Festival International New Drama 2019
From 4 to 14 April

At the Festival International New Drama in April, the Schaubühne is once again dedicating itself for ten days to international contemporary theatre. FIND introduces new productions by internationally renowned theatre makers and new discoveries, from cities including Brussels, Santiago de Chile, New York, London, Barcelona and Montréal, for the first time in Berlin. With their stories, conflicts and characters they will be exploring the political and social circumstances of the contemporary world: feminism and climate change, migration, post-humanism and emancipation from the patriarchy as well as the erosion of the public commonwealth by neo-liberalism, are topics up for examination. In a kind of »archaeology of the present«, the productions research and drill down into the present and recent history. The theatre makers are seeking to »excavate« the underlying structures, trace their origins in the past and follow their tracks into the future with their dystopian scenarios – which unceasingly have their origins in and are based on the here and now.

The Festival opens with the project-in-development, »Danke Deutschland – Cảm ơn nườc Đức« by Sanja Mitrović (Belgrade/Brussels) in which the writer/director and her German-Vietnamese ensemble take a look at the reunified Germany. 

»ARCTIQUE« by Anne-Cécile Vandalem (Brussels) is set in 2025 on a former cruise ship being towed from Copenhagen to Nuuk in Greenland, complete with some stowaways who have been lured on board by a mysterious letter of invitation. Greenland is now independent from Denmark, Europe is riven by civil wars and all the invitees were involved in Greenland’s disastrous seperation from Denmark and the catastrophe that befell the ship ten years previously. When the tugboat suddenly disappears and the cruise ship is left drifting aimlessly in the Arctic Ocean, a political crime thriller begins to unfold. 

»THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR«, one of the latest works from the US artists’ collective The Wooster Group (New York), attempts a scenic re-enactment of the now over-40-years-old feminist documentary »Town Bloody Hall« by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, where the film’s projection on stage will be overwritten by a simultaneous theatrical re-enactment of its dialogue and action. An overlaying of the present by the past which suddenly reveals that the dominant discussions of the Left and the emancipation movements that still occupy us to this day were created with all their contradictions and deadends as early as the beginning of the 1970s, and have since become discourses which constantly replicate themselves in the same patterns.  

In his plays, Catalan documentary-theatre maker Didier Ruiz (Barcelona) often gives voice to people who are never seen on stage and takes a look at a society from their perspective. For »TRANS (Més Enllà)« he worked in and around Barcelona with Clara, Sandra, Leyre, Raül, Ian, Dany and Neus. They all appear on stage as themselves: Human beings who feel different and who, for a long time, experienced their own assigned sex and their bodies as a prison – until they decided to break free. They talk about their experiences of violence in the street, the workplace and their families; of their desires, dreams and hopes; of a society that cares more about demarcations than love; and of the long journey to being themselves. 

In »Paisajes para no colorear«, director Marco Layera (Santiago de Chile) gives the floor to young women from Chile. Nine girls between the ages of 13 and 17 appear on stage together and talk about vulnerability, stigmatisation, violence and their rebellion against it. Based on over 100 interviews undertaken with young Chilean women, the director and cast have worked together to develop a text that is both accusatory and hopeful: accusatory against the suffocating tradition of the Catholic church, the outdated gender and role models the girls encounter at school, and the burden placed on them by their parents to assume the stereotypical ways of life they expect for them; hopeful in how these young women are openly throwing all these overboard and formulating their visions of a future for their country with a society that is empathetic, open and filled with solidarity. 

»TRAP STREET« by Kandinsky (London) explores the dilapidated remains of a 1960s high-rise in London and the circumstances that have brought it to ruin. Alongside an individual family drama, the excavation of its history and its stories brings to light the panorama of a social process: the utopian ideas, decay and neo-liberal gutting of the British social system. 

In »Post-Humains«, French-Canadian actress, director and writer Dominique Leclerc (Montréal) casts a glance at a future that has long become present in our midst: at people who use technology to extend, expand and improve their bodies. Taking her own illness as a starting point, Leclerc slowly dives in her research for help into the cyborg and transhumanist movement. Along with her German partner, a Berlin based journalist, she embarks on a journey of discovery into a universe of implant parties, biohackers and body philosophers that is as fascinating and bizarre as it is horrific.

The international visitors notably include around 80 FIND plus workshop programme students from Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel and the USA. Masterclasses, workshops and panel discussions with the festival’s artists create a dialogue between the theatre makers of today and tomorrow. Each year we invite students from a different country. This year’s host country is Egypt.


Funded by