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The first edition of spielzeiteuropa

spielzeiteuropa takes place for the first time this winter and stands for a reorientation of the Berliner Festspiele, bringing major theatre and dance productions from across Europe to Berlin over a period of several months. Besides full-scale productions, smaller, pioneering pieces will also feature. Each season will focus on a particular European region, beginning this year with Hungary.
spielzeiteuropa is also a response to European enlargement. The accession of new EU member states has pushed Berlin into the centre of a larger Europe, and one can hardly imagine a more suitable place for the intended dialogue on the diversity of theatre. Our aim is therefore to gradually establish the Festspiele as a location for European co-productions based on an active network with up to a dozen partners from East and West.
We welcome spielzeiteuropa as a fine twin to the German-language Theatertreffen and as a meaningful counterpart to the IN TRANSIT festival at Haus der Kulturen der Welt with its non-European focus. This series of events will remedy Berlin’s previous lack of a sounding board for European themes – themes that need to be dealt with in public and which play a dramatic part in our future.

Joachim Sartorius
Director | Berliner Festspiele

For the first time we will be presenting a new European Season for theatre and dance-theatre, mainly located in our own venue, Haus der Berliner Festspiele. In mid-November, the core period of this season begins with Heiner Goebbels’ major work for solo actor, string quartet and a visual designer based on texts by Elias Canetti.
The programme includes naturalists like the Argentinean action theatre specialist Emilio García Wehbi, and also Luc Bondy, who will be showing his first English production. There are moralists like Peter Brook, and gamblers like the two Hungarian directors Béla Pintér and János Mohásci, who shake up past and present in ironic reviews, as well as the young choreographer and director Constanza Macras, whose new piece will be premiered. And there are poets like Pippo Delbono, a kindred spirit of Federico Fellini and Dario Fo. Frank Castorf is naturalist, moralist, gambler and poet rolled into one: his adaptation of Alfred Döblin’s novel “Berlin Alexanderplatz” will be presented at an unusual location.
There is a small retrospective dedicated to the American video theatre pioneer John Jesurun, with three pieces that have influenced a whole generation of artists over the last twenty years. At the same time, during the darkest months of the year, we will be presenting “Licht! Ljus! Lumière”, an exhibition by six (light) artists. New ways of creating stunning imaginary using light and video-projections will be offered by the Flemish director Guy Cassiers.

Markus Luchsinger, Artistic Director
spielzeiteuropa | Berliner Festspiele

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