One hundred years after the end of World War I, whose peace negotiations dramatically and tragically redefined the map of Europe, and have indefinitely prolonged war-like conflicts to this day, conflicts which seem to favor an economic world elite of only a few hundred families – one hundred years after the world has realized the reality of its spatial and physical destructibility, a global trauma that has seeped into everyday consciousness, one might be tempted to ask: what can the theatre do to bring about a “better world”, a notion that seems increasingly utopian? How can it portray the horrors that surpass the imagination, horrors that repeat themselves in humanity’s calendar with the accuracy of a digital instrument?
Stage adaptations of the various forms of war – which are nowadays steadily increasing, both visibly and invisibly – opened a separate chapter in the history of the recent and current theatrical endeavors. I would rather call it the theatre of fright, where the terrible traumas caused by violence call for a kind of individual and collective act of “exorcism” from us all. A type of fright leading to desperation, which if it finds compassion, it brushes upon the borders of hope. Not unlike war, theatre also presumes the mutual action of two opposing parties. Whereas the former is meant to destroy, the latter focuses on the need for change and transformation based on self-analysis and collective responsibility. Let us express the war in order to get rid of it – from within ourselves and the outside world. Let all of this happen on stage, so that it does not repeat itself in the mirrored “reality” of the world, in Life. Let peace reign among us!
We envisioned this to be the central idea of this year’s festival.