European Ensemble

In autumn / winter, the Europaean Ensemble is working on its last two productions in Warsaw (The Prompter (UA), R: Wojtek Ziemilski) and Zagreb (NN, R: Ivan Penović).
The European Ensemble consists of six young actors - two of them from Germany and Poland, three from Croatia. They're invited to create their own vision of Europe.

Adrian Pezdirc (Croatia), Jaśmina Polak (Poland), Jan Sobolewski (Poland),
Claudia Korneev (Germany), Tina Orlandini (Croatia, Project 1-3),
Tenzin Kolsch (Germany), Anđela Ramljak (Croatia, Project 4-)
(c) Björn Klein

The Idea

What is it that drives us in Europe? What are the artistic answers that we can give to the challenges and contradictions of our present moment? In the 2018/19 season, the European Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Oliver Frljić, was founded by Schauspiel Stuttgart in cooperation with Nowy Teatr Warsaw and the Zagreb Youth Theatre, as well as in associated partnership with the National Theatre of Athens. In Frljić’s project Imaginary Europe, we turned to key moments of European history; in Erazm / Erasmus, French-Polish director Anna Smolar examined the relevance of Erasmus of Rotterdam’s humanistic philosophy; Greek theatre maker Anestis Azas employed Ödön von Horváth's The Eternal Philistine to portray a deeply insecure generation in the throes of upheaval. In 2020, three additional directors will take up the challenge of questioning the European project through their original productions. Selma Spahić launches this second round with The Clickworkers.

A collaboration of Schauspiel Stuttgart, Nowy Teatr, Warsaw and Zagreb Youth Theater (Zagrebačko kazalište mladih) and in associated partnership with the National Theater of Athens.
Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

The Eternal Philistine

Project 3 by the European Ensemble

Based on the novel written by Ödön von Horváth

The Eternal Philistine directed by Anestis Azas tells the tale about a young man who travels around Europe to find a rich woman who will provide for his every whim. However, that is only the framework of the story that reveals today’s Europe on the verge of fascism and its Philistine character pushing it over the edge.
The Eternal Philistine is a production created within the two-year-long project Europe Ensemble, funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and involving Schauspiel Stuttgart, Nowy Teatr from Warsaw, whose founder and artistic director is Krzysztof Warlikowski, one of the most important European theatre directors, and Zagreb Youth Theatre. The Europe Ensemble is meant to be a platform for questioning the European identity at the moment when the social climate rapidly changes. It is composed of one actress and one actor from the three partnering theatres.
„The Europe Ensemble does not interpret the novel written in 1930 as a tale from the past, when everything was different than today. It presents it as a multilingual road trip with rhythm and music, a road trip through Europe which reveals the complex interweaving of the present and the past. (…) The first question, how the Europe Ensemble can revive that novel on the stage, concerns the language: Will we settle for English, the only language everyone has a good command of, the language that has already been used in the two previous productions of the Europe Ensemble in Stuttgart and Warsaw? Or will we embark on the adventure of using the Ensemble’s multilingualism as a theatrical potential? An important analogy provides the answer: the Europe Ensemble moves across the borders of individual nations and plunges into different languages in a way similar to that of The Eternal Philistine protagonist.“

Director: Anestis Azas
Artistic assistant: Oliver Frljić
Stage adaptation and dramaturgy: Armin Kerber
Set design: Igor Pauška
Costume design: Marta Žegura
Music: Alen Sinkauz and Nenad Sinkauz
Light design: Aleksandar Čavlek
Video design: Lovro Mrđen
Assistant director: Rajna Racz
Assistant dramaturge: Nikolina Bogdanović
Language advisor at rehearsals: Ivana Jurić
Artistic director of the Europe Ensemble project: Oliver Frljić
Stage manager: Milica Sinkauz

Tenzin Kolsch
Claudia Korneev
Tina Orlandini
Adrian Pezdirc
Jaśmina Polak
Jan Sobolewski

Premiere: 10 October 2019
Zagreb Youth Theatre

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Photo credit: Zagreb Youth Theatre (ZKM)

Erazm / Erasmus

Project 2 by the European Ensemble

A post-operatic portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam – the father of European humanism.

Is there still room for humanistic ideas in discussions about the future of Europe? And what happens when we place humanistic thought at the centre of reflections on the notion of a European utopia? Are we still able to believe in the spiritual pact that Erasmus established with full – and probably naive – responsibility for high ideals? Are we still capable of being moved to political and social action, of building communities where the only criteria for inclusion is being a part of the human race?
The play introduces Erasmus to a group of scholars involved in an exchange programme conceived in honour of this great Renaissance thinker – seemingly the last hope in our efforts to save Europe. 
Can Erasmus Project students play the role of missionaries serving the cause of European hope, refuting at every step theories of the disintegration of this beautiful utopia?
Or maybe they are a community with totally different goals?
Are we still able to hear what Erasmus has to tell us?
Direction: Anna Smolar
Script: Michał Buszewicz
Set design, costumes: Anna Met
Music Jan: Duszyński
Video: Liubov Gorobiuk, Anna Smolar & Ensemble
Lighting design: Jaqueline Sobiszewski
Translations: Marek Kuźmierski
Characterization: Joanna Tomaszycka

Tenzin Kolsch
Claudia Korneev 
Tina Orlandini
Adrian Pezdirc
Jaśmina Polak
Jan Sobolewski  

Premiere: 11. July 2019
Nowy Theatr

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Photo credit: Maurycy Stankiewicz

Imaginary Europe

Together with the European Ensemble, Oliver Frljić embarks on a search for a theatrical utopia. In view of the strengthening of right-wing populist movements in Europe, increasing intolerance and the challenges facing modern migration societies, he poses questions about intellectuals’ and artists’ responsibilities. With the aid of Peter Weiss and his Aesthetics of Resistance, a critical, analytical perspective is presented on two key works in the history of painting and thereby on different aspects of the French Revolution: What has become of the ideal of liberty, equality and fraternity? Biographical material from the actors takes the audience into the centre of the contradictions in our convoluted present. Can the European dream still be saved?
Photo Credit: Björn Klein
Concept, Staging and Stage Design: Oliver Frljić
Costumes: Sandra Dekanić
Lighting: Jörg Schuchardt
Dramaturgy: Carolin Losch
Translation: Agnieszka Fietz

Tenzin Kolsch
Claudia Korneev
Tina Orlandini
Adrian Pezdirc
Jaśmina Polak
Jan Sobolewski

Premiere: 10. April 19
Schauspiel Stuttgart

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