, they are different. Before vengeance, before violence, when things can still be mended. In “Pre-Hamlet”, Michele Santeramo, based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, tells what happens before King Hamlet’s death, by providing a contemporary interpretation of the analysis of the concept of power. “This is what power is for: to continue to command.” But, perhaps, things cannot be mended. Santeramo and Cruciani update Shakespeare’s work without betraying it, albeit modifying it completely.
CONFERENCE ON THEATRE STRUCTURES II This conference aimed at yielding further findings in how theatre structures differ from country to country, in order to create a fuller picture of theatre structures and cultural politics as a whole in Europe and beyond. It was a continuation of the first conference held in Milan. This time, the speakers came from countries that had so far not been discussed: Anna Badora, Austria; Margarita Mladenova, Bulgaria; Stathis Livanthinos, Greece; Gábor Tompa and Alexandru Darie, Romania; Tamara Michailova and Boris Yukhananov, Russia; and Gorčin Stojanović and Tamara Vučković Manojlović, Serbia. They relayed the financial and organisa-
tional situation of their own theatre as well as of theatres in their country in general to offer an idea of the theatrical situation in the respective countries altogether.
Yugoslav Drama Theatre Serbia, 2017
Theatre structures work differently in the different countries across Europe. As a network, it lies in the UTE’s interest to better understand each other’s structures and the varying cultural political systems. Throughout the entire duration of the Conf lict Zones | Zones de Conf lit project, young journalists collected information and data about theatre structures in their respective homes, and have written essays on this topic. The entirety of this collected data will be published on a special page at the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
Tank T-34 The most-produced tank of World War II was used by the Red Army during the German-Soviet War.
UTE general assemblies bring together all the membersâ€™ representatives in order to discuss and vote on major decisions regarding the future of the network. UTE members decide on the allocation of the budget, discuss the contents of the UTE programme, suggest activities, projects, collaborations, vote on the admission of new members, and elect their new legal representatives. General assemblies are held twice a year, and always take place in the context of broader artistic events.
I’m Not Stiller by Max Frisch, directed by Eric de Vroedt, Schauspielhaus Bochum Bochum, Germany A man, whose papers are not in order, is apprehended at the Swiss border. It seems to be Anatol Ludwig Stiller, the sculptor from Zurich who had been missing for six years, nine months and twenty-one days. The man, however, insists to be a German-American called White, and claims to have murdered his wife. Stiller’s wife, Julika, his friend Sturzenegger, his lover, Sibylle, and her husband, Rolf: all of them are certain that this man is their friend. White, though wants to—and has to!—remain a stranger. Can you escape yourself? Can you leave everything behind that defines this self— your friends, your wife, your job? Max Frisch’s world-famous novel “I’m Not Stiller” from 1954 becomes a poetic and image-loaded examination of the essence of existence and the power of the images we make of ourselves and others. The Suppliants / Appendix / Coda / Epilogue Grounded by Elfriede Jelinek, directed by Hermann Schmidt-Rahmer, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bochum, Germany First there were few; then there were more. And even then they already exclaimed, “The boat is full.” Now they’re coming, hundreds of thousands of them, through deserts, across mountains and the great sea in the South. They spare no efforts, risk their lives, and pay horrendous amounts of money to their smugglers. They seek protection from war and terror, from poverty and lack of prospects. They have shaken our border fences for so long and so fiercely that they could pass. However, the German chancellor’s we-can-do-it-policy and the wave of civilian help are countered with severe reactions of defence everywhere. Hermann Schmidt-Rahmer attended to the question of how long a certain society can succeed in maintaining its openness and liberalism in the light of millions of refugees on their way to the rich Western countries. Is the atmosphere of the welcoming culture changing, and will there be a war of the worlds?
GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN TEL AVIV Habima – National Theatre of Israel
The general assembly took place in Tel Aviv and was embedded in a rich programme that started with the showcasing of a performance of “God Waits At The Station” that was part of the “TERRORisms” project. A roundtable entitled “Artists Boycotting Artists” kicked off a long intensive discussion More o on the boycott of arts ROUN n this D TAB Page 17 LE which is ongoing (and increasing) even today.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN VIENNA This time, the general assembly took place at the Volkstheater Wien in the context of a special artistic programme, the “Serbian November”, dealing with the facets of immigration, with an emphasis on Serbian migration to Vienna, including guest performances, a More o n th roundtable and a movie. ROUND TABisLE Page 21 At this general assembly, all members elected a new president: Michal Dočekal took over the presidency from Ilan Ronen. The new board of directors consisted of Sergio Escobar as vice president; Francisca Carneiro Fernandes as treasurer; Ludovic Lagarde as secretary; Anna Badora; Jan Hein; and Ilan
Ronen. Due to the refugee crisis that had brought so many unanswered questions to the table, it was particularly relevant for all the members to meet and contemplate on how to best move forward as a network in this situation. The attacks in Paris, which happened to occur in the middle of this two-day reunion, reminded all the members of the importance of their work and to continue to jointly strive for cultural transmission and the overcoming of differences through art.
For further information on this general assembly and its side events, read Inês Nadai’s “From Serbia to Syria”, Sergio Lo Gatto’s “Postcards from Vienna…In A Serbian November”, or his interview with Chantal Mouffe “Right-wing Populisms: A Quest for An Alternative” in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
Rocket-propelled Grenade Used in various versions by the German Forces and the Finnish Army against the Red Army tanks.
