The Theatre Times

The Theatre Times

World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2018: Reaching Out To The World Through Theatre

World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2018 Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will hold its annual World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2018 from April 28 to May 6, coinciding as usual with the national Golden Week holiday. In line with its slogan of “Fujinokuni (The Mt. Fuji region) and the world are connected through the performing arts,” SPAC will introduce a wide range of cutting-edge theatre programs from Japan and abroad at venues in Shizuoka City and the surrounding, wonderfully scenic area. Following on last year’s success, SPAC will also host its Open-air Performing Arts Festival under Mt. Fuji 2018 in the...

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Eurodram 2018 Honours

Eurodram – European network for drama in translation 2018 Honours – Selection of original texts Eurodram, the European network for drama in translation, is delighted to announce its 2018 selection of plays recommended for translation. These have been chosen by 282 members of 27 language committees, out of the 746 original plays received in 2017. As a point of interest, the highest number of texts were received in French, German and Serbo-Croatian. More details will be available online shortly.  العَرَبيّة / Арабский / Arabic [11] ★  عشرة مشاهد ليست عنيفة (Ten scenes not too violent / Десять сцен, не...

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Ellen Stewart Award Winner Announced: Zoukak Theatre From Lebanon

The Zoukak Theatre in Lebanon has received the 2nd Annual Ellen Stewart International Award for Theatre Artists and Companies Doing Socially Engaged Work with Youth. You can find an interview with the Zoukak Co-Founder, Maya Zbib here. You can read more about the Zoukak’s theatre work here. ELLEN STEWART INTERNATIONAL AWARD The Ellen Stewart Internation Award, named for La MaMa founder Ellen Stewart, celebrates her remarkable lifetime achievements in the theatre and her dedication to creating, “A world theatre which embraces all traditions and cultural identities.”  Through the theatre, countless younger people were inspired by Ellen Stewart as artists and...

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Interview With Heidi Wiley On The Creation Of European Theatre Convention (ETC)

Heidi Wiley: With the creation of ETC, its founders wanted to establish a new form for international collaboration and artistic exchange between European theatres. Recently, Ukrainian theatrical space has begun a slow, but irreversible depressurization. Despite all the complexities and inertia of the post-Soviet system of organizing theatrical affairs, our theater moves slowly towards integration into the European theatrical process and revealing itself on the international artistic map. One of the markers of integration processes in the theater was the presence of network theater organizations that began to show interest in our local affairs, even lobby for theatrical reforms...

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Syrian Dancers Perform Show About Refugees and Migration in Berlin

A group of Syrian dancers is going on tour across Germany with a show that tells of the plight that made them flee their homeland and of the hopes they have for the future. In Come as You Are — directed by Berlin-based choreographer Nir de Volff — the three refugees recount how the war in Syria started, their escape and journey through Europe and what it is like finding their dancing feet in a new country. “In 10 years, Syrians will lead some German companies. Syrians will be the directors of German theatres and Syrian musicians will play...

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Kwame Kwei-Armah Has Been Named New Artistic Director Of The Young Vic

“You’re told you can’t do this. I’ve tried to go: yes we can.” The new artistic director of the Young Vic in London will break the arts glass ceiling for African-Caribbeans. It’s a role he has performed before in Baltimore, making theatre about police violence and experiencing the “rage” gripping the US. Kwame Kwei-Armah’s imposing face has just been splashed all over the news. Last week he was appointed the artistic director of Young Vic in London, one of Britain’s most prestigious theaters. It’s a great job, make no mistake. But there was something more to it than that. He is...

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“Seven Plays of Koffi Kwahulé: In and Out of Africa” Is Made Available To Anglophone Audiences

The work of renowned Ivoirian playwright Koffi Kwahulé has been translated into some 15 languages and is performed regularly throughout Europe, Africa, and the Americas. For the first time, Seven Plays of Koffi Kwahulé: In and Out of Africa makes available to an Anglophone audience some of the best and most representative plays by one of Francophone Africa’s most accomplished living playwrights. Kwahulé’s theater delves into both the horror of civil war in Africa and the diasporic experience of peoples of African origin living in Europe and the “New World.” From the split consciousness of the protagonist and rape victim in Jaz to the careless...

