'Room Rumours' Classroom Performance © Arno Kohlem


by Matin Soofipour Omam

Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Germany)

In the beginning was the word. Which word? Who decides and who then speaks that word? In a classroom, the answer is usually simple: the teacher takes the floor, the class listens, speaks when being asked, and the curriculum determines the topics. In the process, many of the students' thoughts and questions remain unspoken.
With this interactive classroom play, Matin Soofipour Omam has invented a theatre game which sends two actors* and a class of students on a journey of discovery. They encounter stories that would otherwise have no place in a classroom, find common as well as their own languages, and thus create this play together.
Theatre-maker Matin Soofipour Omam has written an equally playful and poetic piece. She asks questions about power and responsibility, traces the effect of words and tells stories from her classroom. A play that was written especially for school classes and cannot be performed without them.

Written by Matin Soofipour Omam
Directed by Lydia Ziemke / suite42

Dramaturgy: Mona vom Dahl
Mentor: Dounia Mahammed
Costumes: Cennet Aydoğan
Theatre Pedagogy: Pascal Grupe
With Pascal Grupe/Hadeer Hando, Laman Leane Israfilova

Recommended for ages 12+

'What's Up!' Classroom Performance © Bara Podola


by Tereza Trusinová

Slovak National Theatre - Drama Ensemble (Slovakia)

"What are you coming up with today?"
One classroom, a bus to school, a therapeutic clinic, and two teenagers. Šimon and Zoja. Classmates. Besties. Their lives. Interwoven and separate. They have known each other for a long time. But do they know each other well? Themselves and each other? It's hard to say. They are beginning to think that perhaps not. What happens next, and what to do about it? Every person experiences a certain identity crisis in their youth. Adolescence is a struggle, a feeling of helplessness and uncertainty about the future.
Such moments can be quick and harmless, but they can also result in deeper mental health problems. It's important not to be afraid to ask for help when needed. After all, no one is alone.
The author based her play on interviews with several professional capacities but also on a field survey among people aged 14-17.

Written by Tereza Trusinová
Directed by Robert Roth
Dramaturgy: Mário Drgoňa
Mentor: Dino Pešut
Set & Costume: Jana Němečková
Cast: Alexandra Lukáčová, Kristóf Melecsky

Recommended for ages 14+

'(Surviving) The Substitute Lesson' Classroom Performance © Meilina Rudolf


By Emel Aydoğdu

Junges! Staatstheater Braunschweig (Germany)

The substitute teacher introduces herself. Her own identity becomes the content of the lesson, due to a mysterious guest. What makes us who we are? How did we get that way? Young author Emel Aydoğdu writes for a teen audience. She writes about life from her perspective and explores the question of what language does to people, how people are shaped by society, and that sometimes the unsaid weighs heavier than the said.
Based on a personal story, something larger than one's own experience unfolds; written for a classroom, it takes place there as well. Here, different native languages meet, and in the foreground is a person who teaches, reports, portrays, and in the process discovers something for himself.

Written by Emel Aydoğdu
Directed by Nazlı Saremi
Dramaturgy: Josef Bäcker
Mentor: Patty Kim Hamilton
Stage & Costume Design: Shayenne Di Martino

Recommended for ages 12+

'Little Stars' Classroom Performance © Peter Uhan


By Jaka Smerkolj Simoneti

Slovene National Theatre Nova Gorica (Slovenia)

During the main break, after an uninspired lecture from the school psychologist Mrs. Kavka, an incident occurs between two high school students. At first glance, the circumstances seem unclear. Oto, a brilliant athlete, is left with a fractured orbital rim. Miki, a model student is the obvious culprit. Through their conversations and the conversations with the school psychologist, the background of the dispute is slowly revealed, and it goes beyond the mere eruption of teenage violence.
The play doesn’t thematise the violence itself, but searches for its causes: the feeling of powerlessness, peer bullying, body image issues, sexual identity, societal pressure, and similar.
Somewhere beyond the classrooms, hallways and school walls, an intimate relationship develops between Miki and Oto, one they perhaps never expected.
Caught between the expectations of others and their own desires they try to hold onto this island of freedom, convinced it would not survive the collision with the world. In doing so, they encounter those who were supposed to help them navigate, but who cannot come up with a thing more helpful than the mantra “little stars, little stars, help me.”

Written by Jaka Smerkolj Simoneti
Directed by Živa Bizovičar
Translation: Barbara Skubic
Dramaturgy: Nik Žnideršič
Mentor: Dino Pešut
Music: Gašper Lovrec
Stage Design & Video: Dorian Šiško
Cast: Marjuta Slamič, Gašper Lovrec, Jakob Šfiligoj

Recommended for ages 15+

'FAT' Classroom Performance © Theodora Iaokovou


By Zoe Apostolidou

Cyprus Theatre Organisation (Cyprus)

Frixos has been dealing with pressure in school and at home because of his weight, often hides behind screens to make friends, has to deal with his mom’s incessant comments and attempts to make him thin, and sometimes avoids going to places or doing things. He feels fine with himself, and his health is good, but this doesn’t seem to matter to others, who only see a fat person in him, with all the prejudices this entails (him being lazy, of bad health, disorganised etc.). What will this lead to?

Written by Zoe Apostolidou
Directed by Elena Sokratous
Dramaturgy: Marina Maleni & Kiki Argyrou
Mentor: Mohammad Al Attar

Recommended for ages 12-18

'GUTZ' Classroom Performance © Elisa Von Brockdroff


By Kurt Gabriel Meli & Alex Weenink

Teatru Malta (Malta)

Jack has been sneaking into his old high school all year. Why? Because the canteen’s sausage rolls are the best, obviously. That’s not the only reason. In those classrooms, Jack fell in love with James...before a big argument split them apart.
In those classrooms, Ms Stefania was building him up...all while Ms Ciangura was tearing him down. Jack has been sneaking into his old high school all year. Why? Because he’s wondering why he never had the guts to say what he needed to say in those fucking classrooms.
GUTZ is a coming-of-age classroom play for post-secondary schools (16+) that explores young people’s relationships with power, shame and the act of standing up and speaking out against the louder voices in our lives.

Written by Kurt Gabriel Meli & Alex Weenink
Directed by Chantelle Micallef Grimaud
Dramaturgy: Ruth Borg
Mentor: Dounia Mahammad
Education: Karl Cassar

Recommended for ages 16+

'Hassan & Moses' Classroom Performance © Jan Hoek


By Tomer Pawlicki

De Toneelmakerij (The Netherlands)

Hassan and Moses are best friends. At school, they have a ritual together. Every break, they go out for fries together at the cafeteria near school. Their gimmick is that Moses always
brings his own jar of mayonnaise, because it’s cheaper, and Hassan gladly joins in. One day, they make a TikTok showing how much this saves them in the long run and how many extra fries they can buy for it. Their video is a hit, and they go viral. They keep making TikToks, and call themselves the Mayo Brothers.

Written by Tomer Pawlicki
Directed by Timothy de Gilde
Translation: Purni Morell
Dramaturgy & Mentor: Paulien Geerlings
Mentor: Mohammad Al Attar
Education: Martien Langman

Recommended for ages 12+


By Olya Voronkova

Belarus Free Theatre & Young Vic (Belarus/UK)

Dasha and Mikita meet at a refugee centre in Poland. They share a complex and fear-filled experience of fleeing from the horrors of war in Ukraine. Dasha can’t find her grandma, who went looking for their cat that ran away from the centre. Mikita steps in to help, marking the beginning of a relationship that unfolds in London where they both try to settle. Can one truly start a new life after losing everything?
The play examines the emotional and psychological challenges faced by young refugees, underscoring the importance of support systems in the healing process and highlighting the pervasive loneliness that often accompanies it. Their together is not just about finding a new life in London, but also about grappling with deep- seated trauma. Together, they navigate this challenging process, highlighting the ups and downs of coping and the fragile hope for recovery.

Written by Olya Voronkova
Directed by Shauchuk Yuliya
Dramaturgy: Nikolai Khalezin (BFT) & Teunkie van der Sluijs (Young Vic)
Assistant Director: Raman Shytsko
Cast: Taisa Piatrova, Raman Shlykau
Music composer: Volha Padhaiskaya
Mentor: Patty Kim Hamilton

Recommended for ages 16-18

Supported by

Young Europe IV is co-funded by the European Union. 


This initiative is generously supported by the Art Explora - Académie des Beaux-Arts European Award.

YEIV Classroom Play ‘Little Stars’ © Luka Seme / SNG Nova Gorica / ETC

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