Close Your Eyes Wide Shut by Patrizia Zappa Mulas, Teatro di Roma, Rome, Italy In Teheran, a student throws a bottle of sulphuric acid in the face of one of his university friends after refusing his marriage proposal. We are left to digest this violent scene as best we can. The blinded and disfigured girl appeals to the Shari’a law. “An eye for an eye”, as the Islamic holy law dictates. The victim wins the lawsuit and she obtains the right to pour forty drops of acid into her attacker’s eyes. The punishment established is torture, yet Islamic law has taken a step forward: acid throwing was previously a minor offence, now it is considered a serious crime. The principle of justice has won the day. It is up to the victim to either carry out the punishment or to pardon her aggressor. The girl decides to carry out the punishment and shatters our certainties: we have rejoiced with her and yet we have been dragged back centuries, into a torture chamber. “Close Your Eyes Wide Shut” forces us to play the part of the jury in an uncontrolled court case that gradually makes us lose the ability to pass a verdict.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, directed by Michal Dočekal, Vígszínház Budapest, Hungary Dostoyevsky depicts the human soul like no other. His famous crime novel tells the story of a brutal murder and the investigation that follows. Is there a situation that allows, even demands, the killing of a human? This question not only fascinates Raskolnikov, but is equally important to us in a world wounded by raging wars and terrorism. Michal Dočekal, artistic director of the Czech National Theatre, and dramaturg Iva Klestilová produced this new stage version of the novel especially for the Vígszínház. The Hungarian text is the work of the brilliant writer János Térey.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN BOCHUM Schauspielhaus Bochum
More on D N AN THE OW EIGN R THE FO 25 on Page
This general assembly brought together all members to discuss the network’s topic of conflict zones through the Schauspielhaus Bochum’s themed month “The Own & The Foreign”, which allowed UTE members to attend the opening night of “The Suppliants / Appendix / Coda / Epilogue on the Ground” by Elfriede Jelinek, directed by Hermann Schmidt-Rahmer, as well as three performances of the Schauspielhaus’ repertoire: “Job” directed by Lisa Nielebock; “Stiller” directed by Eric de Vroedt (future artistic director of the National Theatre The Hague and familiar to the UTE in his function as director of the UTE masterclass “The European of the Year” in the summer of 2015); and finally, the performance “Lampedusa”
by Anders Lustgarten, directed by Olaf Kröck, head dramaturg of the Schauspielhaus. The performance “Job” was introduced by a talk given by Koen Tachelet about Joseph Roth’s novel “Job” and its historical context. In the context of this event, and in line with the UTE theme of Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit, a “Café Europa” was held at the Schauspielhaus Bochum, which was a platform much like the World Café, presenting an audience with short talks that trigger sessions of small-group debates. The speakers Martin Dietzsch, Anders Lustgarten and Hermann Schmidt-Rahmer gave short speeches that invited the listeners to gather in small clusters for a discus-
sion. In the light of current events, the discussion groups were dominated by questions regarding the refugee movement, ranging from personal stories to questions of integration. With the refugee movement dominating all European discourse at the time, this general assembly was of particular importance: in times of challenge it is paramount to stay connected and strong together. Read reviews on the plays by Sergio Lo Gatto in his articles The Own and the Foreign, Hiob and The Pursuit of an Alternative in the UTE online theatre magazine: conflict-zones.reviews
Flame-thrower tank Churchill-Crocodile Used by the British Army in the Invasion of Normandy in 1944 during World War II.
The Last Days of Mankind by Karl Kraus, directed by Nuno Carinhas, Teatro Nacional São João, Porto, Portugal What happens to man when the violence of war utterly jeopardises the very definition of mankind? An angry but compassionate genius, Karl Kraus dived into the pandemonium of the Great War (19141918) and returned with two hundred scenes reflecting “mankind’s fallen state”. The Last Days of Mankind (1915-1922) is a chronicle of those blood-soaked days that saw the birth of the age of industrial death, lies and stupidity. But it is also, and mostly, a laboratory of experimental writing that was once called “the submerged masterpiece of 20th century theatre”. A theatre of quotation, repetition, editing… in a word, of contrast: “real” characters and documents are vivified by the author’s satirical imagination, atrocity and futility walk hand-in-hand.
Medea by Franz Grillparzer, directed by Anna Badora | Volkstheater Vienna, Austria The immigrant Medea does everything to integrate in her husband Jason’s homeland Greece. But she will not get rid of the barbarian’s stigma, and their love ends in disaster.
The Lehman Trilogy by Stefano Massini, directed by Luca Ronconi | Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa | Milan, Italy Capitalism, on the power play, banks, money, social and economic changes are at the heart of the deep text by Stefano Massini. Over one hundred and sixty years of history told through the story of Lehman, one of the most influential families of America: from the Civil War to the crisis of ‘29, between continuous ascents and sudden falls, until the final failure in 2008.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN PORTO Teatro Nacional São João
This general assembly united its members in Portugal’s second largest city, Porto, where the Teatro Nacional São João had created a comprehensive accompanying programme. A roundtable entitled “Economy, Art, Europe” combined with the three-part undertaking of Karl Kraus’ “The Last Days of Mankind” directed by Nuno Carinhas and Nuno M. Cardoso addressed the current complex situation in Europe. Seeing additional performances, such as “Underground” directed by Luís Araujo, “It Thinks, Therefore It Bleeds”, directed by Fernando Mora Ramos, “What a Rogue I am”, directed by Gonçalo Amorim, or “Neva”, directed by João Reis, allowed UTE members to More o dive into the artistic ROUN n this D TAB Page 29 LE work of their host.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN MILAN This general assembly was embedded in events around the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa and the commemoration of Giorgio Strehler’s death 20 years ago, who was one of the co-founders of the UTE. Two new members joined the UTE: the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in Moscow and the Schauspiel Köln in Cologne. Furthermore, Anna Badora was named vice-president, and former president Ilan Ronen was made a member of honour.
