GERMANY / 2021

Patty Kim Hamilton – Sex Play

The text proposed by Deutsches Theater Berlin / Germany was a selection of ETC Drama Committee

Patty Kim Hamilton’s SEX PLAY portrays with talent the increasingly complicated topics of human sexuality and gender identities, as well as the stress, frustration and sometimes violence these topics carry. Its contemporary composition and structure give a voice to an undefined number of characters in a series of situations and conversations, in which the author combines a very delicate balance between poetry and realistic, humorous writing, with organic and believable dialogues.

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CZECH REPUBLIC / 2021

Ondřej Novotný – The Father Watches Over the Daughter

The text proposed by National Theatre Prague / Czech Republic was a selection of ETC Drama Committee

Ondřej Novotný‘s Father Looks After Daughter is a play built around a young father taking his pre-school daughter for a walk in a park and to the playground. The play tackles intergenerational dialogue, with dynamic situations and very natural interactions between the different characters. The diversity of those characters and the polyphonic structure of the play contribute to creating a particular atmosphere, while the insertion of the main protagonist’s lines brings a subtle and well-mastered touch of poetry.

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THE NETHERLANDS / 2021

Casper Vanderputte – Sweet Sixteen

The play proposed by de Toneelmakerij / The Netherlands was a selection of ETC Drama Committee

Casper Vanderputte's Sweet Sixteen is a powerful play on a most relevant and difficult subject, suicide at a young age. It is convincing in concept, structure and language, with well-written dialogues. It speaks from a unique perspective, thus creating a magical, but still vivid story-world. It has been written for a young audience as a classroom play but can certainly be adapted to different settings and captivate adult audiences as well.

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ecology  |  corruption  |  full text  |  pipelines

MALTA / 2022

Simone Spiteri – Wolf/Sheep

The fuel industry is fueled by corruption, corruption fuels the fuel company. Corruption fuels us all and we fuel it back. Even if we don't think we do, or refuse to accept that we do. Wolf/Sheep is a play about this vicious cycle: a massive iceberg, not its tip ... we all know who those people up there are, but its base is Us. You. Me. And how we all, by doing nothing or thinking there is nothing to do, have allowed these things to happen. Things of all sorts: the trivial, the inconsequential, but the horrific too.

Malta loves a nationwide blackout. Despite very recent state-of-the-art new fuel storage systems. But lack of actual light every now and then is not the only thing keeping us in the dark. Allegorical, satirical, political ... the play evaluates, observes and pushes the limits of a country (perhaps a world?) that can be as surreal as it is confused, noisy, passive, passionate and chaotic. Ultimately, we are all anesthetized, by the wolf, maybe? But the real question is what kind of fuel is our new opium and who are the real wolves and the real sheep?

The play will premiere at Teatru Malta in the season 2022/2023.

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ecology  |  full text  |  pipelines

ALBANIA / 2021

Elsa Demo – Grayish Green Into Black

One winter day, an oil well bursts, in the triangle between the houses, the village cemetery and the ghost cinema. The house, the cemetery, the cinema, come as witnesses of a time that is older than the one the contemporary family lives in. Thus times join the wings, the past echoes the present, places echo people to say that the need for survival controls and challenges the spiritual needs within people of same kin, who are also the miniature of a polarized society.

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ecology  |  full text  |  pipelines

AUSTRIA / 2022

Magdalena Schrefel – What ignites, what burns

In the subsoil of Europe, a branched circulatory system of crude oil is relaxing. Pipelines run through the continent like lifelines and fuel our hunger for energy. Despite all efforts, global oil production has increased continuously over the past fifty years. Nothing, it seems, can stop the catastrophic cycle.

"What ignites, what burns" is about two young women who try anyway. The Kleist Prize winner Magdalena Schrefel has taken on the Austrian part and designed a theatrical road movie along the Adria-Vienna pipeline. It shows the journey of its two heroines across Austria and the endless expanses of the Internet and describes their encounters with climate activists, various eccentric figures of the fossil age and their radicalization: How can narrative means blow up a pipeline?

The play premiered in Schauspielhaus Graz in January 2022, staged by German director Marie Bues.

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SLOVENIA / 2019

Simona Hamer – Everything OK

The text proposed by Slovensko Narodno Gledalisce Nova Gorica (Slovenia) was a selection of ETC Drama Committee

Everything OK, by Slovenian playwright Simona Hamer, explores the topics of (un)employment, (im)migration, discrimination and racism, patriarchy, mental health, ageism, and loneliness through three intertwined storylines. The author explains: “For me, the play Everything OK is an x-ray of all the broken bones of today’s society and an invitation to recovery.”

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war  |  devised theatre  |  ukraine  |  full text

UKRAINE / 2021

Evangelos Kosmidis – Alaska

The text proposed by  Dakh Theatre – Centre of Contemporary Arts (Ukraine) was a selection of ETC Drama Committee

Alaska, by Greek stage director and author Evangelos Kosmidis, is a play and work in progress performance created as part of Dakh Theatre/Gogolfest’s Marathon of International Residencies in Mariupol (Ukraine) in 2021. While the play’s idea originated in Greece, it is only after arriving in Mariupol that the author managed to realise it, through research, interviews and devising work with his actors, members of the first theatre school-studio of Mariupol. While written before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Mariupol has been a city marked by war, near the front zone since 2014.

The play includes real thoughts and comments from the children and teenagers who faced the war, who went through all the horror, the children who lost their relatives and lost the opportunity to see them. Their monologues about love, friendship, loneliness, war… are combined with texts by Roland Bart, John Green, Sibylle Berg, Elise Wilk, Jorge Bucay, Maria Polidouri, Kostas Kariotakis, Pinelopi Delta and Evangelos Kosmidis himself. The author adds: “Alaska can be a message of peace and a warning to the world”.

