Global Spotlight

By Estvanik, Nicole | American Theatre, April 2007 | Go to article overview
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Global Spotlight


Estvanik, Nicole, American Theatre


Orebro, Sweden

SWEDISH THEATRE BIENNIAL: A jury of critics has once again chosen the best Swedish productions from the past two years and given the public five days to see them all. The showcase includes several plays plumbing dark currents of Swedish life: From host theatre Lansteatern comes the tragicomic Vinter snart, by Lena Andersson, about the prejudices Swedes hold about themselves and one another. Riskteatern contributes Var ar alla? by Mirja Unge, a claustrophobic tale of sexual assault in a small town. Drommer om att do (som en svensk med hog cred), by Dennis Magnusson for Teater Terrier, follows a depressed, media-hounded prime minister and his alienated daughter. The play, whose title means Longing to Die (Like a Swede with Cred), premiered around the time of Sweden's parliament election, and the main character has "a lot in common with the actual Swedish prime minister at the time," says producer Jenny Bang, though it was "not officially a portrait." (May 23-27; (46) 19-689-89-00; www.teaterbiennalen.se)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Oudtshoorn, South Africa

ABSA KLEIN KAROO NASIONALE KUNSTEFEES: The Klein Karoo festival draws hundreds of thousands of spectators, but not everybody can travel to the city for their arts fix. So this past summer, the KKNK toured to the small villages of its ostrich-rich Western Cape region to present the best of 2006. Now, back in Oudtshoorn headquarters, veteran organizer Karen Meiring unveils one last crop of performances before she retires. Two Laras figure prominently: Lara Bye revisits Karen Jeynes's black comedy Everybody else is f***ing perfect, which she previously staged in English, this time helming a new Afrikaans translation by Saartjie Botha. And Lara Foot Newton, acclaimed for her past production Tshepang (featured in Global Spotlight, April '06), will direct the world premiere of Athol Fugard's Victory. (Through April 8; (27) 44-203-8600; www.absakknk.co.za)

Viburg, Denmark

CHILDREN'S THEATRE FESTIVAL: Teatercentrum, which organizes this annual event, lays claim to the status of largest touring children's theatre festival in the world. (It takes place in a different Danish city every year.) It's certainly hard to imagine there are many events that manage to present, as this festival has done for the past several years, more than 450 performances for kids in a single week (that's about 150 distinct productions). A small sampling of this year's list includes a new staging by Barkentins Teater of Beat the Drum Loudly that draws heavily from the original performance by the late Ray Nusselein and his Paraplyteatret (Umbrella Theatre); Teatergruppen Batida with two entries--Grand Finale ("The orchestra is there for the big day, but the bridal couple have not turned up") and 1930s Brazilian gang tale Maria Bonita; and Teater TT's Fluen, of which the Politiken newspaper wrote, "This performance mixes [Danish humorist] Storm P. with Beckett and Godot, clown with comedian, child with adult, and it never once misses out on its authenticity." Typically nearly 100 professional theatre companies are involved, all but a few from Denmark itself, and these companies hang around to network at seminars and workshops. Best of all, local and national funding means that all tickets are gratis. (April 15-22; (45) 35-30-44-00; www.teatercentrum.dk)

Velikiy Novgorod, Russia

INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL "KING FAIRY TALE": What is a fairy tale?

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