FIND 2019

Festival International New Drama
From 4 to 14 April 2019

At the 19th Festival International New Drama (FIND) we are presenting new productions by internationally renowned theatremakers and new discoveries from cities including Brussels, Santiago de Chile, New York, London, Barcelona and Montreal. All can be seen for the first time in Berlin. The performances research the world’s current political and social conditions: structural and institutionalised violence, dysfunctional justice, social and healthcare systems and the erosion of the public community at the hands of neoliberalism; refugees, migration and climate change; patriarchal oppression and how it’s being questioned and breached by feminism and gender discourse. This year’s edition of FIND is using the theatre as a tool to outline something like an »Archaeology of the Present« where contemporary history is excavated to uncover the structures and origins of our world today.

The Festival is opening with the devised project Danke Deutschland – Cảm ơn nước Đức in which Serbian writer/director Sanja Mitrović, who is directing at the Schaubühne for the first time, and her ensemble of actors from the Schaubühne as well as German-Vietnamese performers take a look at the reunified Germany, and with ARCTIQUE by Anne-Cécile Vandalem (Brussels).

ARCTIQUE is set in 2025 on a former cruise ship which is supposed to be towed from Copenhagen to Nuuk, Greenland, and which has some stowaways on board, all lured there by a mysterious letter of invitation. Greenland is no longer part of Denmark, Europe is shattered by civil wars and all the invitees are involved in Greenland’s disastrous independence and a catastrophe which occurred on this ship ten years previously. When the tug boat suddenly disappears and the cruise ship is left drifting aimlessly in the Arctic Ocean, a political crime thriller takes its course.

THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR, one of the most recent works by the American artists’ collective The Wooster Group (New York), seeks to theatrically recreate the now more than 40 years old documentary film »Town Bloody Hall«. A projection of the film is overwritten by a simultaneous on-stage re-enactment. In this overlaying of the past by the present, it suddenly becomes clear that the discussions now dominating the Left and the emancipatory movements prevalent today were already outlined with all their contradictions in the early 1970s.

In his plays, Catalan documentary theatre-maker Didier Ruiz (Barcelona) often gives a voice to people who are rarely seen on stage and thus approaches society via their view of the world. For TRANS (Més Enllà) he worked with Clara, Sandra, Leyre, Raúl, Ian, Dany and Neus. They all now appear on stage as themselves: people who feel different and who for a long time perceived the gender they were prescribed and their own bodies as a prison – until they decided to break free. They recount experiences of violence on the streets, at work and in their families, talk of their longings, dreams and hopes, of a society that values maintaining boundaries more than love, and of their long journey towards becoming themselves.

In Paisajes para no colorear by director Marco Layera (Santiago de Chile) nine teenagers between 13 and 17 take to the stage to portray reality. They talk about vulnerability, stigmatisation, violence and their rebellion against it. They draw on their own stories and on those from around 140 other girls and young women documented by a team of Teatro La Re-Sentida during interviews and castings for the performance. The text is both accusatory against the outdated gender and role models they are confronted with as well as hopeful because they are imagining a future within a society that is empathetic and full of solidarity.

After several tours of China featuring plays from its own repertoire, with Popular Mechanics the Schaubühne is presenting a Chinese production for the first time at FIND. It has been developed by the director Li Jianjun and his New Youth Group (Beijing). The group is one of the few in the country to be developing forms of documentary theatre and, in doing so, is staging the reality of today’s China via a cross-section of real people living in Beijing – none of whom work in the theatre – and their everyday experiences. Working with the group, Li Jianjun has used their real-life stories to develop a panorama in which the theatre and playing with fictional roles and legendary characters from literature and film history superimpose themselves over people’s everyday lives.

Trap Street by Kandinsky (London) explores the ruins of a 1960s tower block in London and the circumstances that caused it to become derelict. Alongside an individual family drama, digging into the building’s history and stories also uncovers a panorama on a social process: the utopian visions, the deterioration and the neo-liberal gutting of the British social security system.

A Generous Lover tells the story of La JohnJoseph (London) journeying into the underworld: to a lover who is suffering a bipolar disorder in the secure psychiatric ward of a hospital systematically run down by the Tory party. La JohnJoseph has to navigate various challenges on this odyssey: how do you deal with the fact that, as a gender queer person, the staff on the ward also regard you as a patient? How can you help a partner suffering from a severe mental illness to find their way back into the world outside the psychiatric facility?