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THE NETHERLANDS / 2020

Abdelkader Benali – Hamlet

Abdelkader Benali and dramaturg Paulien Geerlings situated 'the ultimate revenge tragedy' within the context of a (fictionalized) highly-segregated neighbourhood in Amsterdam New-West, where the local people are juxtaposed against the real estate elite.

Shakespeare's classic was thereby interwoven with the modern world of influencers, climate critics and criminal money. The text, however, closely follows the dramaturgy and plot development of the original. Hamlet returns from his private school, to his old migrant neighborhood and finds himself in a new world. The streets of his childhood have been swept away by the world of money. Values have been replaced by status. His father has ‘disappeared’ and his mother has remarried his uncle. An enormous construction site makes up the physical centre of this polarized environment and social housing has to make way for a sky-high luxury building for the rich and famous which his uncle is building. In doing so, he will only further widen the gap between people of different classes and cultures.

Download an overview of the play and the author below, including an extract in English and the full play in the original language.

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war  |  employment  |  migration

CZECH REPUBLIC / 2021

Marie Nováková – Landscape with Warehouses

The border area in the westernmost part of the Czech Republic is a turbulent place where people didn’t get a chance to stay for any longer period and put down roots.

Maciej from Poland thus finds a close soul in Greta, a dead German girl who fell victim to the hostility of the Czechs towards the Germans in the post-war period. Marika, an elderly prostitute who is seeing a Bosnian worker, Danilo, at the barracks, finds among the workers a child born twenty-five years ago of whom she lost track after his placement in a care home. The annual gathering of retired border-guard soldiers is interrupted by a ghost of their former comrade, who mercilessly destroys their long-developed cover legend about brave guardians of the republic. Danilo, broken down and tortured by the heavy work, is freed by a horde of Bashkirian warriors who died in a prison camp during WWI and are buried underneath the logistics warehouses. But Christmas is coming, and the workers must keep working so that gifts are delivered in time.

Download an overview of the play and the author below, including an extract in English and the full play in the original language.

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SLOVAKIA / 2001

Roman Polàk – Scenes from the Life of Director (Ingmar Bergman)

Ingmar Bergman is one of the most important and influential theatre and film directors of the twentieth century. Drawing not only on his own memoirs and scripts, but also on the recollections of his collaborators, the play captures him directing a theatrical production. The story touches on the very essence of artistic work and theatre, the nature of the director's profession, and his efforts to exorcise his own demons, while trying to name the demons of the whole society. The play intertwines the director's personal problems with his parents, partners and collaborators with the problems of artistic work in the creation of a theatrical work.

Scenes from the life of the director (Ingmar Bergman) reflect, through Bergman's life, the profession of the director, or the artist as such - the motives that lead one to this profession, the relationship with the actors, the search for the meaning of theatre, the relationship between creation and life, etc.

Download an overview of the play and the author below, including an extract in English and the full play in the original language.

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SLOVENIA / 2020

Simona Semenič – Beautiful Vidas Burn Beautifully

A play about historically significant and historically less significant women who have been persecuted for being different. Or just for being a female. A witch-hunt through the centuries is transmitted to a metaphorical level as the play deals with women as Joanna the Mad, Camille Claudel, Virginia Woolf, and other historically recognized women, but also with unnamed women, all of whom were victims of the patriarchal society in the past. The play is intertwining historical facts and figures with the present time inequality issues. The form of the plays is inventive, it's based on pagan rituals and combined with methods of contemporary playwriting.

Download an overview of the play and the author below, including an extract in English and the full play in the original language.

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BULGARIA / 2014

Elena Alexieva – Phantom Pain

The Armless Woman has lost both her arms in an accident. After the amputation, she lives in her modest apartment struggling to manage with her new, hopeless life. She is tended by Maria and Maria’s son, the Boy. In an attempt to kill time, the Armless Woman starts to paint with her mouth.

A stranger to art, she is aware that her paintings are weird and poor. However, her case is taken up by a TV journalist, who promotes the Woman and her art, and gradually, the Armless Woman becomes a celebrity artist. The popularity of her works grows. She is even labelled an intellectual. And yet, she cannot sleep at night due to the phantom pain which she tries to fight through painting.

Download an overview of the play and the author below, including an extract in English and the full play in the original language.

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ITALY / 2022

Melania G. Mazzucco – Dulan, the Bride

Dulan, the bride could be described as a noir story. The play is about a troubled middle-aged couple, they are just married but they are somehow hounded by the ghost of a girl who was found dead in the pool of the building where they are going to live. Dialogue after dialogue, some disturbing questions emerge: who was that young woman? Did the man know her? Was it a suicide or an act of violence? In this spiral of questions and conjecture, the image of a young foreign woman stands out, a victim of oppression and male violence.

Download an overview of the play and the author below, including an extract in English and the full play in the original language.

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FRANCE / 2018

Mariette Navarro – Zone à étendre

We first follow a group of people walking side by side along a forest path. They get to know each other as they progress through the forest and share pieces of their history, their convictions, their doubts and hopes, while the forest revives feelings buried within them in an immemorial relationship to legends and magic. All these people have a different reason for joining the march, but that they are all doing it to take a step aside from the power in place, a power they no longer identify with or they no longer want to support. They are, in fact, on their way to a clearing where a community they wish to join has been established.

Download an overview of the play and the author below, including an extract in English and the full play in the original language.

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