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Hazem Shebl Appointed Vice President Of Prestigious International Theatre Organization

The International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT) has appointed Egyptian scenographer Hazem Shebl as vice president and a member of its board of directors till 2021. The announcement was made at the current World Stage Design (WSD) 2017 event in Taipei, Taiwan, where Shebl’s set design for the Egyptian play El-Selem Wel Teaban (Snakes and Ladders) was exhibited. The OISTAT was founded in Prague in 1968 as a global network for “specialist practitioners, educators, and researchers who shape, challenge, and imagine elements, events, and environments for the live performing arts,” as stated on their website. Sharing...

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“The Ridiculous Darkness” Is An Instruction Manual For Reality

For the first time, The Ridiculous Darkness by Wolfram Lotz will be staged twice in Brazil. For the 2017 Palco Giratório theatre festival, the directors Camilo de Lelis and Alexandre Dill are each putting their interpretation of the play on stage in a first for Brazil. The Ridiculous Darkness exposes our inability to accept those who do not live according to Western standards. As Sartre said, “Hell is just – other people.” Can the problem be solved and can theatre help solve it? Wolfram Lotz: I think so. But I guess it’s not helpful to think that it’s just...

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Berlin Turkish Theater Festival Kicks Off

The Berlin Turkish Theater Festival kicked off on July 1, 2017 in the German capital, Berlin. Hosted by Tiyatro28 and under the sponsorship of Turkey’s Berlin Consulate General, the 2nd Berlin Turkish Theater Festival will last until July 9. The festival kicked off with Palto, The Overcoat adapted to theater from the story of Nikolai V. Gogol with the same name. Directed by Mine Acar, the play features an officer, played by Kadri Özcan, whose coat, which did not come to him easily, is stolen. On July 5, the solo play by Müfit Can Saçıntı, Lafını Esirgemeyenler (Those Who Don’t...

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“Cast Off All Shame” Brings Female Bhakti Poets to Present Day

Ulka Mayur’s Cast Off All Shame re-imagines four female bhakti poets in a modern-day avatar to address problems faced by contemporary women. Women bhakti poets like Janabai, Lal Ded, Soyarabai and Akka Mahadevi were not only the earliest feminists in India but also challenged the patriarchal norms of society through their songs, poems and ways of life. They used poetry as a means to define their own truths and break societal rules and stereotypes. Actor, writer and director Ulka Mayur pays an ode to the spirit of these women through her new solo theatre production Cast Off All Shame that premieres this evening. The play begins with medieval bhakti poet Janabai coming alive and taking on the role of an agony aunt to today’s women who have often been body shamed and slut shamed. What follows is a theatre experience punctuated with soulful bhakti poetry of Akka Mahadevi, Awaiyyar, Lal Ded and Soyarabai and tongue-in-cheek observations. Even as Janabai straddles two epochs alluding to marginalized women, bhakti poets and mainstream viral comments, the show strikes a balance between the literary and entertainment. Mayur, who has written and directed Cast Off All Shame, says, “I got the idea for the play when I was research[ing] bhakti poets earlier this year. I was fascinated by the free spirit of these women. Usually, whenever we think about bhakti poets, the emphasis is usually on the...

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“Voices From Chernobyl” – Adaptation of The Book by Nobel Winning Author Svetlana Alexievich

These people had already seen what for everyone else is still unknown. I felt like I was recording the future. – Svetlana Alexievich, Voices from Chernobyl This narrative by Svetlana Alexievich, translated by Keith Gessen, tells about how an explosion destroys a reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Station. As the government tries to cover up the catastrophe, people carry on with their lives as if nothing had happened, all the while inhaling radioactive waste hanging above their heads. The play, which was produced by the Tenere Arte and which opened at the Cockpit Theatre in London, is an adapted version of...

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Egypt Ministry of Culture Signs Agreement with DMC Channel to Film Plays

The Artistic Theatre House has announced that Ahmed Taha, director of the new DMC Masrah (DMC Theatre) satellite television channel, met with Egyptian Minister of Culture Helmy El-Namnam to cement a protocol between the two entities on filming and documenting national theatre productions. The plays in question are those produced by national theatre institutions in Cairo and other cities, including works by professionals and amateurs alike. El-Namnam has already approved the channel to start video documentation of plays presented by the Artistic Theatre House troupes, El-Hanager Center troupes, Creativity Center troupes, Culture Palaces troupes, and Folk Art House troupes....

