EUROPOLY – Performances and films exploring Europe in times of transformation

A festival held by Goethe-Institut and Münchner Kammerspiele


One crisis after another is proclaimed in Europe. We have long gotten used to this permanent state. But there are people and specific life realities behind these crises. Their stories are told in five new plays by young theater groups from Germany, Greece, Lithuania and Portugal as well as in nine short films which have been created especially for this festival.

In Greece and Spain the extra-parliamentary movements have generated the parties Syriza and Podemos which have gained seats in the parliaments. On the basis of these experiences we will use the DOING DEMOCRACY round of talks to discuss the state of democracy and the option of a plan B for Europe with the former Greek President of Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou. Under the title BODIES OF WORK, three directors pursue different forms of precarious work in the new Europe. Under the title EXTREME REALITIES we show short films curated by Dorothee Wenner, which illustrate in an entertaining as well as profound manner the surprising differences between two countries at a time.

The extreme right-wing party “Golden Dawn” has the goal to “cleanse” Greece from migrants. The Greek stage directors Anestis Azas and Prodromos Tsinikoris turn this rhetoric against itself and pose the question: Who does the cleaning in this country? In the 1980s these were the migrants from the Philippines, in the 90s from the Balkans and the former East bloc and since 2000 primarily migrants from Asia and Africa. In CLEAN CITY, cleaning staff from the various immigrant generations talk about work where social contrasts collide every day and about solidarity in times of crisis (February 17 and 18).

The supermarket is a completely typical and mundane as well as highly symbolic place where money is traded for goods and the consumer society runs hot. The Lithuanian artists Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė lend a voice to ten check-out clerks and ask about the life stories behind the mechanical “Hello, good-bye”. In the musical theater production HAVE A GOOD DAY! people in precarious jobs sing their personal reports from the heart of capitalism (February 20 and 21).

At the beach tourists and refugees meet for the first time, two worlds of life which could not be more different. Stories of invasion, emigration and war have left their traces in this place of leisure-time culture. In THIS BEACH the Irish theater group Brokentalkers portrays a family that defends its private fortress Europe against the foreign presence that has landed in their territory (February 17 and 19).

In MONDAY the Portuguese choreographer Cláudia Dias and the Spanish writer Pablo Fidalgo Lareo enter the boxing ring together. She fights with her fists, he with words. His questions hit home like uppercuts. Private and political issues are slugged out in 12 rounds. Both belong to a society that has been knocked out with some frequency. For this very reason they make a passionate plea for encountering the future without fear and for always being ready for the next blow (February 21 and 22).

The Berlin media theater collective machina eX translates computer games from the virtual into the physical world and uses the results to program an interactive game theater in the world’s best graphic environment: reality. In LESSONS OF LEAKING a young employee accidentally obtains top secret information whose publication would have harrowing consequences for all of Europe. To leak or not to leak? In small groups the members of the audience participate in a political thriller. In solving riddles they make far-reaching private and political decisions (February 17-23).

KammerCampus #4: Parallel to the festival, 15 emerging artists from five countries meet in a masterclass. Through the program they discuss contemporary forms and contents of theater and enquire about artistic freedom in relation to the current striving for usability and political commitment in art.

EUROPOLY is a European project for theatre and film by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with Münchner Kammerspiele, Onassis Cultural-Centre Athens, Sirenos – Vilnius International Theatre Festival, Teatro Maria Matos Lisbon and Tiger Dublin Fringe.

In cooperation with Allianz Cultural Foundation.

Find all the dates here.