This year, the festival guests will include international theatre stars, great directors as well as leading experts on theatre who focus on multimedia in the arts. One major event of the festival will be a performance by The Wooster Group with Elizabeth LeCompte, a troupe from the United States, who will present "Hamlet".
The Shakespeare Festival is an annual international theatre event held across the Tricity (Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia). The festival aims to present and popularise the output of William Shakespeare as well as encouraging an interest in theatre art and its diverse manifestations among the audience, especially young people. Performances are accompanied by meetings with directors, actors, playwrights as well as an extensive educational programme called the "Summer Shakespeare Academy" (theatre and art workshops, lectures, exhibitions, seminars). This year's festival also offers theatre artists, theoreticians, and practitioners from different countries an opportunity to exchange experiences and expand their professional knowledge on new trends in contemporary theatre.
This year, the festival guests will include international theatre stars, great directors as well as leading experts on theatre who focus on multimedia in the arts.
One major event of the festival will be a performance by The Wooster Group with Elizabeth LeCompte, a troupe from the United States, who will present Hamlet. Taking advantage of what advanced media can offer, The Wooster Group will invoke the classic Broadway show from 1964 directed by John Gielgud.
The Wooster Group, Hamlet, © Paula Court,
Peter Brook, one of the most important creative personalities in the history of 20th-century theatre, will again visit the festival this year. He will present Warum, Warum, a theatrical reflection expressed with the words of Meyerhold, Craig, Dullin, Artaud, and Shakespeare.
Warum, Warum, dir. Peter Brook,
source: www.festiwalszekspirowski.plGermany's Bremer Shakespeare Company will stage The Merchant of Venice, a tale of people entangled in a game of power and violence, a show featuring multimedia projections as its setting as well as spectacular choreography.
The Merchant of Venice will also be shown by the The Propeller Theatre Group from The Watermill Theatre. Thanks to surprising stage design, Venice becomes a male prison where a violent tragedy unfolds among the inmates. Propeller will also perform A Midsummer Night's Dream in a topsy-turvy interpretation - starting with the stage design, right down to the characters' gender. Both shows are directed by Edward Hall, the son of Sir Peter Hall.
Bremer Shakespeare Company The Merchant of Venice,
source: www.festiwalszekspirowski.plRichard III, a co-production of the Hungarian Theatre in Cluj, Romania, and Gyulai Várshínház from Hungary, presents Shakespeare's reflections on the mechanisms of power in a surreal setting. The characters play with modern electronic gadgets, moving within an eerie space reminiscent of a waxwork museum, full of human heads and oddities.
The festival will also feature The Taming of the Shrew directed by Szymon Kaczmarek from Gdańsk's Teatr Wybrzeże
. This production won a First Honourable Mention in a competition for the best Polish Shakespeare adaptation of the 2008/2009 season.
The Propeller Theatre Group The Merchant of Venice,
source: www.festiwalszekspirowski.plThe festival will also include an international conference on the merging of multimedia arts and theatre, entitled "Blending Media. Art in the Theatre / Theatre in the Arts". The aim of the conference is to find answers to the following questions: Where is the boundary between theatre and other arts? Is the division into theatrical arts and visual arts still an obvious one? How is it that theatre co-exists with visual arts which come together in the field of what is referred to as performance art? How do we find a language to describe this phenomenon? Conference participants will also try to identify the processes occurring in modern trends within the arts and theatre, which are increasingly merging and overlapping. Many artistic trends today are described as "theatre" (e.g. Orlan's "theatre of operations" or Herman Nitsch's "Das Orgien Mysterien Theater") - performance art for instance - because projects use theatrical conventions. On the other hand, many artistic phenomena previously not associated with the theatre medium are appearing on theatre stages all over the world. More and more often, directors take advantage of new media, body art, video art, and installation art, while artists often theatricalize their works, all of which blurs boundaries. On the one hand, one might think of this as an attempted colonization of theatre by art (e.g. in the case of various forms of post-dramatic theatre), while on the other hand new creative opportunities emerge which could lead to the formation of new artistic disciplines.
|Hungarian Theatre in Cluj, Romania, and Gyulai Várshínház from Hungary, Richard III,|
The conference will be chaired by Prof. Jerzy Limon from the University of Gdańsk. The programme includes productions which make use of art and new media (including Hamlet by The Wooster Group from New York). The speakers are: Marvin Carlson, Eli Rozik, Patrice Pavis, Maria Shevtsova, Erika Fischer-Lichte, Christopher Balme, Steve Dixon, Bryan Reynolds, and John Jesurun. A separate session on the activity of The Wooster Group is also planned, which the group's members and Elizabeth LeCompte herself will honour with their presence.
The conference is part of a project called "Beyond the Stage - New Trends in European Theatre" which receives financing from the European Union's Culture Programme.
The Talent Factory section will include art, circus-theatre, drummer, music/vocal, stilt-walking, and film workshops. To wrap up the festival (on 10 August 2009, 12:00 noon) a Theatre Parade of the workshop participants will set off from Złota Brama, moving towards Dolne Miasto.
For more information on the Shakespearean Festival and a detailed programme, visit the website: www.festiwalszekspirowski.pl
Organisers: Theatrum Gedanense Foundation and Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre
Buremu: Długi Targ 11/13, 80-828 Gdańsk
phone/fax (+48 58) 301 34 11, 305 68 00www.festiwalszekspirowski.pl