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European Drama from Poland and Ukraine

Staged Reading and Panel Discussion

European Drama from Poland and Ukraine

Reading and panel discussion with Olha Mazjupa and Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk

Theater scholar Iwona Uberman and translator Andreas Volk introduce the Polish playwright Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk and the Ukrainian playwright Olha Mazjupa. We will read from their texts Der Schriftsteller (Sikorska-Miszczuk) and Richtung Osten fliegt der Ball (Mazjupa). We will discuss with the authors how a Polish playwright came to write a play about Salman Rushdie in the year 2020 and whether the socially critical comedy by a Ukrainian author might still provoke laughter in 2022. We will also ask the authors why drama from Poland and Ukraine has such a hard time finding its way onto German-language stages.

“For me, Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk is a theatrical free spirit. The protagonists of her plays are often well-known personalities from (contemporary) history, through whom she deals with the great existential questions in an ironic and entertaining way. In doing so, she always succeeds masterfully in maintaining the balance between the seriousness of the content and our grotesque reality,” explains Andreas Volk (translator of Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk).

The statement from the Heidelberger Stückemarkt jury describes Olha Mazjupa as finding “many different scenic styles to make her story shine and to escalate the scenario – small, sharp, gruff dialogues, silent scenes of everyday tasks, surreal images. Olha Mazjupa’s text is what, absurdly, a play must be, an unfinished work of art that cries out for the stage where it is to be finished.”


Olha Mazjupa, born in 1988 in Pidbirzi near Lviv, is a playwright and theater studies scholar. She studied Serbian language and literature at the Ivan Franko University Lviv and graduated with a PhD from the Marie Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin in theater and literary studies. Her plays have been performed in Lviv, Chust, Sievierodonetsk and Chernivtsi, and she has worked with theatres in Rzeszów and Sosnowiec. In 2017, her play Öko-Ballade won the internation author prize at the Heidelberger Stückemarkts.



Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk is a multi-award winning playwright, librettist and scriptwriter in Poland and abroad. She studied journalism and political science at the University of Warsaw. She is also a graduate of the scriptwriting program at the State School for Film, Theater and TV in Łódź. Recipient of scholarships from CEC ArtsLink in the USA, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Stiftung Genshagen. Author of plays that are performed both in the original and in translation, as well as radio plays, opera libretti, film scripts and plays for children. In 2011, she was invited to the Berliner Stückemarkt.



We are very pleased to partner with Drama Panorama to host this event. Please click HERE to read the complete event information on their website.

Hanoch Levin

Staged Reading and Panel Discussion

Israeli dramatist Hanoch Levin and his translations into German – staged reading, panel discussion and book launch: Die im Dunkeln gehen

Hanoch Levin (1943–1999) was the most important Israeli dramatist of the 20th century, whose work left important artistic and socio-political marks on the Israeli theater. Today, his plays are part of the canon in Israel and are frequently produced. Levin is also well known and performed in other countries, especially France and Poland, while many of his plays remain yet to be discovered in Germany.

Translations and productions must help to make this happen. Matthias Naumann published the first German monograph on Levin (Dramaturgie der Drohung. Das Theater des israelischen Dramatikers und Regisseurs Hanoch Levin. Marburg: Tectum 2006) and initiated the first German-language productions with his translations of Levin’s plays. Now six of Levin’s plays will appear for the first time in German translation in the anthology Die im Dunkeln gehen (Berlin: Neofelis Verlag 2022).

Israeli theater studies scholar Freddie Rokem and translator Matthias Naumann will present the new book Die im Dunkeln gehen and together with Barbora Schnelle (who will moderate the discussion) and director Antje Thoms, who directed the first German-language production of Levin’s Das Kind träumt in Augsburg in 2018, will discuss which of Levin’s plays are interesting for German-language stages and audiences, along with which challenges they pose to translations and         productions.

In a staged reading, we will present excerpts from Das Kind träumt and other plays from the book Hanoch Levin: Die im Dunkeln. Levin’s best-known play, Das Kind träumt, draws on historical experiences of persecution and tells the story of a mother and her child’s flight from soldiers to the land of dead children, where the Messiah is supposed to appear. Die Kofferpacker, in contrast, is a comedy that draws the lives of several families in a flurry of short scenes between departures, returns and unfulfilled dreams, and between weddings and funerals.

Freddie Rokem is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Theater at Tel Aviv University, where he was Dean of the Faculty of the Arts (2002–2006) and held the Emanuel Herzikowitz Chair for the Arts of the 19th and 20th Centuries (2006–2016). He has been a guest professor at various universities, such as the Freie Universität Berlin, the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main and the University of Chicago. The following of his books have been published in German translation: Geschichte aufführen. Darstellungen der Vergangenheit im Gegenwartstheater (2012) and TheaterDenken. Begegnungen und Konstellationen zwischen Philosophen und Theatermachern (2017). Rokem also works as a dramaturg and translator.