Piccolo Teatro di Milano Teatro d’Europa
Siege Mortar Type 98 Used by the Japanese Army in defending Iwo Jima in 1945 during World War II.
Lessons of Leaking by Dimitri Garwisch and machina ex, directed by Anna Fries, National Theatre of Greece, Athens, Greece In “Lessons of Leaking” machina eX reflected the moral conflicts between the conflicting priorities of democracy, transparency, freedom of speech and manipulation. In collaboration with the playwright Dmitrij Gawrisch, the media collective developed a theatrical game, where political ideals and personal interests are pitted irreconcilably against each other. In a group of 12, the audience enacted a political thriller and made wide-ranging decisions on the course of history: To leak or not to leak? EUROPOLY is a European project for theatre and film by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with MünchnerKammerspiele, Onassis Cultural Centre Athens, Sirenos–Vilnius International Theatre Festival, Teatro Maria Matos Lisbon and Tiger Dublin Fringe.
Dieci storie proprio così by Emmanuela Giordano and Giulia Minoli, directed by Emmanuela Giordano, Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa, Milan, Italy “Dieci storie proprio così” is an integral part of an experimental project of collaboration between theatres, prison institutes, schools and civil society (the stage of legality). It was born as a work-debate on legality. The journey began in the 2011 season of the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, and in 2016 it merged with stories of suffering and redemption from Sicily and Lazio, widening out to touch on the theme of the expansion of the mafias abroad and “Mafia Capitale” (the scandal of Mafia influence in the capital city), as well as the strengthening of ties between the Calabrian ‘ndrangheta, Lombardy and international traffic. 2017 saw a further development with the collaboration of the Università degli Studi di Milano, and in particular with the Course on Criminal Sociology organised by Nando Dalla Chiesa, with which the Piccolo, through the “Observatory on the present”, has been carrying out an intense project of study and reflection on the theme of legality over the last three years.
YOUNG JOURNALISTS ON PERFORMING ARTS This project combines two highly relevant interests: on the one hand, creating a platform that is dedicated to European theatre as a whole, analysing prevailing aesthetics and trends, and creating links between politics and theatre, thus providing information and raising awareness on theatre and cultural and political situations in various countries across Europe, while on the other hand providing a platform for young cultural journalists from various European countries to explore different forms of journalism, and for them to gain new skills and know-how of how to journalistically work on a European level. Their articles are assessed by an editorial team, translated into English, proofread, and are published in their original language and in English in the UTE online theatre magazine: conflict-zones.reviews
The platform was created in the form of the CONFLICT ZONES online magazine, which first went online with a special issue in June 2015. Since then, articles have been published in their original language and in English translation, thus ensuring the reach of an international audience. Journalistic pieces are published in different forms: e.g. interviews with Russian theatre artists, cultural politicians, and academics (subtitled video); meta-articles reflecting the complexity and connecting lines of the national theatre landscape, and articles on the financial and cultural political situation of various countries, and other theatre-related issues, as well as articles that explore the socio-political backgrounds of the Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit’s events. A first think tank, preparing the online magazine and its launch, took place in Cluj in November 2014 in the context of the “Interferences” festival, bringing together journalists from Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal and Russia and UTE director Ruth Heynen. They exchanged their various views, and reflected on new forms of journalism, on its different developments across Europe, and on possible means of collaboration that will last beyond the duration of this project. Journalists from Italy, Bulgaria, Portugal, Russia and Norway were
brought to Stuttgart in June 2015 to write on performances shown in the context of the TERRORisms festival, and to conduct interviews for the special issue of the UTE online theatre magazine: conflict-zones.reviews/terrorism In another think tank during the Crossroads festival in Prague, the Young Journalists on Performing Arts met with Ruth Heynen to discuss the expansion and further development of the online magazine. The Young Journalists on Performing Arts have been present at the majority of Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit events, and have covered them from their particular perspective. So far, the UTE online theatre magazine has had contributions from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Russia and Serbia.
Explore the UTE online theatre magazine! conflict-zones.reviews
Manned Glide Bomb Yokosuka MXY-7 Designed for kamikaze attacks; used in 1945 by the Japanese Army in the battle of Okinawa.
INTERNATIONAL SUPER OBJECTIVE THEATRE
A Bench On the Road written and directed by Laura Pasetti, Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa, Milan, Italy Inspired by interviews, accounts and documentation collected through more than thirty years of research, “A Bench on the Road” gives a voice to Italian women who immigrated to Scotland between 1850 and 1950, telling the story of one hundred years of immigration. Real stories which touch us directly, voices which mix English with Italian dialects, tales of fear and integration, of solitude and hope for the future. Everything constructed through a sequence of “scenes” which underline fundamental events—World War I, the rise of Fascism, the World War II—and how these events were lived by Italian and Scottish women: daughters, mothers, grandmothers, each with their own experience, their own lives. A play of strong visual impact, accompanied by traditional Italian and Scottish music, in which the real words of the interviewees become lines from the script: Why did we leave our families? Because we were hungry, because there was no future for our children. You don’t leave if things aren’t so bad. No one leaves if they are fine. The suitcase is weighed down with suffering.
