Volume 1

Belarus in London

In many ways, for the inaugural issue of European Stages, there might be no company more ideal for analysis than the Belarus Free Theatre. Founded in 2005 by three artists—Natalia Kaliada, Nicolai Khalezin, and Vladimir Shcherban—then based in Belarus, …

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Miroslav Krleza’s “In Agony” at the Residenztheater München

Those in whom memory lives on bring down upon themselves

the wrath of others who can continue to live only by forgetting.

                                                                               W. G. Sebald, Campo Santo

Miroslav Krleza (1893-1981), one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, …

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Modern Polish Theatre in Search of a Radical Language

How do you create a language that describes modern-day reality and write a text that can reflect this reality’s complexity on stage? This is likely the biggest challenge facing every playwright in recent years. Of course, I am not referring …

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Less Coal, More Art for Germany’s Ruhr Valley

The Ruhrfestspiele in the town of Recklinghausen is not one of Germany’s largest theatre festivals, but it is one of the oldest. In the aftermath of World War II, theatres in Hamburg were faced with the prospect of having to …

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The 2013 Sirenos Theatre Festival, Lithuanian Showcase

Now in its tenth year, the Lithuanian Showcase at the Sirenos Theatre Festival invites international spectators to experience the best of contemporary theatre in the country. The original impetus of Sirenos in 2004 was to bridge artistic relations between east …

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Barcelona: Making Theatre at a Time of Crisis

Scorched has been doing the rounds on the world festival circuit for a decade now. The Lebanese Canadian Wajdi Mouawad’s play is a contemporary Oedipus Rex refracted through the prisms of globalization and conflicts in the Middle East. Oriol Broggi, …

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Report from Belarus: West Side Story

The highlight of my trip to Minsk this summer was West Side Story at the Belarus State Musical Theatre (BSMT). Having flown in to see a performance of the show on 27 May 2013, a little over a year after …

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Akademia Ruchu: Against the Marginalization of the Art Discourse

The emergence of the artistic approach represented by Akademia Ruchu was related to a process of “theatricalization of the plastic arts” taking place in minimalism. Michael Fried, an advocate of modernism, originally diagnosed and described the process with the intention …

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The 2013 Theatertreffen

2013 was a very special year for the Berlin Theatertreffen, the annual festival presenting the outstanding works from the previous year presented in the German-speaking world. In 2013 this festival, one of the outstanding annual theatre events in Europe, celebrated …

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This is Not Chopin

My first exposure to Chopin’s two Piano Concertos was recent: listening to the Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son playing on a nineteenth century Erard piano with Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the eighteenth century. I later listened to Artur Rubenstein’s recordings …

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Quo Vadis? The Current State of German Theatre

German theatre is in a crisis which might be summed up as follows: how to remain up-to-date and “relevant” to an audience whose perceptions and attention spans have been fundamentally shaped by the speed of cyber- communication in a world …

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Sofi Oksannen’s Purge around the Baltic Sea

Since the beginning of the 1990s and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the contacts around the Baltic Sea have been rapidly increasing. Earlier some prominent Baltic theatre directors had already become well-known names in Finland and in other Nordic …

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Madrid Theatre Opens Its Doors to Spain’s Living Playwrights

New Policy at the María Guerrero

In past issues of WES, I have overtly lamented the relative absence of living Spanish playwrights from Madrid’s public stages: the National Drama Center (CDN) and the municipal Teatro Español [WES 12.1, Winter 2000; …

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In Search of the Author’s Voice: The Strindberg Project, a Performance by The Cullberg Ballet (2012)

The year 2012 marked the centennial of August Strindberg’s death. His persona and artistry held center stage in the many productions commemorating the poetics of one of the founding fathers of European modernism. For the Swedish Cullberg Ballet this was …

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