Antje Thoms studied applied theater studies in in Gießen and was then an assistant director at the Niedersächsisches Staatstheater Hannover. There she worked with directors including Sebastian Nübling, Luk Perceval and Jossi Wieler. Since 2003, she has worked as a freelance director and writer, and in 2007 founded the independent Zürcher Theaterformation Trainingslager with the writer Jens Nielsen and actor Dominique Müller. From 2014/15 to 2021/22, Antje Thoms was house director at the Theater Göttingen and starting in the 2022/23 season is director of drama at the Theater Regensburg.



Matthias Naumann is a writer, translator and publisher. Since 2011, he has been the director of Neofelis Verlag, Berlin, which published the series Drama Panorama – Neue internationale Theatertexte. His plays have been invited to the Autorentheatertagen and to the Heidelberger Stückemarkt, since 2014 he has mainly worked as part of the collaborative theater group Futur II Konjunktiv. He also translates plays from Hebrew.




We are very pleased to partner with Drama Panorama to host this event. Please click HERE to read the complete event information on their website.

Roman Sikora

Staged Reading and Panel Discussion

Roman Sikora is an explicitly political writer who analyses the power structures of a society dominated by market economics in his work in grotesque form. Translator Barbora Schnelle has been working with Roman Sikora for many years. This has now culminated in the publication of the anthology Frühstück mit Leviathan (Berlin: Neofelis 2021).

The playwright Roman Sikora and his translator Barbora Schnelle will present the new book Frühstück mit Leviathan and discuss with publisher Matthias Naumann (who will moderate the discussion) the path Sikora’s plays took onto German stages and the importance of translating and publishing contemporary international drama. Extracts from the plays Frühstück mit LeviathanDrei Tage oder Abstieg und Aufstieg des Herrn B. and Auf dem Weg zum Sieg from the book Roman Sikora: Frühstück mit Leviathan will also be read in a staged reading.

In the play Frühstück mit Leviathan, the guests invited to breakfast with the richest businessman in the world don’t have any scruples when it comes to getting richer themselves. The hero of his comedy Drei Tage oder Abstieg und Aufstieg des Herrn B. makes a career as a cunning banker. After an accident, he ends up on the street and, when he is robbed of every last cent, experiences the dark side of capitalism. The play Auf dem Weg zum Sieg leads us into the ranks of the k. u. k. army in the First World War and investigates the mentality of the war machine.

After completing his training, Roman Sikora worked as an electrician and mechanic at the steelworks in his hometown of Třinec, before he studied directing and dramaturgy at the Janáček Academy for Music and the Performaing Arts in Brno. Today he works as a freelance playwright and theater critic, translates from Polish (e.g. Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk) and teaches playwriting at the faculty of theater at the the Academy of Musical Arts in Prague. Sikora’s plays have been translated into many languages and performed internationally.



Barbora Schnelle works as a freelance translator, theater critic and culture manager. In 2009, with Antje Oegel, she founded the project Drama Panorama: Forum für Übersetzung und Theater. In 2014 she founded the festival of contemporary Czech theater Ein Stück: Tschechien in Berlin, which she has run and curated since then.




We are very pleased to partner with Drama Panorama to host this event. Please click HERE to read the complete event information on their website.

Multilingualism in Theater

Panel Discussion and Staged Readings

Confini by Ian De Toffoli. Premiere: July 3, 2021, Campania Teatro Festival, Naples, Directed by Davide Sacco. © Donato Aquaro

There are currently a noticeably large number of authors who write multilingual plays and receive recognition for it. For example, Sivan Ben Yishai’s multilingual play Wounds Are Forever (Selbstportrait als Nationaldichterin) won the most important prize for contemporary drama in German, the Mülheim Drama Prize, in 2022. But what path do multilingual texts take in a theater culture traditionally focused on German as the dominant written and literary language? Can multilingual writing change the theatrical and literary canon? What does the increasing collaboration of translators on original multilingual texts mean for the notion of a “German-language theater”? How does the concept of multilingualism relate to the concept of diversity?

