"Even though our biannual Theatre Festival NEW PLAYS FROM EUROPE has put on its agenda the presentation of the diversity of contemporary European playwriting and therefore did not set up a leitmotif for itself, you might realise after having seen all the contributions of the festival that there are no lines, but dots, and if you link these dots by lines, the European playwriting emerges in a shape and its basic pattern is clearly a political one". Thus Manfred Beilharz describes the Theatre biennale's programme at the occasion of the press conference.
The largest festival worldwide dedicated solely to contemporary drama was founded by Manfred Beilharz and playwright Tankred Dorst in Bonn, Germany, in 1992. After its overwhelming success in 2004, the festival will take place for the second time at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. 29 performances from 22 European countries are presented, some of the plays written by internationally successful authors such as Biljana Srbljanovic (Serbia and Montenegro), Jaan Tätte (Estonia) or Mark Ravenhill (United Kingdom) and productions by highly acclaimed directors like Johan Simons (The Asylum Seeker) and Árpád Schilling (BLACKland).
But first of all, NEW PLAYS FROM EUROPE is regarded as an incubator for playwrights, directors and companies from Europe who are on the verge to international fame and can be discovered here.
All performances are shown in their original language and are translated simultaneously into German. Most of the productions are presented in Germany for the first time.
In its research the festival relies on an unparalleled European-wide network: in each of 39 countries a renowned playwright takes over the patronship for his or her country, suggests new plays to the Artistic Directors (Manfred Beilharz, Tankred Dorst, Ursula Ehler and Markus Bothe) and represents the invited productions in Wiesbaden.
As they have done in the past, the Artistic Directors have followed the patrons} recommendations and travelled across Europe in order to select the programme.
As in past editions of NEW PLAYS FROM EUROPE, the programme features performances of high quality from former Yugoslavian countries: Dejan Dukovskis The Other Side (Macedonia), Andrej Skubic Fuzine Blues (Slovenia) and Locusts (Serbia and Montenegro). On the other hand productions from Hungary, Slovenia, Czechia and Poland illustrate the cultural diversity of central Europe - whereas West, North and East are represented by plays from Portugal, Finland, Norway and Russia.
Theatre highlights from Germany's neighbours are France's Joel Pommerat with Au monde - At the world's view - a playwright and director who will be specially featured at this year's festival in Avignon.
From The nymphs (Netherlands) by Peer Wittenbols via Emma Dante}s Sicilian worlds in My life (Italy) to János Terey}s Nibelungs} residency (Hungary) spreads the invited production's aesthetic range. The play We.Selfidentification from Belarus reflects the situation of confrontation in this particular country.
Cyprus is going to be presented at NEW PLAYS FROM EUROPE for the very first time - together with two productions from Greece and Turkey a theatrical document of issues that drive the cultural landscape in Europe's southeast.
The festival is not only present on all venues of the Hessisches Staatstheater but as well in unique locations within the city of Wiesbaden, such as the former police headquarters. The additional programme in the festival tent in the park on the rear side of the theatre offers public lectures, symposia and public discussions with playwrights and numerous national and international guests. NEW PLAYS FROM EUROPE also is a workshop festival: the FORUM FOR YOUNG EUROPEAN PLAYWRIGHTS already is an acknowledged institution, which will be amended by a translator's seminar run by the ITI plus a German-French seminar on dramaturgy.
Artistic directors: Manfred Beilharz, Tankred Dorst, Ursula Ehler, Markus Bothe
Artists: 65 European playwrights and theatre groups
Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden