phoenix transatlantic – new plays from NRW and NYC

PHOENIX TRANSATLANTIC is a festival with newest plays from the German Bundesland of Northrhine-Westphalia and New York City. On April 29th and 30th, 2010, the dramaturges Christine Richter-Nilsson and Henning Bochert (of raum4) will present nine selected plays as premieres and also as guest performances from the VOICES OF CHANGE festival of the Theater Bielefeld at the “Embassy of the West” (the Representation of Northrhine-Westphalia with the Federal Government).

The economic crisis began in the USA and impacted the entire world trade. At the same time, a new president, whose magic campaign formula “CHANGE” raised high expectations towards different political and social developments, was elected in the United States in 2008. In Germany, too, the governing coalition changed, and the global financial crisis left its mark on the employment market: Still, the face of change is a different one here.

PHOENIX TRANSATLANTIC aims to make the discussion about CHANGE here and on the other side of the Atlantic transparent and encourage the dialogue on the stage, on the panel and in the forum of the festival. How is the situation of an economic crisis and of political change received at the east coast of the United States and in the Federal Republic of Germany? Was there or is there a crisis? What has collapsed, and what does that mean? Which changes did the people long for during this crisis, and do these changes come about now in a new political situation? How do the arts and the current theatrical landscape reflect the social and cultural change?

The production invited four playwrights from NRW to position themselves to these questions in form of a mini drama. Anna Behringer, Nuran David Calis, Thomas Melle, and Charlotte Roos are writing short plays exclusively for this event. These are meant to premiere at a NRW theatre later. Five plays from New York City, that have been presented by the VOICES OF CHANGE festival at the Theater Bielefeld earlier in April 2010, are invited. 


On Thursday and Friday, two new American plays in German translation will be presented as workshop productions. During a panel discussion, experts from theater, politics and science will talk about “representation of crisis and change in society and culture.”
Furthermore, four short German plays will be presented as well as three American ones from the program of VOICES OF CHANGE. A Round Table of the DRAMA PANORAMA forum for theatre and translation will also be part of the program.


VOICES OF CHANGE is a festival of the Theater Bielefeld for presentation of new American plays. From April 22nd-25th, 2010, artistic director Christine Richter-Nilsson together with co-curator will show fifteen selected plays in German language premieres, workshop productions, and staged readings as well as one guest performance from New York City.

VOICES OF CHANGE is a festival of the Theater Bielefeld in cooperation with New Dramatists, SoHo Repertory Theater, Summer Play Festival, The Flea Theater in New York City, Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre as well as Theaterakademie Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater,
In coproduction with Schlosstheater Moers and Theaterlabor Bielefeld
Funded by NRW Kultursekretariat, US General Consulate Düsseldorf, Theater- und Konzertfreunde Bielefeld and S. Fischer Theaterverlag (literary agency)


Translators of DRAMA PANORAMA translate most of the US short plays. At a DRAMA PANORAMA Café, the translators and playwrights from NRW and NYC will exchange their views in a public framework. The Café is scheduled for the morning of April 30th at the “Embassy of the West” as an additional part of the PHOENIX TRANSATLANTIC festival program.

PHOENIX TRANSATLANTIC is a coproduction of the Representation of Northrhine-Westphalia with the VOICES OF CHANGE festival at the Theater Bielefeld as well as a coproduction with raum4 – netzwerk für künstlerische alltagsbewältigung, NRW Kultursekretariat and Drama Panorama – Forum for Theater and Translation.

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