In our panel discussion, we will talk with the playwrights, translators and theater makers Elise Wilk, Ian De Toffoli and Thomas Perle about the significance of multilingual theater texts in contemporary theater. Together, we will take a look to the future, asking what new forms of writing for theater might emerge from a multilingual production and performance practice and, conversely, how multilingual plays, not written for a particular production in a particular venue, anticipate a transformation of theater yet to come. We consider what role translators will play in multilingual theater practice and writing and discuss the possibility of a translatory turn in theater studies. We will ask about the significance of multilingual drama in countries such as Luxembourg and Romania. Together, we will draw a differentiated picture of multilingual writing for the stage as a political strategy and aesthetic process.

The discussion will alternate with short staged readings of new multilingual plays. In this way, we will demonstrate the potential multilingual writing is already unlocking now and how it can develop in future.

We are very pleased to partner with Drama Panorama to host this event. Please click HERE to read the complete event information on their website.

Funding for Translation in Theater

Panel Discussion

“International, cultural dialogue, looking beyond your own backyard” – many theaters use catchphrases like this to market their seasons. But in order to present foreign-language plays on German stages, these first need to be translated.

Audiences in the theaters of large cities are becoming increasingly international. Many theaters now plan foreign-language surtitling (often English) from the beginning to make theater accessible for as many people as possible. For these surtitles too, texts need to be translated competently from the German.

Unfortunately, neither the theaters nor the publishers have enough money in their budgets to pay for this adequately. Theaters are being forced to resort to tougher and tougher savings strategies, and things will no doubt get harder due to Covid-19. Theater publishers are struggling to survive and international plays are often not even taken into the publisher’s catalogue, since the higher costs associated with them due to uncertain royalty returns most likely cannot be covered.

We will provide an overview of different funding models and programs, discuss how these programs can be designed with the guests, and analyze how theater translation can be communicated to and represented in the funding bodies. Can the current funding models meet the actual needs of theater translators? Are there different approaches in other countries? How can we think about new models? What about cooperative projects? How can requirements be communicated? We want to inspire new ideas and create synergies, and put the main focus on the needs of the theater translators.

We are very pleased to partner with Drama Panorama to host this event. Please click HERE to read the complete event information on their website.

Before the event gets underway, we would like to ask you to participate anonymously in our survey (in German) on the topic of support of theater translation – please do so by October 24 via this link.

Multilingualism in Theater

A Panel Discussion and Reading

Our society is a postmigrant society. It has changed again and again due to countless waves of migration, has become richer and more diverse as a result and is shaped by the coexistence of lots of languages and language regions that mutually influence each other.

How is this situation reflected in today’s theater? The German theater is the child of nationalism. But for a while now, the narrative of the national theater is being rewritten. Are multilingual productions a possible answer to our postnational social reality? For what purpose are multiple languages used and what effect do they have? How are multilingual plays written? And how are they translated?

At our evening event, we will talk to theater-makers who are creating new and groundbreaking models of multilingualism for the stage, and read from multilingual plays. In the workshop we will talk to writers and translators working in multiple languages, analyze linguistic aspects of the topic and discuss the texts with the selected participants.

We are very pleased to partner with Drama Panorama to host this event. Please click HERE to read the complete event information on their website.

Oury Jalloh – Oranienplatz – Ohlauer Strasse

The Impact of European Refugee Policy in Europe

Exhibition | Scenic Presentation | Panel Discussion

We commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the death-in-custody of Oury Jalloh with a day of art and action. The event includes a specially commissioned foyer exhibition, the official launch and scenic presentation of the play The Most Unsatisfied Town by Amy Evans, directed by Daniel Brunet, and a panel discussion moderated by Noa Ha, urban researcher (board member of Migrationsrat Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), with Mouctar Bah, human rights activist (Initiative Oury Jalloh), Canan Bayram, politician (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen), Eddie Bruce-Jones, legal expert (Oury Jalloh International Independent Commission) and Mai Shutta, human rights activist & refugee (Oranienplatz & Ohlauer Straße).

In cooperation with Sharon Dodua Otoo, Witnessed Series and Africavenir





In the early hours of 7 January 2005, Oury Jalloh, a man seeking asylum from Sierra Leone, was apprehended by German police authorities in Dessau and shackled by his hands and feet to the floor of a cell furnished with nothing other than a fireproof mattress. Several hours later a fire broke out in the holding facility. Police authorities neglected to respond to fire alarms in a timely manner, and Oury Jalloh was left to burn to death in his cell. Three years later two of the police officers on duty at the time of the incident were prosecuted on charges of wrongful death. The defense argued that Oury Jalloh had intentionally set himself alight with a cigarette lighter concealed in his clothing. After a trial lasting over fifty days, the police officers were acquitted of any wrongdoing.

