Schauspielhaus Graz/Austria has renewed its commitment to artist development by opening its doors to emerging artists from around the world.
The theatre is one of 6 institutions participating in the ETC Artist Residency Programme 2022, which supports one artist per theatre to accompany a production or join an artistic department for up to two months -- then attend the next ETC International Theatre Conference.
But Graz has decided to go one step further and offer eight additional applicants the chance to work and stay at their theatre, with more artists potentially joining as the year progresses.
More applications than ever
A record-breaking 171 emerging artists from over 40 countries applied for the ETC programme this year, with 43 indicating a preference to work at Schauspielhaus Graz. After a thorough search, the theatre selected Franco-German Director Magrit Coulon, a young artist who excels in stage writing. She will join the dramaturgical team at Graz in May.
But Karla Mäder, Head Dramaturg at Graz, explained that the large volume of applications from so many high-quality candidates made it difficult to make the decision. “We felt bad to let go so much talent and interest unnoticed,” she said.
She therefore decided to offer the 21 applicants to Graz that said that they could speak German the chance to stay in a theatre apartment and collaborate for a short time on a project that best suits their artistic and career needs.
The response was swift: eight applicants, from places as distinct as England, Slovenia, Hong Kong, Spain and Hungary, immediately accepted the offer of an unpaid residency.
“In the best case, this kind of exchange is beneficial for both sides: The young theatre makers can learn directly how this famous German style city theatre system works and practice their language and other skills. And we learn from them as they bring fresh ideas and sometimes a whole new culture to us” Mäder said, explaining that the work done by their 2021 artist resident, Zsofi Rebeka Kozma, had led to the theatre’s participation in a major US project on sustainable theatre.
Mäder added that Graz is also planning to offer the additional residency to a former artist resident from 2020, who unfortunately had to cut her residency short after two weeks at the start of the pandemic.
The scholarship of the Artist Residency programme includes, among other things, pocket money for the selected applicants, coverage of travel expenses and the possibility to attend the next ETC conference and therefore have the chance to establish important contacts with the member theatres.
Photo from Zitronen Zitronen Zitroen at Schauspielhaus Graz (c) Lex Karelly