The Indian Wants The Bronx by Israel Horovitz, directed by Iarina Demian, Teatrul Bulandra Bucharest, Romania A short and unsettling play that explored anti-Asian racism and violence in the late 1960s. Written by Israel Horovitz, “The Indian Wants the Bronx” centered around two teenagers who confront and eventually attack an Indian man trying to visit his son in New York City. Gupta, the Indian of the title, has just arrived in New York City from his native country to visit his son and speaks only a few words of English. While waiting for a bus to the Bronx, he is approached by two young punks, Joey and Murph, who start provoking him. Name-calling taunts eventually result in acts of rage and violence.
ISO - International Super Objective Theatre Developed in the context of the 2012 UTE Decentralized Academy, the idea of creating a collective of young theatre artists from all over Europe first arose in the course of a masterclass directed by Russian theatre director Lev Dodin in Saint Petersburg. Named after the Stanislavski concept of “Super Objective”, the ISO Theatre was created with the aim to explore—on the ground and on stage—what being European means today. Originally composed of 14 young European actors from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Portugal, France, Italy and Israel, the ISO Theatre later integrated new members from Germany, and Palestine, thus forming a group of artists from 8/9 countries in Europe and beyond. They do not share the same language, culture, theatre education, working method; even the way they relate to theatre in general differs. This is precisely the reason why they want to work together. After a first residency at the Academy for Performing Arts Baden-Württemberg (Ludwigsburg, Germany) and the presentation of their work at the Teatro di Roma, Italy, in November 2013, the members of the ISO Theatre were brought together again every year of the Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit project.
Petya Alabozova, Bulgaria | Balázs Bodolai, Romania Bilyana Georgieva, Bulgaria | Khawla Ebraheem, Palestine Aglaia Katsiki, Greece | Boris Krastev, Bulgaria Benjamin-Lew Klon, Germany/Poland | Sophie Lewisch, France Vincent Menjou-Cortès, France | Luís Puto, Portugal Kim Willems, Germany | Angélique Zaini, France
ISO IN SOFIA AND ROME Residency: Sfumato Theatre Laboratory Bulgarian Institute of Culture
ISO IN PORTO Residency : Teatro Nacional São João Portugal, 2016
Bulgaria / Italy, 2015
The first part of their residency took place during the Small Seasons festival at the Sfumato theatre in Sofia, where they attended a workshop that dealt with Éduard Manet’s “Déjeuner sur l’herbe”, and presented their outcome to the Small Season festival audience at the end of the week. They then continued their residency in Rome, which was organised by the UTE in collaboration with the Teatro di Roma and the Bulgarian Institute of Culture in Rome. Their residency altogether lasted from 30 June to 19 July 2015, and allowed this diverse group to continue their search for a European theatre language.
In May 2016, the actors of the ISO collective attended a two-week residency in Portugal working on Karl Kraus’ “The Last Days of Mankind” together with stage director Nuno M. Cardoso and artistic director Nuno Carinhas. During their residency, they experimented with snippets from this extraordinarily long documentary play, also playing with the sound of different translations of the text. To read on, visit the UTE online magazine for Elena Galanopoulou’s article Utopias in Porto and Julie Kočí’s piece ISO Theatre — Porto 2016: Krausian Satire As Well As A Cabaret Slapstick at conflict-zones.reviews
Atomic bomb “Little Boy” The first atomic bomb to ever be targeted at people; used by the US Army against Hiroshima in 1945.
Nathan !? based on G.E. Lessing and Elfriede Jelinek, directed by Nicolas Stefan, Comédie de Reims, Reims, France Nicolas Stemann confronted Nathan the Wise, the classic praise of religious tolerance, with one of Elfriede Jelinek’s texts on the Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan attacks. The German stage director percussed the present with a great freedom in an inventive and musical production.
Lampedusa Way written and directed by Lina Prosa | Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa | Milan, Italy Lampedusa Way is the third and final “station” of the Trilogia del Naufragio by Lina Prosa, a painful journey through the drama of migration. It tells of the journey of Mahama and Saif, in search of the refugees Shauba and Mohamed. A search for lifeless bodies and a celebration of mourning: the end of a journey through a Mediterranean culture which is, perhaps, irremediably shattered. The Trilogia del Naufragio, a project dedicated to the drama of migration and created as a form of epic theatre, came to an end. Lampedusa Way in fact tells of the journey of Mahama and Saif, mentioned various times in the last two chapters, who come to the Sicilian island in search of the refugees Shauba and Mohamed.
ISO IN SOFIA Masterclass: Held by Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobchev Sfumato Theatre Laboratory Bulgaria, 2016
The ISO theatre collective met again in the context of the Small Season festival in Bulgaria to participate in a masterclass with artistic director Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobchev at the Sfumato Theatre Laboratory in Sofia. This time they mixed with five Bulgarian actors to work on Samuel Beckett’s “Not I”. Putting the masterclass in the context of the Small Season festival allowed these international actors to see productions from up-and-coming artists from all over Europe. Due to the intimate nature of the festival, it furthermore provided them with the opportunity to directly engage with all the artists on location, allowing for an excellent networking setting. Sergio Lo Gatto’s article The ISO Masterclass in Sofia. After Beckett, Towards a Genetics of Truth can be read in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
ISO & EMERGING PLAYWRIGHTS IN THESSALONIKI
ISO & EMERGING PLAYWRIGHTS IN PRAGUE
Residency: National Theatre of
Residency: National Theatre Prague
Northern Greece Greece, 2017
Czech Republic, 2017
This residency created a synergy between the two long-term undertakings of the ISO—International Super Objective Theatre and the Young Emerging Playwrights who created the Harbour40 project. (Harbour40 yielded texts out of thinks tanks held by the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe in Rome and Vienna, where the playwrights discussed burning global issues, and how those relate to their societies.)
