The first German-European civic theatre festival debuted in 2004 at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden with the support of the Federal Cultural Foundation. Since then, civic theatre festivals have steadily gained significance in Germany’s theatre scene. Civic theatres work with non-professional actors. The Civic Theatre Festival sees itself as a showcase of high-quality participative theatre and a forum for debate about its artistic qualities and social relevance. In the previous three editions of the festival, the organisers focused on German participative theatre in terms of the programme and the target audience, but over time, European impulses have become more and more important. Like in Germany where numerous civic theatres have established a working group representing 24 member theatres under the aegis of the German Stage Association, the rise and organisation of participative theatre in other European countries has followed a similar development. The organisers had already forged contacts to their European counterparts in the three previous editions of the festival – contacts which had been activated for the project “Our Stage”. The 4th European Civic Theatre Festival had an explicitly international focus that encouraged dialogue about the forms, content and experience of civic theatre, and served to create a European network which strengthens the development of participative theatre on the whole. For this reason, the festival has cooperated with the ETC − European Theatre Convention, an association of 40 theatres from over 20 European nations which aims to concentrate more strongly on participative theatre in the coming years. Eleven productions had been selected for presentation at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden by the experienced curator Miriam Tscholl with support from a six-member European artistic council. The jury has given equal consideration to German and European independent theatre and performance productions. Some 30 artists, theatre directors and researchers of diverse disciplines from at least ten European nations had been invited to participate in workshops, lectures and discussions on artistic, social and political issues related to participation and theatre.
Artistic director: Miriam Tscholl
Artists: Anestis Azas & Prodomos Tsinikoris (GR), Jérôme Bel (FR), Nuran David Calis, Common Wealth (GB), Marta Górnicka (PL), Royston Maldoom (GB)