Engaged theatre and social change | 24 – 25 March in Sofia

The Red House Center for Culture and Debate

Re:Thinking Europe through Engaged Theatre
Sofia / March 24-25th, 2016

How can art help us to make sense of the complex realities of today’s Europe? Many countries within Europe are marked by social inequality, poverty, the distortion of communities and upcoming nationalism. A sense of loss of orientation often prevails.

Against this background we will look at the growth and popularity of engaged theatre in Eastern Europe in the last years. We will explore the necessity of artistic forms that reflect on the Europe that we are all part of. How can transition to a better future of Europe be imagined through theatre and culture? Can theatre contribute to a new sense of engagement and instigate social change?

We will start this discussion with different engaged (documentary) theatre groups from all over Europe in Bulgaria: a country that in the last 25 years of transition has visibly suffered from these social, political, and economic problems. But also a country where many documentary theatre groups newly emerged.

March 24th : Expert meeting
March 25th : Public discussion with Anoek Nuyens, Anna Lengyel, Elena Gremina, Roman Pawlowski, Neda Sokolovska and Dessy Gavrilova (moderator)


Anoek Nuyens (Netherlands, 1984) is a writer, theatre maker and dramaturg. In 2015 her solo performance Hulp premiered at Frascati Productions. After inheriting a charitable foundation Nuyens investigates how it is possible to do the right thing and ask questions about finding ways of benevolence and compassion in world driven by the individual.

Anna Lengyel (Hungary) is a writer, dramaturg and founder of PanoDrama company in Budapest, an independent creative production company, promoting new Hungarian plays. Lengyei’s plays and performances deal with pressing current issues in Hungary, such as xenophobia, nationalism, anti-Roma sentiments and social inequality.

Elena Gremina (Russia, 1956) is co-founder, dramaturg and director of the internationally acclaimed and routinely oppressed by the Moscow authorities театр .doc ( www.teatr.doc ). As a playwright and dramaturg she wrote several scenarios for theatre and television and worked for a variety of theatre festivals.

Roman Pawlowski (Poland, 1965) is a theatre critic, journalist and curator and founder and director of the Polish documentary theatre festival Sopot Non-fiction. He is a writer for the Gazeta Wyborcza, the biggest opinion newspaper in Poland and lives in Warsaw.

Neda Sokolovska (Bulgaria) is actress, director and founder and artistic director of Vox Populi verbatim theatre group in Sofia. She is also a founder of EN/TRY (В/ХОД ), a centre for documentary arts that opens doors to the public in The Red House in March 2016.

The Red House Center for Culture and Debate organises and presents socio-political, artistic, cultural as well as socially engaged and educational programmes that focus the attention on important political, social and cultural issues which are not sufficiently discussed in society and media. The Red House is a place for artistic experiments in the field of performing and visual arts, film, music, literature and new media. The Centre organises performances of independent groups, exhibitions of contemporary visual artists, lectures and discussions on contemporary art and culture.

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