In this final residency of the ISOs within the context of Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit, the young actors of the collective picked up their work with the Harbour40 playwrights, and allowed a glimpse into their work-inprogress during the Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit final event ALL WITNESSES at the National Theatre in Prague.
Three playwrights from Bulgaria, Greece and Italy (Stefan Ivanov, Angeliki Darlasi, Roberto Scarpetti), one dramaturg from Thessaloniki (Amalia Kondoyanni), and ten actors from the ISO collective met and worked together during this residency in Thessaloniki to further develop the existing Harbour40 texts, presenting their work in progress at the end of the residency. They continued to work on it during their final residency in Prague, showing the outcome at the Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit closing event ALL WITNESSES at the Národní Divadlo.
Get an ISO member’s perspective by reading Kim Willems’ essay on the ISO experience Looking for a Strange Language in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
Atomic bomb “Fat Man: Used by the US Army against Nagasaki in 1945, causing the death of tens of thousands of people.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo, directed by Maja Maletković, Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Belgarde, Serbia Like a trapeze artist, the Maniac hangs above an abyss in the middle of a police station—in a plot that threatens to descend into a hilarious comedy of errors. The cast, led by Nikola Đuričko, did away with everything that defies logic in „The Death of an Anarchist“ seeing as behind the mask of comedy lurks a world of organised crime, state corruption, political assassinations, religious confrontation and terror. Accidental Death of an Anarchist (1970/71) is a stage representation of an episode from Italy’s history, better known as The Years of Lead—a wave of terrorist attacks in the late 1960s which lasted right up to early 1980s. Fo’s plays, with Accidental Death being one of the best known, have been translated into at least thirty languages and when it comes to staging outside Italy, it is recommended that the text be adapted to local socio-political circumstances. Dario Fo is a left-wing artist, similar to Elfriede Jelinek, and the two not only share their political beliefs, but also their love for Marxism, revolution and socialism, Brecht and political theatre in general.
Voyage of Aeneas
Emerging Artists were
by Olivier Kemeid, directed by Emanuela Giordano, Teatro di Roma, Rome, Italy Oliver Kemeid, a playwright writing in French but of North African origin, weaves wisely the knots of the epic myth with the biographical events of a contemporary age in which a universal, new and redeeming voyage takes place. The Aeneid by Virgil was already very different from the prototype of the hero portrayed by scholars at that time: he was fragile, humane and yet he was driven by the need to pursue the wishes of Destiny at all costs. This is a modern re-interpretation, faithful to Virgil’s classical epic, in which Kemeid narrates the events regarding his father following his arrival with his family in Canada after many peregrinations and countless difficulties.
invited to participate in think tanks that were dedicated to the theme of Conflict Zones / Zones de Conflit in Europe and beyond.
The playwrights Ibrahim Amir from Syria/Austria, Stefan Ivanov from Bulgaria, Angelika Darlasi from Greece, Roberto Scarpetti from Italy, and Amir Nizar Zuabi from Israel/Palestine had an incredibly fruitful first meeting, during which they explained the different burning issues and conflict zones in their home countries, exchanged ideas, discussed possible projects, and generally reflected on the topic. The exchange between them sparked an enormous interest for them to work together, and to create something that would unite their different backgrounds and varying national priorities under a common theme.
Bringing together the Emerging Playwrights—who already worked on Harbour40 together—in the context of the Europe Theatre Prize in Craiova gave them the possibility to continue their collaboration and to be in dialogue with artistic directors and the Young Journalists on Performing Arts. The Europe Theatre Prize was an ideal situation for the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe and the Europe Theatre Prize (ETP) to meet again as both institutions have been associated since the foundation of the UTE. Giorgio Strehler himself (one of the founders of the UTE, together with Jack Lang, former UTE President) strongly wanted the cooperation between the ETP and the UTE.
Vienna, 2015 At this second think tank, the playwrights funnelled the myriad ideas they had collected during the first meeting towards the topic of refugees and the question of migration in general. This yielded the creation of texts revolving around this topic, embedded in the setting of harbours. The first drafts of the texts were presented in a public reading at the Teatro di Roma in the course of the second year of Conflict Zones.
Read Lucie Beraha’s Facing the Strange in Craiova and Sergio Lo Gatto’s Europe Theatre Prize. A Jungle of Languages in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
Bazooka M20 “Super Bazooka” Used by the US Army in the Battle of Taejon in 1950.
Our Class by Tadeusz Slobodzianek, National Theatre of Greece, Athens, Greece A riveting examination of the lives of ten Polish schoolmates who share the same nationality but are divided by different religions. When Nazism invades their country, the relationships that have been created in the classroom collapse. Savagery and hatred take the place of coexistence and mutual support. Will time be able to heal these wounds? In this superb example of modern European drama written in 2009, the Polish playwright Tadeusz Słobodzianek blends a dispassionate account with scenes of high emotion to examine how moments in history mark the lives of individuals, bringing to the surface our hidden selves and rupturing the strongest human bonds.
