Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Germany sky

By Danylo Shramenko, scholar at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin, Germany

I am a man from Ukraine. I Born in Kyiv. I love my country, but now I live and work in Berlin, and I love sky in this city. Sometimes I looking in the sky and see best perfomances in the world it gives me power to work and create.

So, now I work Deutsches Theatre with directors from the Cosmos (Schenk/Cant) and two super actors from Ukraine, I would like to say, that I don't understend nothing, nothing, nothing what happened in Germany, in Europe in theatre. Because everything new for me, people, this culture, how people thinking, how they live, what they eat, it's dangerous very dangerouse. Because food in Germany I feel very bad in market. I worry for them they can die from it.

I feel conflict. I born in another culture, and it's so different... So hard to understand this people.

I think in Urkaine more freedom, chaos, the disorder but in Germany people fell themselves more free but they have a lot of order and sterility.

So I like German sky.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Performances at the Fast Forward Festival

By Elizaveta Oliinyk, scholar at, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Germany

I'm very much thankful for an opportunity to see many great theater performances by Fast Forward Festival in Dresden. New aesthetics and political actuality of some performances have impressed me a lot. "J'abandonne une partie de moi que j'adapte" by Theater National Brussel was my favorite. This theater work inspired me to think about possible future performance that I would like to work on in Ukraine. I really liked how young French director Justine Lequette deeply investigated the topic of labor, her work with film media, political manipulative speeches and gestures (there is a fantastic transition in body language of actors showing time transition!) Interesting conceptual approach to political crisis took the Swiss collective helium x, but their work was rather entertainment. 

Collage work based on the Ionesco play “Bald soprano” (only one author play text within the festival!) by Greek director Marilena Katranidou was also one of my favorites. Marilena tried to deconstruct the language clichés and manipulative power incorporated in these clichés. I think that absurd performances are really a present for actors, they give a space for improvisation, are very free and at the same time political!

“One gesture” by Wojtek Ziemilski was definitely the best documentary performance I have ever seen. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fast Forward Festival

By Semyon Kyslyi, scholar at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin, Germany

This festival gave me a lot of impressions and themes for reflection. The opportunity to see the work of various theatrical collectives from Europe. And the opportunity to talk directly with the creators of the performances, to find out how they work. This makes it possible to go beyond the theatrical context of one's own country. And look at the theater for a new vision. This is what the festival gave me. I watched 6 performances and all of them were completely different. Different in esthetic, utterance but at the same time equally interesting. Each country has its own tradition of theater. Each group represented its search in the theater zone. But I was personally inspired by the fact that all the young directors I saw at the festival wanted to talk about something important for them. Of course the abundance of different forms and styles of the theater, gives the opportunity to learn and expand own horizons. To inspire and realize my own potential. But for me the most important was the realization that a real dialogue and cultural exchange can occur when our statement in the theater is based on issues that are really important, first of all for ourselves. Then it gives me an impulse to interact and participate in a topic that the theatrical collective raises, no matter what form they choose or in what language they speak. Truth and beauty are international!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Atmosphere of Tbilisi - Part One: Personal

By Viktoria Shvydko, scholar at the Kote Marjanishvili, Tbilisi, Georgia

Warm sunshine. Clear sky above the head. Harsh mountains that look out of the Gothic cathedrals, of the classic buildings, of the metal glazed high-rise buildings, and generally look out of everywhere.
Men. Women. Children. Elder people. Such insanely beautiful people. I feel of them inner strength - and sometimes even aggression. But the combination of mountain rigor and solar heat in these people creates their own charisma.

This is a country from the category of those you need to watch, which you should see, otherwise you will not feel it completely. For the first few days, I was simply in a cultural shock mixed with incredible aesthetic pleasure.

Shock - because I first met a language that does not look like anything; language in which I do not have any links. Enjoyment - because my eyes and brain in a few hours of wandering around the city were filled with beauty and many thoughts. The range of thoughts began with silent enthusiasm and culminated in the comprehension of terms such as "democracy", "progress", "future", "changes".
Absolute dissimilarity of this city to my usual living conditions, unknown language, strange frankness and openness of ordinary passers-by in this city did not interfere with me and did not frighten me at all. I felt like a welcome guest in this strange land.

I felt this city, this culture as my close friend.

Monday, January 11, 2016

"The magic sound is the balance between music, voice & personality."

Interview of Olga Popova, scholar at Schauspielhaus Graz, with the composers of the music to Lilly Sykes "Cactus Land"

Probably every director knows how important music is for a performance as it is always that missing piece to create magic that puts the audience into the certain atmosphere or emotional state. During my scholarship and assisting on the production of “Cactus Land” directed by Lilly Sykes I have met the music that I, as a director, fell in love with.

Here is a small interview with Maren Montauk and David Schwartz that have created the music for the performance.

In Cactus Land, directed by Lily Sykes, we worked with a female choir. It became a exciting challange and a big opportunity for us at the same time. Music by many voices sounds very special and deep, but of course first you have to know the voices with its people behind. Then you find a unique soundorchestra. The magic sound is the balance between music, voice & personality.

Scene from "Cactus Land" by Lilly Sykes / Photo by Lupi Spuma

How many pieces of music have you and David created and can you describe with a few words some of them?

David Schwarz und Maren Kessler created together almost 50 Popsongs for our Projekt "Maren Montauk" (OAK, electrorot & Peace Songs), a lot of film music (Reise zum Mars), theatre music (cactus land), performances (RAUCH, O.P.I.U.M ) and we wrote our first music theatre play "From Room To Room I" & "From Room To Room II". They are all our babies and every song & piece has its own charme, its own identity, its fitting spot in time and space.

David and me we like to work with different artists, different energies (Mr.Bugslow & schwarzunschmitz) and also work, perform and compose solo pieces on our own.

Generally: a piece is made out of its material, setting and its proper outcome.

Photo by Sophie Schwarz

Could you also say a few words about your project “Maren Montauk”?

Maren Montauk is a fictional charakter invented by Maren Kessler to produce, sing & perform extraordinary pop music: mainly in collaboration with David Schwarz (co-composer/arranger/pianist). The concept of Maren Montauk: music & art is defined by the right setting. Always on the search for new sounds, Maren Montauk works & breath continuously with different musicians forming new and and exciting collaborations, including the Peace Song Projekt, Maren Montauk band, electrorot and OAK. In addition Maren Montauk composed soundtracks for film (“Journey to Mars”, direction: Sebastian Binder).
In 2014 Maren Montauk staged her first musical performance play, From Room To Room I, combining music from OAK & electrorot with elements of composed theatre and audience participation. In october 2015 From Room To Room II has premiered in Berlin.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Body Language

Some impressions of Olga Popova, dancer and actress, about her stay at Schauspielhaus Graz, Austria.

During my stay at schauspielhaus Graz I tried to see all performances that were produced by the time of my internship to give myself general and more precise idea about the theatre in Europe.

So one evening I went to see «Volpone oder der Fuchs». As I was sitting in a forth row just in front of the actors - I could see every smallest detail of an actor’s play and the form of the performance, and the way how the characters were created were totally new to me. What I have discovered was that although it was mainly a form used I could still see real people on the stage due to the details that actors had put in it. Especially I liked Volpone's character created by Andri Schenardi, actually I liked it so much that I couldn’t miss a chance to talk to Andri about his role and how he has developed it.

So we had a coffe together and Andri told me so many nice things about how he uses body language and how he came across creation of all these tiny and beautiful details for the character (my favourite one is when Volpone licking his fingers like a fox after slip) and at one point I realized that my impression of the performance has a connection with my overall impression from the stay at Graz theatre as it was a lot about body language: I do not understand German and even though all performances and rehearsals were in German - I think it actually helped me to notice little details of a body language and see how we can develop it and use it while creating a character wich helped me to understand some things I have been walking around in circles but couldn't find a proper answer for myself.

So I probably could describe my stay in Graz as “answering my inner questions experience” answers to which are sometimes placed in the body not in the words that the body produces.

Andri Schenardi and Benedikt Greiner in "Volpone" /
© Foto by Lupi-Spuma

Julia Gräfner, Franz Xaver Zach and Andri Schenardi in "Volpone" /
© Foto by Lupi-Spuma

Thursday, December 10, 2015


by Dmytro Levytskyi

During my residence in the Kote Marjanishvili theater in Tbilisi I have written the play "Exchange". On the last day of the residence, November 26, students of theatrical institute named after Shota Rustaveli did a reading of the play in the theater.
This play is important to me since the text was written in collaboration with the actors themselves, who became donors for stories about Tbilisi, about Georgia. Moreover, the play is written in two languages ​​- Georgian and Russian. I hope this text will be staged at the theater in Georgia.
It is a piece about the Ukrainian playwright Zhenya, who is trying to use his talents - to fit into society, but in today's corrupt Ukraine he is not needed, the State does not need his services. Zhenya has the possible to go to Tbilisi and he wants to use this chance to at last be realized as a writer, as a playwright.

Pictures of the reading: