Structured as a workshop–festival that places Venice at the centre of a participated reflection upon theatre, the 43rd International Theatre Festival directed by Àlex Rigola will be held from July 30th to August 9th. The productions – 13 in the programme, including 9 Italian premiere performances – will be accompanied by 18 workshops, with internationally-renowned artists, playwrights, directors, choreographers and companies, who each with their own style are the expression of a type of theatre that feels an urgent need to narrate the present.
They include Christoph Marthaler, Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement 2015, who will inaugurate the Festival with Das Weisse vom Ei / Une île flottante, in which he shatters the certainties of language and the deception of communication in the exhilarating blend of German and French spoken by the characters (the text is inspired by Labiche’s La poudre aux yeux); Thomas Ostermeier with a version for the theatre of Fassbinder’s famous film The Marriage of Maria Braun, a bitter parable about the so-called “German miracle” after World War II (the production was revived last year for the Festival d’Avignon); and the younger Fabrice Murgia, winner of the last Silver Lion, considered as the bard of urban solitude and generational anxieties, who in Notre peur de n’être examines the hikikomori, hyper-connected young people who live their lives in total isolation from the rest of the world.
Falk Richter, a playwright and director who comes to Italy for the first time, in Never Forever, with Israeli choreographer Nir de Volff, illustrates a post-human society, with its metropolitan warriors, individuals battling to survive and ready to commit the most extreme of acts; the Spanish company La Zaranda who in El Régimen del Pienso, brings alienation on the job to the stage; the political theatre of Milo Rau with his International Institute of Political Murder who in Hate Radio reconstructs the story of the radio station Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines and its broadcasts, which became the voice of an aggressive racial campaign that played a major role in the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda in 1994; Brazilian director Christiane Jatahy, who like Richter come to Italy for the first time at the Biennale, stages a classic by Strindberg – Julia – in the present time as she creates a coexistence between cinema and theatre, the real world and the virtual world.
Antonio Latella with his three monologues A.H., Caro George and MA, all gathered in a single evening: a triptych about the twentieth century that examines three emblematic figures (Adolf Hitler, Francis Bacon, Pasolini), who represent three different views of man and his relationship with the world; Jan Lauwers and Needcompany with The Blind Poet (the debut of which is scheduled for May 12th at the Kunstenfestival des Arts in Brussels) in which, starting from a visit to the Mosque in Cordoba condemns the lies of history and the manipulation of information across the centuries; Oskaras Koršunovas who transforms the actors’ dressing rooms into the castle of Elsinore for his Hamlet; while Romeo Castellucci and the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio in Giulio Cesare. Pezzi staccati extrapolate the two monologues by “…vskij” and Marc Anthony from the 1997 historic production, pieces broken off from “the drama of the voice struggling with the rhetorical power of the word”; the company Agrupación Señor Serrano, the Festival’s Silver Lion for innovation in theatre, in A House in Asia tells the story of a manhunt as if it were a western movie, a story of cowboys and Indians: with a device that mixes scale models, video projections, the manipulation of images in real time and performance, Osama Bin Laden’s house turns into the container for all the scenes in the production, from the White House to the prairies of Afghanistan.
And finally, the festival will present that great metaphor of intolerance and abuse of power, El Caballero de Olmedoby Lope De Vega, a classic from the siglo de oro, which Lluís Pasqual brings to the stage with young actors supported by two public theatre companies, in a project that runs parallel to the work of the Biennale College.
The 43rd International Theatre Festival reserves a space for the most innovative young Italian companies at the Teatro Fondamenta Nuove (July 31st and August 1st, 7th and 8th) with Young Italian Brunch, a name that alludes to the unorthodox hour – noon – at which it will offer a taste of the national theatre scene, with the purpose of offering the companies visibility, especially to foreign operators and curators. The following companies have been invited: Collettivo Cinetico, Helen Cerina, Babilonia Teatri, Anagoor.
The Earth Shakes (La terra trema), the Neorealist masterpiece by Luchino Visconti, is the title chosen by Àlex Rigola, which embodies the meaning of the 7 workshops conducted by Christiane Jatahy, Antonio Latella, Jan Lauwers, Fabrice Murgia, Milo Rau, Falk Richter, Agrupación Señor Serrano with the actors selected for the Biennale College. Each of the 7 directors must choose as the title and theme for their workshops one of the many geographical areas in crisis in our own time. The workshops will end on the last day of the Festival on August 9th, with the presentation to the public of a sequence of performances that will involve various locations in the city of Venice.
PROGRAM ON www.labiennale.org