Nathan The Wise by G. E. Lessing, directed by Nikolaus Habjan, Volsktheater, Vienna, Austria Once again, people set fire to Nathan’s house while he was away on a business trip. His daughter Recha nearly died in this fire. On Nathan’s return he receives a message that Sultan Saladin wants to see him. The treasury is empty and the sultan wants to fill it with the Jew’s money. He sets a trap for Nathan, who avoids the pitfalls by telling a parable about the three monotheistic religions. Soon thereafter he is challenged in his role as a father. The Christian Templar who rescued Recha from the flames fell in love with the girl, but he feels rejected by Nathan. He then discovers that Recha is Christian and claims her for himself, which leads to denunciation and hate. Suddenly, Nathan is threatened in his existence and feels that he must be wise and smart to survive. He has one benefit on his side: storytelling can save lives. Director Nikolaus Habjan dove into his own version of Lessing’s drama for actors and puppets, whose plea for religious freedom and tolerance is now more relevant than ever. The performance was shown with English and Arabic surtitles.
Rome, 2016 In the context of the Short Theatre festival in Rome, four playwrights read extracts from their new dramatic texts dealing with harbours and the people associated with them. The multi-lingual texts were read in their original language with Italian surtitles. Various playwrights—invited by the festival from Italy, France, Germany, and by the UTE from Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Israel/Palestine—came together at a roundtable, moderated by journalist and theatre critic Graziano Graziani to discuss contemporary dramatic art prior to the reading. Following this roundtable, the four playwrights Angeliki Darlasi, Stefan Ivanov, Roberto Scarpetti and Amir Nizar Zuabi allowed a glimpse into the development of this project by reading extracts from their new dramatic texts that had been developed out of vivid discussions about borders, nationalism, tolerance, war, terrorism, economics, public goods, privatization of water and human trafficking. Their characters speak
many languages: Arab, Greek, Italian, French, Bulgarian, English, etc., and travel through the ports of Jaffa, Piraeus, Genoa, the Black Sea and through markets in the Syrian desert, Turkey and Tunisia. The multi-lingual fragments were read in the context of the Short Theatre festival in original language—underscoring the multicultural character of the event—with Italian surtitles by Sonia Antinori. 2017 This think tank allowed five young directors to think about the future of stage direction in Europe. They furthermore were able to learn about each other’s theatre traditions, their different education and approaches. In this context, they were able to reflect about what they consider to be key issues regarding the future of stage direction. They established common aims and ideals, and developed a joint concept of how to work together and create collectively. They attended performances and exchanged their ideas and impressions. Sergio Lo Gatto attended the multi-lingual reading, which he wrote about in Harbour 40. On the Docks of Europe — conflict-zones.reviews
Multi-role combat aircraft Rafale Used by the French Army to attack IS positions in the Battle of Zumar in 2014.
UTE DECENTRALIZE ACADEMY
Codename Ashcan by Ouri Wesloy, Anne Simon, directed by Anne Simon, Théâtre National du Luxembourg, Luxembourg Bad Mondorf, Palace hotel. May 1945. The US Army has strictly blocked off the Palace Hotel and converted it into a socalled Interrogation Center. It shouldn’t lack NS celebrity and extravagance: Hermann Göring arrives with 16 suitcases, valet and 20,000 Paracodin pills. Göring, as well as the other important Nazi figures, from Dönitz to Speer, Frank or Streicher, are frisked out of principal—after all they are not here to enjoy the spa but are here as prisoners of war. Codename Ashcan shows a bizarre chamber drama that draws a picture of the daily craze between a exasperated attempt to maintain the belief in the old system and the disintegration into various crowds. Through the vanity, the smug arrogance and the rehearsed mentality of innocence the frequently mentioned “banality of evil” surfaces to the fullest.
I Have Never Forgotten You by Leon A. Nar, Mihalis Sionas, National Theatre of Northern Greece, Thessaloniki, Greece A musical performance about a love, which, after numerous adventures and albeit not consummated, demands justice. A work that reminds us that most of us have at some point been migrants. It honours the history of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki and reminds us that there was a time when Greek Orthodox Christians, Jews and Ottoman Muslims used to live in peace, like brothers.
Traiskirchen. The Musical by Die Schweigende Mehrheit / Tina Leisch & Bernhard Dechant, Volkstheater, Vienna, Austria In the summer of 2015, different people meet in the refugee camp Traiskirchen: refugees who are in need of protection as well as political radicals, seers and politically short-sighted people. World-wide love stories, grotesque misunderstandings and political intrigues are interwoven with a comic, bold spectacle that addresses some of the urgent issues that
Launched in 2012, the UTE Decentralized Academy enables young theatre makers from different cultural and artistic backgrounds to meet and learn from leading figures of international theatre in the context of masterclasses that take place throughout Europe. Favouring transmission and inter-cultural dialogue, the Decentralized Academy contributes to the development of links between artists of the European continent, while facilitating the exchange between young artists and great masters of our time, essential to the preservation and revitalisation of the European artistic heritage.
ELEKTRA Masterclass: Held by Csaba Antal Maly Theatre, Russia, 2015
ANTIGONE Masterclass: Held by Lydia Koniordou
The Maly Theatre in Moscow suggested a highly interesting concept for this masterclass: inviting one of the most important international stage designers and founding members Csaba Antal to give a class for teams of young directors and stage designers from Germany, Italy and Greece together with Russian actors from the Maly Theatre to work on Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s “Elektra”. At the end of the class, the participants offered a work in progress, presenting the results of their ten-day cooperation at the Ordynka venue of the Maly Theatre.
