New Stages Southeast

New Stages Southeast (Key visual) © kozlik_mozlik via AdobeStock

New Stages Southeast invited playwrights and theater professionals from Southeast Europe to exchange and develop current materials and themes.The exchange took place within the countries, between the countries and with authors from Germany.

Literature and theatre are an important part of the cultural dialogues in Southeastern Europe. The environment for theatre, especially for independent theatre has been difficult long before the Covid-19 crisis. It is especially important in these time to offer alternative ways for playwrights to present their plays to the dramaturges and to the audience.

Main idea 

How do social upheavals, migration and refugee flows, pandemics such as Covid-19, regressions on the way to European integration, regional conflicts and the ubiquity of populist, nationalist regimes influence contemporary theater? How does theater try to counteract negative trends and to contribute to the sustainable development of a (European-oriented) civil society?

It often seems that stage plays react faster, more directly and more specifically than other literary genres to distortions of all kinds, which consequently raises questions about current material and themes. How is the plot constructed? How are characters and patterns developed? Which dramatic escalations should the audience see? What formal means of expression does contemporary theater use? What changes in media (use of video, film, social networks) is it experiencing? What about interdisciplinary approaches, the relationship to performance and the visual arts? Does theater see itself as an educational or awareness-raising institution?

Participating countries 

Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece (Athens / Thessaloniki), Croatia, Romania / Moldova, Serbia, Cyprus

The phases

With the participation of well-known German-language stage authors, a total of 14 New Stages South-East workshops for authors from the participating countries are to be held in 2021 and 2022 (7 per year).  In the workshops the participants will get the opportunity to present and further develop their pieces and material under the direction of local multipliers as well as in the presence of invited authors from Germany.

A catalogue for a regional training and development program for young playwrights would be developed by gathering the ideas and wishes of the workshop participants and the findings of the moderators.

Personal experiences of playing and staging would take place as part of the project. Various events (festival, presentation, digital formats) would provide the proper stage for this.

In the third year of the project (in May 2023), the project continued with an excursion to Germany: up to 18 playwrights from the participating countries were invited to discuss their texts in a final workshop and present them to the public.





Events in 2023

Events in 2021


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