Europe Now is a collaboration between Riksteatern (Sweden), Talimhane Tiyatrosu (Istanbul), Theater RAST (Amsterdam), Arcola Theatre (London) and Ballhaus Naunynstrasse (Berlin).
All the partners have a clear intercultural focus, knowledge and audience. They share the same vision on an intercultural reality and future and want to develop their ideas, working models and market to benefit the mobility of artists, cultural products and maybe even more important – the discussion on our common European intercultural future.
Riksteatern (The National Touring Theatre of Sweden) was founded in 1934 and is Swedens leading nationwide theatre – a professional theatre and arena for creativity, development and participation, owned by its 42 000 members, organised in 230 local promoting associations. Riksteatern provides the communicative framework of art and culture: the stage, methods, technique and expertise. During the last year we have sharpened our intercultural focus. We have an international strategy that connects the local with the international by using individuals whose competence and links to other countries are used as resources in developing this platform.We work actively in creating sustainable relationships with new audience groups, re-inventing the repertory and partnerships and updating the notion of national identity. We do it through international exchange, co-productions and development projects. In one year, 1,2 million people experienced some form of dramatic art thanks to Riksteatern. Rikseatern is strongly supported by the Ministry of Culture, private sponsors and project based funders. www.riksteatern.se
Theater RAST perform at Podium Mozaïek, Amsterdam, but also tour in the Netherlands and internationally. RAST develops new theatre languages, stories and form on the edge of different cultures. The productions show an unexpected and unorthodox view on present day intercultural situations. Through JONG RAST we contribute to the development of a new generation of theatre makers with mixed cultural background and stimulate young talent to continue to a professional level. RAST also focus on international exchange with partners in Europe. Every summer RAST organizes theatre workshops in Turkey. RAST is supported by The City of Amsterdam and Performing Arts Fund NL. RAST is the house company of Podium Mozaïek, a venue for international and intercultural arts situated in an ethnically diverse part of Amsterdam. www.rast.nl
Talimhane Tiyatrosu is a sister theatre to Arcola Theatre. It is a vibrant theatre in the heart of Istanbul, Taksim, serving the local population within the area and beyond. We program Turkish and international performances. Talimhanes vision is to challenge theatre by telling stories that are untold, interpret them in such a way that will open doors to reevaluate stage craft in Turkey. Talimhane provides a needed platform for independent and emerging theatre practitioners in Turkey. By becoming the base for development of new writing and training we want to create a new and young workforce of writers, actors, directors and designer. Talimhane Theatre is today the home to the new writing organisation, Oyun Yaz, situated in 7 Turkish cities and we also translate plays. Another important area is our educational work and community drama (specifically with Kurdish and Roma population) and to provide opportunities for international exchanges. Talimhane is partly supported by private donors, a common system in Turkey, but also by the regional theatre Nilüfer Sanat Tiyatrosu, Akbank, Open Society and other funders on project basis. www.talimhanetiyatrosu.com
Ballhaus Naunynstrasse opened as a production house in Berlin November 2008 in the course of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue and is run by Kultursprünge e.V. It draws from a broad network of 2nd and 3rd generation artists, combining genres and transnational/translocal contexts. This cultural practice acknowledges Germany’s polymigrational reality and regards complex constructs of identity as challenge and stimulus to artistic discourse. The BN offers an opportunity to artists otherwise underrepresented to develop their artistic production under a translocal perspective. The venue has been drawing in audiences from a wide range of migrational and generational backgrounds at a use to capacity of over 90%. Another field of interest is cultural education and the search for alternative forms of mediation and integration of audiences. The BN provides young people from disenfranchised backgrounds the opportunity to partake in developing artistic and cultural projects. www.ballhausnaunynstrasse.de
Arcola Theatre was founded in London 2000. Housed in a stunning converted factory in Hackney, Arcola is a favourite of established theatre literati as well as young, upwardly mobile innovators. Arcola has become well known for the variety of its programming– from new writing to classic drama, music and comedy. Arcola is today a prominent Off West-End venue producing our own professional theatre productions and hosting those from other leading UK and international companies. “Arcola theatre brings the very best of the worlds performing and visual arts to the people of the world living and working in London” The Guardian. Arcola also provides an extensive program of youth and community arts workshops to the ethnically diverse local community. Arcola is known internationally for its leadership in the integration of environmental sustainability in the arts. Arcola is supported by the Arts Council England www.arcolatheatre.com
The Mare Rider
by Leyla Nazli, directed by Mehmet Ergen
(Arcola Theatre, UK)
by Deniz Altun, directed by Lerzan Pamir
(Talimhane Tiyatrosu, Turkey)
I Call My Brothers
by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, directed by Farnaz Arbabi
Lust & Found
by Ozkan Golpinar, directed by Saban Ol
(Theater RAST, Netherlands)
Beg Your Pardon
by Marianna Salzmann, directed by Hakan Savas Mican
Work-in-progress readings of all five plays were held at Arcola Theatre in the week of 26 September 2011, as the culmination of a week of development workshops.
Find out more about the project at the Europe Now blog – www.europenowblog.org