EUROPEAN OF THE YEAR Masterclass: Held by Eric de Vroedt Schauspielhaus Bochum, Germany, 2015
Eric de Vroedt, a highly-regarded international director from the Netherlands (artistic director of the National Theatre Den Haag), held this masterclass at the Schauspielhaus Bochum, where the ISO actors from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, and Israel/Palestine together with other young actors from Greece and Germany tackled the theme of the “European of the Year”. The outcome was filmed, edited, and posted online. The masterclass took place during the time of the Ruhrtriennale, which allowed the participants to see a series of performances and rehearsals of this festival, including productions by Johan Simons; Susanne Kennedy; Studio Orka; and Krzystof Warlikowski.
European Cultural Centre of Delphi In collaboration with the National Theatre of Greece | Greece, 2016
Six young actors from Italy, Hungary, Portugal and Russia and eight young actors from the National Theatre of Greece worked together with Greek director and actress Lydia Koniordou on “Antigone” by Sophocles and on the refugee crisis against the stunningly beautiful backdrop of the ancient theatre in Delphi. The participants’ tight schedule started in the morning with body exercise and voice training in an open space. That was followed by projections of ancient drama, discussions and analysis of the play over the course of the day, and ended with rehearsals in the evening. Meetings with Stathis Livathinos, artistic director of the National Theatre of Greece in Athens, dramaturg Eleni Varopoulou, and the philosopher Pavlos Kalligas were also part of the masterclass. In a public presentation the participants showed the interim result of their work in the ancient theatre of Delphi. The ancient theatre in Delphi was built in the 4th century B.C. and is usually not in use for public performances anymore because of its protected status—the National Theatre of Greece was granted a special permission to use the ancient theatre for this masterclass.
Cargo Plane Fairchild C-123 Used by the US Army for spraying Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
will affect us in the years to come. The collective Die Schweigende Mehrheit (The Silent Majority) was founded in 2015 as a multilingual and international artisticpolitical intervention group. Their aim is to rock clichés and conventions and make way for new forms of political debates.
Linien.Grenzen.Räume. Schauspiel Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany For 9 months, refugees, citizens of Stuttgart and artists of different disciplines created a performance with the topic of known and unknown spaces in a biographic and city-related context: How do I appropriate space? Which in- and exclusions do I need to make and how do we negotiate the available area? After an enacted city tour with students of architecture, writing workshops with author Sudabeh Mohafez and material experiments with visual artist Viyki Turnbull, the ensemble combined the results of their research in a production led by director Adelheid Schulz.
Hagar by kainkollektiv, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Bochum, Germany Hagar, “the strange woman”, is an equally important character in the Christian, Muslim and Jewish belief. As an Egyptian maidservant and one of Abraham’s secondary wives, she conceives Abraham’s son, Ismael, while Abraham’s wife Sara remains childless. When Sara finally gets pregnant and gives birth to Isaak, Hagar and Ismael are expelled and escape to the desert. Ismael, ancestor of the Arabs, becomes a prophet of the Islamic world, while Isaak becomes the protagonist of the Jewish and Christian world. The history of the three religions can therefore also be read as a complex family history.
CONTEMPORARY LONELINESS Masterclass: Held by Ludovic Lagarde Comédie de Reims France, 2016
Stage director, Ludovic Lagarde (also artistic director of the Comédie de Reims), brought together six young actors from Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary and Italy to work on texts by Falk Richter: monologues and choral forms; contemporary loneliness; roaming in the globalized world; attempt at a political theatre; life turned into a conflict zone for each and every one; the feeling of being strangers in a foreign country in which one will never live—these were the thematic associations that stood at the beginning of the working process. This masterclass was covered by Lucie Beraha. Read her article Finding Solutions With Ludovic Lagarde in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
Masterclass: Held by Alexandru Darie
Masterclass: Held by Oskaras Koršunovas
& Christine Hamon-Sirejols
Teatro di Roma Scuola di Perfezionamento
Maly Drama Theatre
per Attori Diplomati
This masterclass was a collaboration between the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe, the State Academic Maly Theatre of Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Culture and the State Academic Gorky Drama Theatre in Rostov-on-Don to forward the creative exchange of actors, directors and set designers from Europe and Asia, and strengthen social and artistic ties between continents. The masterclass was led by stage director Alexandru Darie, who is also the artistic director of the UTE member theatre Bulandra in Bucharest, and Christine Hamon-Sirejols, Professor Emeritus at the Sorbonne. It was targeted at young stage directors and set designers who were invited to work on the stage of the Gorky Drama Theatre with actors from the Maly Theatre and the Gorky Drama Theatre on Shakespeare’s plays on war. The final presentation of “Coriolanus” was the result of the collaboration, and was an excursion through the pages of Shakespeare’s tragedy. During the performance, the audience was engaged in the interactive performance, they followed the protagonists’ path and tried to understand,
This masterclass was implemented in collaboration with the Scuola di Perfezionamento per Attori Diplomati and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania. Young actors from the Roman Drama School as well as young European actors proposed by UTE member theatres had the opportunity to learn from each others’ different acting backgrounds under the guidance of Oskaras Koršunovas, challenging them both in an artistic as well as in a cultural way, which will help their career in a multi-faceted way. Read on in Sergio Lo Gatto’s article Korsunovas in Rome. The Queen, the Serpent, and the Refugee Inferno in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
together with the main characters, the reasoning behind human nature; the problems of moral choice; and questions of war and peace, all of which are vital subjects still today.