In Post Humains the Franco-Canadian actor, director and writer Dominique Leclerc (Montreal) casts a look into a future that has already long been present: at people who use technology to extend, enhance and improve their bodies. From the starting point of her own illness, Leclerc goes on a search for help and gradually delves ever deeper into the world of cyborgs and the transhumanist movement. She embarks on a voyage of discovery into a universe full of implant parties, biohackers and body philosophers that is as fascinating and bizarre as it is gruesome.

What the – in the Mexican vernacular – »Wall of Shame« between the USA and Mexico means to the lives of real people trying to get over the border wall in search of a new life, is explored by the Línea de Sombra (Mexico City) collective with their play Amarillo. The play is based on the testimonies of hundreds of refugees and their relatives whose stories have then been condensed into a dramatic plot containing a small number of characters. Together they delineate a paradigmatic panorama of the humanitarian catastrophe behind the events in the headlines and political polemics. In contrast to the other productions in this year’s FIND, which are all being staged here shortly after their premieres, »Amarillo« has already been on tour for seven years and has appeared in over 40 cities around the world. The production is now being presented to Berlin audiences for the first time as a kind of »special« against the backdrop of discussions that have flared up again over the past few months about the hermetic expansion of the border wall and that have given the play an intensified poignancy, meaning it is almost more topical today than when it premiered.

In addition, there will be audience conversations, a panel discussion with Jan Assmann on Archaeology of the Present, a Streitraum with Carolin Emcke and Aleida Assmann, Enis Maci and further guests on the topic »Which Europe?«, a party with Drag DJ Gloria Viagra and a poetry slam with the performers of Young Identity followed by a concert by Carol Schuler & The Maenads.

FIND plus

Our international visitors notably include around 80 students participating in the FIND plus workshop programme from Belgium, Germany, France, Israel, the USA and this year’s guest country Egypt. In masterclasses, workshops and discussions with the festival’s artists and audiences, a dialogue is being created between the theatre-makers of today and tomorrow.

Programme Overview

Thursday, 4 April

17.00: abgrund

19.30 – 21.30: ARCTIQUE

22.00: Danke Deutschland – Cảm ơn nước Đức (Premiere)


Friday, 5 April

18.00 – 19.15: Trap Street

19.30 – 21.30: ARCTIQUE

22.00: Danke Deutschland – Cảm ơn nước Đức (Premiere)


Saturday, 6 April

15.00 – 16.15: Trap Street

17.00: Danke Deutschland – Cảm ơn nước Đức (Premiere)

20.00 – 21.30: Paisajes para no colorear

22.30 – 23.30: A Generous Lover

Ab 23.00: FIND Opening Party with DJ Gloria Viagra


Sunday, 7 April

12.00 – 1730: Panel Talk »Archaeology of the Present«

16.00 – 17.30: Paisajes para no colorear

18.00 – 19.15: Trap Street

20.00 – 21.30: Paisajes para no colorear

22.00 – 23.00: A Generous Lover


Tuesday, 9 April

19.30 – 20.45: TRANS (més enllà)

21.00 – 23.00: Post Humains


Wednesday, 10 April

17.00 – 19.00: Post Humains

19.30 – 20.45: TRANS (més enllà)

21.00 – 22.45: Popular Mechanics

21.00 – 23.00: Post Humains


Thursday, 11 April

18.00 – 19.45: Popular Mechanics

20.00 – 21.15: THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR

22.00 – 23.45: Popular Mechanics


Friday, 12 April

19.00 – 20.15: THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR

21.00 – 22.00: Amarillo


Saturday, 13 April

16.00 – 17.15: THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR

16.30 – 18.30: status quo

17.30 – 18.30: Amarillo

19.00 – 21.00: History of Violence

21.15 – 22.30: THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR

22.30 – 23.30: Poetry Slam ONE MIC STAND

23.30 – 00.30 Concert by Carol Schuler & The Maenads


Sunday, 14 April

12.00: Streitraum: »Which Europe?«

15.00 – 16.15: THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR

16.30 – 18.30: History of Violence

19.00 – 21.00: status quo

21.30 – 22.30: Amarillo


FIND is funded by




FIND plus is supported by





FIND plus in cooperation with