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Eifman Ballet Set to Tour North America

The Boris Eifman Ballet Theater kicks off a new tour in the U.S. and Canada on May 11, and will perform in seven cities to celebrate its 40th anniversary, RIA Novosti reports. The tour includes the legendary ballet “Red Giselle” – the story of a Russian ballerina, Olga Spessivtseva, from the early 20th century  – with new choreography and a novel performance of “Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA.” “We will introduce the original and successful choreographic repertoire of contemporary Russia to North America and Canada. We will again to prove to Western audiences that Russian ballet is more than just...

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Istanbul Theaters to Offer a Multitude of Star-Studded Programs

With seven plays that include adaptations from world-renowned playwrights, Istanbul City Theaters has a very rich performance program in store for audiences this week The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s City Theaters will raise their curtains for seven plays during the last week of April. Viewers will have the chance to see Turkish adaptations of numerous foreign plays from countries around the world. The plays will be Ben Çağırmadım (Blithe Spirit), İki Arada Bir Yerde (No Man’s Land), Şekerpare, Yangın Yerinde Orkideler (Orchids in the Ruins of a Fire), Cibali Karakolu (A Wedding Night), Martı (Seagull) and Aldatma (Betrayal). Ben Çağırmadım...

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Polish Director, Michal Znaniecki, in Argentina, on Globalization of Art

Polish stage director on his version of Dallapiccola’s Volo di notte and Il Prigioniero at the Colón. Last Fall, the Colón presented a Luigi Dallapiccola diptych including Volo di notte, based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Vol de nuit about doomed commercial night flights based at an Argentine airport in the 1930s, and Il Prigioniero, based on Villiers de l’Isle-Adam’s Torture by Hope. Polish stage director Michal Znaniecki took Dallapiccola’s critique of fascism and gave it a local twist, employing choreography and flying dancers as metaphors for the infamous angels of death of the Argentine military dictatorship. In an interview...

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Theatre Adaptation of “The Forty Rules of Love” Opens at Cairo’s Salam Theatre

The highly anticipated Arabic stage adaptation of Elif Shafak’s bestselling novel The Forty Rules of Love opened at Cairo’s El-Salam Theatre. The play is directed by Adel Hassan and was adapted by Rasha Abdel Moneim, with Yasmine Emam and Khairy El-Fakharany. The Forty Rules of Love centres on Ella Rubenstein who starts working for a literary agency and is given a book named ‘Sweet Blasphemy’ by Aziz Zahara, about the ancient Sufi mystic Jalaluddin El-Rumi and how he met and was influenced by Shams of Tabriz. Ella’s life is mirrored in the book, as she embraces its timeless wisdom,...

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The Festival Internationale Neue Dramatik (FIND) Opened in Shaubuhne Theater in Berlin

The Festival Internationale Neue Dramatik (FIND) just closed in Shaubuhne Theater in Berlin. From March 30 to April 9, 16 productions from all over the world were seen, which in their own way deal with the Festival theme “Democracy and Tragedy.” European and Western democracies find themselves in a severe process of radical change: national bankruptcies, an evergrowing influence of economic interests and lobbying on political decision-making, the increasing gulf between the rich and the poor, unemployment, terrorism, scarcity of resources and the reversion to nationalism and right-wing populism threaten social harmony, solidarity and open borders. Against the backdrop of...

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An India Classic Revisited: Waman Kendre’s “Mohe Piya”

Going beyond the usual Ghatothkach’s story, Waman Kendre’s Mohe Piya brings to fore the utter indifference he and his mother faced at the hands of Pandavas. While staging a classic an imaginative stage director needs to recreate and reinterpret it to reflect contemporary sensibility. Prof. Waman Kendre, Director of National School of Drama, is endowed with a rare insight to produce classics, not as a museum piece but to discover elements that appeal to the modern audience. His production Mohe Piya, a recreation of Bhasa’s Sanskrit classic Madhyam Vyayoga for Rangpeeth, Mumbai which featured at the Bharat Rang Mahotsav...

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“Love And Other Demons” Tells A Haunting Tale Through Magical Realism

The opera, which is based on a short story by Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, finally premiered in Budapest. This winter, the Hungarian State Opera presented the opera, composed by Péter Eötvös as the first production of the new year. Love and Other Demons, which is Péter Eötvös’s fifth opera, was commissioned by the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, was composed in cooperation with Kornél Hamvai, whose multilingual libretto (constructed with elements of Yoruba, Latin, and Spanish, in addition to English) is based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story of the same name. Although the opera is based on Márquez’s story, and the story...

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