Theatre festivals date back to Ancient Greece as one of the classic art forms and also expression of gratitude for the gods. Nowadays they are (usually) not religious but trying to acknowledge some artists, bring to light some problems society is facing, or like the one in Slovakia we talked about last week, draw attention to today’s forgotten values and notions that are fundamental.
…and the Programme is crucial
Working in a theatre festival, whether it is local or international, you have to keep in mind what is the message being transmitted with the event. If it is talking about nowadays issues in society, most likely there should also be some accompanying events explaining the plays and making sense of them to less theatre-educated audience, perhaps a public debate, exhibition or special program for children.
You have to prepare the programme in a way it suits everyone’s needs as it is as well theatre promoting event that can become the biggest cultural event in your city or even the country. You have to make sure it entertains all kinds of audiences: theatre critics, journalists (you want good feedback, right?), other performers, students, regular people, families, etc.
Taking care of the program might take most of your organizing team time but it is crucial to have it as perfect as possible. You might want to learn to play some razz poker but keep that strictly for breaks: preparation for the festival should be your top priority. Fun and gambling follows later.
No surprise that people follow the example of someone they admire. Therefore, it is always a good idea to invite some specials guests, for example, politicians, musicians, famous people in different fields. Since those are usually pretty busy, give them VIP access, free tickets and maybe free accommodation. It will be giving you more chances of their attendance. And when they RSVP with ‘I’ll be there’, you can put their name in the press release and except some positive reactions from the public.
…but the Audience is imperative
Have your VIP list? Great. Last but not least, don’t forget the regular audience. They are the ones attending your festival and paying for it. They will be pressing ‘Going’ button on Facebook events. They will be leaving comments and social media posts. Make sure they feel as great as VIP. Make sure they will come back again next year.
And finally, once again, good luck! Organizing a theatre festival will be lots of work but lots of fun also guaranteed.
Today let’s look up the small countries and small theatre festivals. And for that, let’s go all the way to central Europe, small country with barely 6 million people, Slovakia. How are they organizing theatre festivals?
The Divadelná Nitra Festival will look for basic values
International theatre festival Divadelná Nitra 2017 this year opens for the first time in the history of the festival with a production from the USA. The main program will offer for 11 days 11 productions in 17 performances from Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland, USA, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Compromise or amorality, survival or collaboration, homeland or alien, common sense or miracle? What are the core values of human life and society? Winning commercialization, globalization, individualism? What place in our ranks of values is tradition, culture, nature?
The Divadelná Nitra International Festival will enter its 26th year, which will be held from 22 to 26 September, theme #Fundamentals.
Presentation of foreign ensembles at Divadelná Nitra 2017
Interactive game with keywords
“The mysterious concept #fundamentals expresses the fundamentals, the basic principle, the essence of things, the essence. We want to do the basic values. Therefore, the concept of fundamentals is branched into key words such as home, family, peace, traditions, memory, freedom, justice, understanding, education, nature, beauty … “explains Darina Kárová, director of the festival.
“We will look at the values together with viewers not only in the works, but also in the eight-dimensional visual. An interactive game with key words during the festival will draw even more attention to today’s forgotten values of people or things that will be included not only in the main program productions but also in the accompanying program – in the form of films, exhibitions, happenings, concerts, debates. ”
We will be interested in “other fates” on the stage of Divadelná Nitra 2017. Ordinary and unusual lives of people who demonstrate unwavering will, firm belief, and a desire not to surrender.
The main festival program will offer 11 performances in 17 performances of interesting artists from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Poland, the United States of America, Slovenia and Slovakia during a 5-day theater event at different play points. Tickets are in online sales from August 7 on www.predpredaj.sk.
“In addition to the drama, we also introduce movement theater, theater – film, depictions in the speech of the deaf, documentary or science-inspired works, comedy engraved with irons, overlook, political context, but also serious works that will hurt and evoke emotions. We will introduce some creators who have not been to Nitra yet. All major program productions are the author’s theater and originally work on classic or contemporary themes, “says Darina Kárová.
Divadelná Nitra 2017 opens for the first time in the history of the festival, a production from the USA. And for the first time ever, the production of the Slovakian Pavel Liška will be presented in Slovakia. “His” Nature Theater of Oklahoma, New York, packed with the Obie New York award, is one of the world’s most famous theater names and specializes in experimental scenic works. At the festival boards, the production of the Law of Happiness, a reflection on a reputed American dream, will be produced.
The United States’ base document, the Declaration of Independence, puts “building personal happiness” between the “inalienable rights” that everyone gives the creator and the government is entrusted with to protect. But what is happiness? Where are the limits of happiness? And who is happy today?, ask the creators in a humorous performance that was created in collaboration with the art duo Fox-Copper from the New York Nature Theater of Oklahoma and the Ljubljana movement theater EnKnapGroup.
Thanks to the Mexican bartender, a trip to Baghdad, a modern magical elixir and a few interfering cowboy dances, this show shows the peculiar views of happiness that can resemble only happiness when you find the best casino bonus online. And you use them. And you win. Win big.