The Initiative Oury Jalloh, an organization founded by friends and family of the deceased, appealed the verdict, insisting that the trial in Dessau had been mishandled. Five years to the day of Oury Jalloh’s death, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe overturned the verdict and re-opened the case against the police. This unprecedented decision brought urgent attention to the contentious triangle of asylum policy, racism, and police brutality in Germany and in the European Union as a whole.

The Most Unsatisfied Town by Amy Evans

Since his arrival in Germany as a refugee, Laurence has tried to do everything right, taking the kind of job no national would ever want and making friends with his neighbors, even the families of those who tease his children in school. He’s found the formula for survival, or so he thinks, until one day his closest friend mysteriously disappears. When the body turns up charred beyond recognition, a search for those responsible begins, forcing Laurence to take a closer look at the town he was so ready to call home.

Development of The Most Unsatisfied Town began in September 2009 at the ICI Berlin Institute of Cultural Inquiry and involved direct contact with activists working on the case, including Carl von Ossietzky award recipient Mouctar Bah and Yonas Endrias, Vice President of the Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte. A rough draft of the script was presented to the public in December 2009 at an open workshop hosted by the ICI Berlin, where audience members were encouraged to share their feedback on the work-in-progress. A revised draft of the play incorporating that feedback was presented to the public as a staged reading in April 2010. The script will be published in 2015 by Edition Assemblage as part of Witnessed, a series of new books chronicling the Black experience in Germany.

Amy Evans (playwright) is a New York-based playwright whose work explores the impact of borders, loss and movement on the human spirit. Amy began writing for the stage full-time following the premiere of her award-winning first play, Achidi J’s Final Hours, at the Finborough Theatre in London in 2004. Other plays include Many Men’s Wife (Tricycle Theatre), The Next Question (HB Playwrights Foundation), Unstoned (Soho Theatre), The Big Nickel (Soho Theatre) and The Champion, a new play inspired by the life of Nina Simone. She is an alumnus of the Institute of Cultural Inquiry Kulturlabor in Berlin, Hedgebrook Women Writers’ Residency, BRICStudio Performing Arts Residency and the Tricycle Theatre Writers’ Group. Amy’s plays and poetry have appeared in several publications, including Velocity: The Best of Apples and Snakes performance poetry anthology (Black Spring Press, 2003); Mythen, Masken, Subjekte: Kritische Weißseinforschung in Deutschland (Unrast, 2005), a multi-disciplinary publication on critical whiteness studies in Germany; and How Long Is Never? (Josef Weinberger, 2007), a collection of short plays written in response to the crisis in Darfur. She holds an MA in Theatre Arts from Goldsmiths College.

Sharon Dodua Otoo (Project Coordinator, Limited to You) is a Black British mother, activist, author and editor of the book series Witnessed. She co-edited the first publication of the series The Little Book of Big Visions. How to be an Artist and Revolutionise the World with Berlin-based curator Sandrine Micossé-Aikins (edition assemblage, 2012). Sharon’s first novella the things i am thinking while smiling politely was published in February 2012 (edition assemblage). The German language translation die dinge, die ich denke, während ich höflich lächle, appeared in October 2013. Her latest novella Synchronicity (in German) appeared in August 2014 and will be published in English at the end of 2015. She lives, laughs and works in Berlin.

The City Ghettos of Today: Uninhabited Island

This installation and performance constitute the sixth stage of the trans-European project The City Ghettos of Today: Exploring the Memory and Present Day Reality of Migrant Communities in European Cities.

At the heart of the project The City Ghettos of Today is a desire to redefine and reexamine the concept “ghetto” in the context of today’s closed migrant districts. Through artistic creation and sociological research, we aim to create a space in which to examine and discuss the multiple stories emanating from Europe’s migrant “ghettos”. How do we talk about “ghettos” today? Is it possible – and even necessary – to redefine the word in a manner that more accurately reflects the multiple realities that constitute our contemporary urban landscapes? What role do “ghettos” play in constructing a European identity? What factors contribute to phenomena of “ghettoization” in contemporary Europe? What are the dynamics that contribute to the implantation of migrant communities throughout Europe today and how do they connect to the collective memory of Europe’s past?

The City Ghettos of Today entails a series of workshops open to local communities in different European cities – Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Berlin and Antwerp. Run by artists and cultural actors, each workshop installment will conclude with an art installation and public debate on the project’s themes in each of the cities listed above. This European collaboration will conclude in Warsaw in December 2014 with a large-scale installation-performance and debate that will bring together materials culled from each of the participating city workshops. The project unites artists, cultural actors, academics and social workers in order to explore the broad themes of “ghetto” and “migration districts” in participating European cities. The City Ghettos of Today reflects the interdisciplinary dimension of the Strefa WolnoSlowa foundation, which combines academic and theoretical methodologies with practices of artistic and cultural creation. Through artistic reflection and intellectual research, this collaborative project seeks to unravel the complex and problematical theme of “migrant ghettos” in contemporary Europe, paying particular attention to various definitions and visions of ghettos within the contexts of Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Berlin and Antwerp.

