Volume 5

Avignon the 69th Festival, July 4 to 25, 2015: Discovery Beyond The Classics

In 2014, the 68th Festival d’Avignon, for the first time under artistic direction of Olivier Py, managed to survive both the strikes by part-time cultural workers (the “intermittents”) who fought to close down a number of shows as well …

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The 2015 Oslo International Festival at Black Box Theatre

The Oslo International Festival, now in its seventh year, has established itself as a vital destination on the experimental performance circuit. The festival and Black Box Theatre, which runs the event, serve a critical function in Norway’s performing arts community. …

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Troubling Cross-Currents in the Budapest National Theatre

The National Theatre in Budapest has been troubled by political and cultural cross-currents for the past years, which have left temporary marks on its audience, repertoire, and stagings as well as long-term marks on its physical structure. Let us begin …

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A Feminist Tuberculosis Melodrama: Melek by Theatre Painted Bird

Founded in 2000 by Jale Karabekir and Zeynep Kaçar, Tiyatro Boyalı Kuş (Theatre Painted Bird) is Turkey’s pioneer feminist theatre and performance company. The group is primarily known for their deconstructive interpretations of plays from the Turkish and Western European …

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Nachtasyl at the Berliner Schaubühne: A Radical View of Gorky’s The Lower Depths

Nachtasyl directed by Michael Thalheimer. Photo credit: Katrin Ribbe.

Nachtasyl was received as a radical sensation when it premiered in Moscow in December 1902 under the co-direction of Nemirovich-Danchenko and Stanislawsky and performed by the ensemble of the Moscow Art Theatre. Stanislawsky himself played Satin, one of the denizens …

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From Spectacular to Minimalist: Four Plays in Madrid, April 2015

During a brief visit to Madrid in April 2015, I saw four plays. They ranged from a spectacular production at the Teatro Español’s Matadero of Fernando Arrabal’s latest work, Pingüinas, to a surprisingly moving one-woman reading of Itziar Pascual’s Variaciones

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European productions at Montreal’s Transamériques Festival 2015

Montreal’s Festival Transamériques has a new director, Martin Faucher, actor, director, teacher, administrator and artistic consultant to the festival since 2006. For his first festival, his program choices in dance and theater proved to be every bit as exciting and …

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Childish or Adult? Recent Productions in Germany

Many theatre festivals in Germany make headlines in the national and international press. The biennial Augenblick mal! (a rough translation might be “Just a moment!”), whose program this year not only featured top German productions but also workshops, seminars and …

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Russian Drama in Finland

The political tensions that have recently developed between Russia and the West have had an impact on the reception of Russian culture and theatre in Finland. Over the past year, Finnish theatre companies and particularly the Finnish National Theatre have …

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The 2015 Theatertreffen

Warum läuft Herr T. Amok

The international popularity of the annual Berlin Theatre festival, the Theatertreffen, continues to grow, and so does the demand for the limited number of seats, especially when productions are presented in a small venue, or, in the case of Castorf’s…

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Spain: Engaging with la Crisis Through Theatre

Juan Carlos Rubio’s Las heridas del viento

Juan Carlos Rubio has had quite a hit with Las heridas del viento [The Wounds of the Wind]. The play first premiered over a decade ago at Miami’s Teatro 8, in a production …

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Life and Death in the Emergency Room: Linus Tunström’s Faust 1 at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden

Swedish director Linus Tunström’s new staging of the first part of Goethe’s Faust at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden insightfully moves the text into the twenty-first century. Much has been made of the director’s “outsider” status as a non-German director and the …

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