“Cardboard decoration, cowboy outfits, and constantly spreading violence are the cartoons of Tea Party and Trump. In the great scenario – as always, when I write it by Fox and Copper, it is also Arthur Miller and Anton Pavlovich Cechov. Quotes associated with everyday American street and sitcoms parody an American dream that still seeks millions of Americans with more passion and determination than ever before, “wrote Theaterkrant.
Where does the Czech begin and where does it end?
The state of the company with our neighbors will be one of the most pretentious and the most impressive views of the Czech society after the Novembri’89 from the cult of the Prague Studio of Heroes. Actor and cheerleader Majer talks about the state of his homeland is currently a hit of the Czech theater scene. Patriotic Probe of David Zambransky, the Magnesia Litera Prize winner, as the Discovering of the Year, also provocatively asks what is the Czech Republic where the Czech Republic starts and where it ends, who or what is blamed for Majer’s current resentment and similar to the Czech Republic?
“Of course, the production is also about Zeman, but one thing about Havel and Klaus and whether or not to leave this homeland, what is the relation of our homeland to other homelands, and the language is about elites and people , About borders and borderless, about disdain, laziness, about the responsibility of the intellectual minority, and about what we all do to make this homeland really a home, “writes Czech news magazine.
The actor Stanislav Majer excels in the production of Kamila Polívková from the series hits, which for the performance in this monodrama bearing his name won the Theatrical Critics Award for Best Male Actress in 2016.
On stage father and son
Czech Circus La Putyka will also be represented by the Czech theater art, which has teamed up with Greek artists from Rootlessroot. Their Black Black Woods introduces the viewer into a magical black-black forest, where the pride and the fight of the father and son, the cruel hateful and fragile affection of the parent and the child, takes place in all generations. An unusual production of an eternal effort to transcend our own shadow and family patterns will be seen by a real father and son couple – Rostislav Novak, the elder and the younger.
Loneliness, poverty, and love for home
A unique human story from the end of the world will bring Berlin to the festival from Belgium. Their Curious [Chernobyl – So Far, So Close] is being watched by a very old married couple who lives alone in a radiated area where the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded in 1986 as if it was time.
Instead of escaping ecological disaster, they decided to stay where their ancestors lived, where their land and animals lived. Belgian artists have been there for five years in the Ukrainian village of Zvizda, and in connection with theater and film they bring a story about life on the borderline between nature and civilization, but also about loneliness, poverty and finally love for home.
“The boundaries of my language mean the boundaries of my world,” says the philosopher Wittgenstein. But what about the world can we learn from the language of the deaf? It reveals the work of the Polish theater Teatr Nowy One gesture.
Four actors with varying levels of hearing impairment entice the viewer into a world that is different from the world of French, German or Polish. The show is about communicating with those who are not listening, about ordinary things that the deaf are experiencing in their lives, but also about fascination with a distinctive way of human communication.
Emotional stories of soldiers
Theaters in Nitra will no longer be lacking in other domestic works. This year’s curator of the Slovak program, Drama Theater of Košice Thália Miklós Forgács Theater and his colleague, director József Czajlik, mapped interesting productions that were born in the current season in Slovakia.
In their selection is the winning production of the New drama 2017 Vojna does not have a female face from the Slovak Chamber Theater Martin under the direction of Marián Pecka, which was created according to the novel of the Nobel laureate of the year 2015 by the Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexiejevič. Emotional stories and testimonies of women who participated in World War II as Red Army soldiers, often fighting in the first line, will come to life in the suggestive submission of outstanding Martinic actresses.
Ruthenian artists from the Alexandr Duchnovich Theater in Prešov will bring the audience to the drama Sedenie v režii Braňa Mazúcha. The Dostoevsky Bees are no longer apocalyptic soldiers of anarchy and death, but saddlers who are sickly desiring to suffer and suffer from a lack of love. What surrounds them, they do not notice what they want, it destroys them. The live music and passionate acting of the great rusian artists are even more enhancing the authenticity of the javiscous being of broken souls.
Even “home” Jánošík
From the creation of Slovak repertoire theaters, Divadelná Nitra will not miss the new home theater Andrey Bagar in Nitra. Festival viewers will be able to see Jánošík, as the theatrical visionary Rastislav Ballek made it. The myth about the honest junak, who has reached a cruel and wicked age to gain, and who found morality just in amorality, belongs to the collective consciousness of the Slovaks. On the Ballek stage, however, the naive story in the verse is given a philosophical character, the kitsch mingles with conceptualism, the bracket with metaphysics, the appealing and emotional acting with performance.
The main program of Divadelná Nitra 2017 will introduce a unique site-specific project of four Slovak independent artists. Pôtoň Theater, Debris Company, Med & Prach and Slavo Daubner joined together to create the Miracles under the leadership of Iveta Ditte Jurčová and Michal Ditte. Three kilometers, three hours, four sets, four different spaces – the lake, the school, the church, the meadow, and the night magic magical wandering that takes place in a unique project in the former royal town of Bátovce.
The closing of the festival will belong to the most outstanding production of the current season of the Slovak National Theater – Elita. Czech playwright and director Jiri Havelka created an ironic and sarcastic work on the order of the SND on how a layer of powerful people, who still dominate Slovakia, was created. Unpleasant anecdotes about how difficult it is to recognize the truth from deception, compromise from amorality, survival from collaborating with acting actors of the SND.