The City Ghettos of Today in Berlin: Uninhabited Island

November 4 – 13, 2014

Uninhabited Island situates The City Ghettos of Today in the Berlin site-specific context of a rapidly changing city, from the “Cinderella” of European capitals back in the 1990s to the present “place to be”. The focus will be placed on the urban and social changes which are currently affecting the city, such as gentrification and the resulting displacement of low-income inhabitants, often including those with a “migration background”. Former immigrant and poor districts often associated with the idea of “ghetto”, like Kreuzberg or Neukölln, have received unprecedented hype and developed into magnets for tourists and real estate investors during the last five years.

Over the course of this, these districts, once the furthest limits of West Berlin and now central districts in the reunified German capital, have been increasingly populated by a new wave of immigrants. These newcomers, primarily from comparatively rich Western countries, active in the creative industries and often using English, not German, as a working language stand in stark contrast both to the pre-war German residents of Kreuzberg and Neukölln as well as the first wave of post-war immigrants, coming primarily from Turkey through a guest worker program established by West Berlin.

How do these distinct groups see themselves today? How do they see each other? Can they even communicate? 25 years after the Fall of the Wall, Berlin is still an island. An island full of existing inhabitants and constantly arriving new inhabitants. An island whose international glamorization and hyping in recent years have radically transformed living conditions in these previously impoverished, primarily migrant districts in the form of unsustainably increasing rental costs. An island that everyone wants to obtain or defend a piece of. The “struggle” for the island will be examined with representatives from these various groups through laboratories and workshops.

The Berlin-based part of the project is organized in cooperation with English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, OnElf Theater and Performance Collective, European Alternatives and Tanz der Kulturen e.V.

  1. Artistic Workshops: Creating Uninhabited Island

Beginning on November 4, the international artistic team of The City Ghettos of Today from Poland, Italy, Finland and France together with the local partners English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts and OnElf Theater and Performance Collective will invite an heterogeneous group of participants based in Berlin, old and new Berliners, from Germany and from beyond, to work and reflect on the changing living and social conditions in the city. Starting from the stories and biography of the participants as a representative “sample” of contemporary Berliners and in a provocative relation with one another, a collective, controversial and complex portrait of the city will be created and strategies and desires for a common future will be rehearsed.

The results of this collective undertaking will be presented on Thursday, November 13 at 8:00 pm at English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center.

Workshops will be led an artistic project team consisting of: Pietro Floridia (Cantieri Meticci, Bologna), Alicja Borkowska (Strefa WolnoSłowa, Warsaw), Daniel Brunet (English Theatre Berlin | IPAC), Elena Basteri, Christian, Willhelm and Johannes Kup (OnElf Theatre and Performance Collective), Mehmet Ballikaya (Tanz der Kulturen), Linda Fahssis (Cie Check Points, Paris), Tomasz Gromadka (Strefa WolnoSłowa, Warsaw), Piotr Mikuć (Strefa WolnoSłowa, Warsaw), Marek Płuciennik (Ptarmigan, Helsinki), Alejandro Olarte (University of Arts of Helsinki – Center for Music and Technology)


  1. Debate: Gentrification? It’s the Art, Stupid!


When: November 8, 2014, 4:30 pm

Where: English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, Fidicinstr. 40, 10965, Berlin

Moderated by sociologist Baris Ulker of Technical University Berlin, Center for Metropolitan Studies, artists, activists and academics will discuss Berlin, gentrification, social and urban change as well as the role of the artist as both catalyst of gentrification and as producer of alternative spaces and counter narratives of the urban and social environment.

Participants: Baris Ülker (Technische Universität Berlin, Center for Metropolitan Studies), Elena Basteri (Onelf Theater and Performance Collective Berlin), Renata Włoch (Sociology Institute of Warsaw University), Daniel Brunet (English Theatre Berlin | IPAC), copy & waste, Michelle Teran, Helga Dressel (Co-curator of the project Haus der 28. Türen),


  1. Spotlight on the Installation


When: November 13, 2014, 8:00 pm

Where: English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, Fidicinstr. 40, 10965, Berlin

Admission to all events is free of charge.

This project is financially supported by the European Commission – Program Europe for Citizens and co-financed by the Evens Foundation

Logotyp_Europa dla Obywateli Logotyp_Evens Foundation