Bomber Northrop B-2 Used by the US Army for bombarding the Chinese embassy during the Kosovo War in 1999.
The YPAL Young Performing Art Lovers came together various times in the context of Conflict Zones / Zones de Conflit In 2015, the programme brought together YPALparticipants from Bosnia Herzegovina, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, and Romania at the TERRORisms festival in Stuttgart. In 2016, 42 young international theatre enthusiasts met at the Comédie de Reims during the Reims Scènes d’Europe festival to see shows, attend workshops and discussions, to meet and exchange with the artists presented at the festival. In 2017, Sergio Lo Gatto, one of the contributing writers for the UTE online magazine conflictzones.reviews, held a workshop for the YPALs in the context of Reims Scènes d’Europe. “Awakening the Eye” was a two-day workshop dedicated to theatre lovers who wanted to dig deeper into such a complex event as a theatrical play. Thus, the aim of this workshop was not to offer the key to an objective analysis of the play; on the contrary: it was to rediscover the importance of our very role as spectators. The 2017 YPAL activities were also documented by Lucie Beraha in her article Identity, Sexuality, Language and Power in the UTE online theatre magazine conflict-zones.reviews
YPAL is an excellent example of how spectators can take an active part in theatre, and that they can contribute to a redefinition of the audience. Initiated by Anne Goalard in 2009 in the context of the Reims Scènes d’Europe festival—a cultural event open to experienced and emergent European artists—YPAL is an international network of young spectators united by the same interest in performing arts. The objectives are to introduce a new type of collaboration between spectators and cultural structures, to contribute to the democratization of culture by making the audience the core of all events, to stimulate the exchange of ideas about theatre in Europe, to stimulate the interest in European theatre works, and to create the conditions for a debate likely to influence cultural policies. The UTE invests in the collaboration with the YPAL project to find new ways of engaging with the audience, and to promote the interest of travelling spectators.
Bomb BLU-82B “Daisy Cutter” Used by the US Army in the Battle of Tora Bora in 2001 during the War in Afghanistan.
ABOUT THE UNION DES THÉÂTRES DE L’EUROPE Regarded as one of the most influential theatre associations in Europe, the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe is also deeply rooted in the history of European theatre. Its origin goes back thirty-four years, when three theatres in Italy, France and Spain decided to form an international alliance called “Théâtres de l’Europe/Teatri d’Europa”. More and more theatres became interested in this exchange, and in 1990 the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, and the director of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Giorgio Strehler, founded the “Union des Théâtres de l’Europe” on this basis. First centred on a programme of regular festivals with the aim of uniting East and West, during the last eight years the union has developed into an alliance of European theatres combining artistic and political goals, and using existing artistic platforms in order to strengthen professional exchange and to promote an open Europe of culture. Today, the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe unites more than 40 members, including 20 major theatres with national and international influence from all over Europe and beyond. The theatres from Porto, Moscow, Bochum, Tel Aviv, Athens, Cluj, Reims, Vienna, Belgrade, Bucharest, Stuttgart, Luxembourg, Sofia, Milan, Prague, Thessaloniki, Rome, Budapest and Cologne, completed with personal and associated members from France, Hungary, Poland and Georgia are represented in 17 countries. Their goal is to collaborate on an international level and strengthen the role and value of European public theatres. Together they represent an area that increasingly encom-
passes the entire European continent and even transcends it with members in Israel, Palestine and partner artists in various Arab countries. With more than 10,000 performances and three million spectators a year, UTE member theatres offer a wide range of events, including productions, world premieres of new drama; projects on current political issues; cooperation between various international festivals; conferences on important political and artistic topics; roundtables with artists, managers and politicians intended to attract and include a broader audience; projects with young artists and young audiences; masterclasses; literary and academic publications; and think tanks for the development of new working strategies. Elected Cultural Ambassador by the European Commission in 2012, head of a project on different forms of terrorism, including Israeli, Norwegian, German, French and Serbian theatres (2013-2015), and elected as one of the most significant theatre networks to be supported by the European Commission (CONFLICT ZONES | ZONES DE CONFLIT 2014-2017), the UTE sees its mission in an artistic, political and societal sphere. Its activities go along three major axes: the development of international and transnational collaborations; the maintenance and transmission of Europe’s cultural heritage, focusing on its appropriation by young artists; and the questioning, development and renewal of this heritage through ground-breaking artistic projects, but also political projects, all of which offer a critical reflection on today’s society.
We thank all of our members and everyone who worked with us throughout these intriguing three years of Conflict Zones | Zones de Conflit!
Publisher Union des Théâtres de l’Europe 1, Boulevard Lénine 93 000 Bobigny France Director Ruth Heynen Content Ruth Heynen & Lisa Klien Editorial & Illustration sputnic - visual arts www.sputnic.tv Maps Bundesamt für Schifffahrt Print Oktoberdruck Berlin. Ökologisch, Sozial, Fair. www.oktoberdruck.de Website www.union-theatres-europe.eu Social Media www.facebook.com/ uniontheatreseurope twitter.com/UTE_officiel Online Theatre Magazine conflict-zones.reviews This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
With the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Three Years of Battle Union des Théâtres de l'Europe