親愛的人生 (Dear Life)Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023
親愛的人生 (Dear Life), Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023 
La Enciclopedia del Dolor. Tomo I: Esto que no salga de aqui (Die Enzyklopadie des Schmerzes. Band 1: Das darf den Raum nicht verlassen) Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023
La Enciclopedia del Dolor. Tomo I: Esto que no salga de aqui (Die Enzyklopadie des Schmerzes. Band 1: Das darf den Raum nicht verlassen) , Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023 
VielleichtPhoto: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023
Vielleicht, Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023 
است (ist)Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023
است (ist), Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023 
Burnt ToastPhoto: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023
Burnt Toast, Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023 
 親愛的人生 (Dear Life)Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023
親愛的人生 (Dear Life), Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023 
A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique)Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023
A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique), Photo: © Gianmarco Bresadola, 2023 

Festival International New Drama 2023
20 to 30 April 2023

A very warm welcome to the 2023 Festival International New Drama. From April 19 to 30, the FIND is presenting productions from eight countries and three continents, all of which are being shown in Germany for the first time.


This year’s Artist in Focus is the director Elizabeth LeCompte with her collective The Wooster Group (New York). Founded in a Manhattan garage, the group comprehensively redefined theatrical language half a century ago. Directed by LeCompte, The Wooster Group develops its pieces collectively among its central performers who now include Kate Valk and, in the past, have included the group's late co-founder Spalding Gray and former company member Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand and John Lurie among their number. Nowadays, the group is recognised as being at the forefront of post-dramatic theatre.

We are presenting two of the group’s most recent works: »A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique)« undertakes a theatrical reconstruction of the penultimate play by Tadeusz Kantor which the Polish theatre maker staged in 1988, shortly before his death. With the help of Kantor’s daughter Dorota Krakowska and a video recording of the original rehearsals, The Wooster Group embarks on a time-shifting expedition into the past of the European theatre avant-garde. »NAYATT SCHOOL REDUX« is a journey into the history of the theatre group itself: a re-animation of the 1978 production »NAYATT SCHOOL« by and with Spalding Gray which has only survived in the form of fragmentary archive material. The writer and actor used T. S. Eliot’s »The Cocktail Party« as the starting point for his experimentation with the monologue form. While the attempt at a faithful revival becomes tangible in its impossibility, the piece turns into a psychedelic journey back in time into the madness of everyday life in the New York experimental theatre scene of the 1970s. The accompanying programme includes screenings of experimental film works by The Wooster Group as well as the online streaming of ground-breaking productions.


For the first time, the Taiwanese collective Shakespeare’s Wild Sisters Group (Taipei) is performing in Germany with a larger production: »親愛的人生 (Dear Life)«. revolves around four women in situations of upheaval. It is based on the short stories of the same name by the Nobel Prize-winning author Alice Munro and set in a shimmering urban universe in today’s Taipei.

»笑顔の砦 (Fortress of Smiles)« is the title chosen by Japanese theatre master Kuro Tanino (Tokyo) for his play in which he places two seemingly identical apartments wall to wall on stage and has them serve as locations in which the piece’s action simultaneously and hyper-realistically plays out. In one apartment, a group of fishermen goes about their cheerful daily routine only interrupted by small discords, while in the other, the drama of a family that is threatening to break apart due to the grandmother’s progressive Alzheimer’s disease unfolds.

The Iranian theatre maker Parnia Shams (Tehran) wrote and staged her play »است (is)« together with theatre students who appear on stage as part of a high-school class. In the middle of the school year, a new student from the provinces arrives in a fictitious private school in Tehran. She befriends the top pupil in her class but their friendship soon comes under pressure from the power structures at the school.

The Norwegian Susie Wang collective with writer and director Trine Falch (Oslo) at its centre is also presenting its work to a Berlin audience for the first time. Their piece »Burnt Toast« is set in a hotel lobby with a reception desk and elevators — a seemingly banal location for a grotesque scenario to develop in which, in a fantastical and yet tangible way, an »existential splatter theatre for adults« takes the topic of human reproduction to absurd lengths.

Another discovery awaits us in the form of Galician playwright and director Pablo Fidalgo (Vigo). »La Enciclopedia del Dolor. Tomo I: Esto que no salga de aqui« (»Encyclopedia of Pain. Chapter one: This doesn’t leave the room«) takes us back to his former school which was run by Marist priests. Their history of sexual abuse and violence was covered up for decades and only exposed in 2021 by the newspaper EL PAIS. Fidalgo’s monologue creates an X-ray of a country in which the Inquisition and the Franco dictatorship are still reflected in everyday life.

In »Vielleicht«, the Swiss-based French writer, director and actor Cedric Djedje (Geneva) tells a Berlin story of a disconcerting kind. During a work residence in Wedding, he discovered the African Quarter. Himself the son of immigrants from the former colony of Ivory Coast, he encounters a district whose name does not actually honour its African residents but instead the German claim to a colonial empire, for example, by dedicating street names to colonial criminals. The renaming of these streets is still being torpedoed by local residents to this day.


In addition to the international guest performances, three current productions of the Schaubuhne can also be seen at the FIND. Tina Satter (New York) is directing the Schaubühne ensemble for the German-language premiere of her play »House of Dance« which is set in a tap dance studio in provincial USA. From the Schaubühne repertoire we are presenting the German-Ukrainian project »To Take Arms Against a Sea of Troubles (ОЗБРОЮЮЧИСЬ ПРОТИ МОРЯ ЛИХ)« by Stas Zhyrkov and Pavlo Arie (Kyiv) as well as »Nightscape« by Marius von Mayenburg (Berlin).


And of course we are again holding public discussions with the artists involved in the festival, with a special panel dedicated to our Artist in Focus Elizabeth LeCompte and The Wooster Group while a second panel will be critically examining the continued existence of colonial structures in Berlin. At the end of the festival, we are inviting you to dance into the month of May with us at our grand closing-night party. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Produktionen FIND 2023

You can download the program newspaper for FIND 2023 as a PDF here.


The FIND is supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin.

Senatsverwaltung Logo

With the kind support of

Rudolf-Augstein-Stiftung-RGB-Logo-Orange    ACE_Vlogo_sin_25 (1) logo_C_M (1) logo_wfw (1) logo-culture-PLfreunde_der_schaubühnelogoelenaverde cabecera-inaem-web-jpg

 FIND is presented by

 taz_logo_ab35mm_web     rbb kultur  radioeins monopol  berlinbuehnen