Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Salzburg Festival's Young Directors Project

Since 2002, the Young Directors Project, initiated by Jürgen Flimm, has taken place annually at the Salzburg Festival – a competition for young, international theater directors and their ensembles. The goal of the project is to introduce audiences to young artists whose works are considered to be seminal for the future of theater; directors whose international breakthrough is imminent. Now in its seventh year, the project is becoming even more international. As well as German-language productions, there are now for the first time ones from Japan, Norway and the USA.

The whole theatre project is completely financed by Montblanc, as in every year. In addition, Montblanc donates the prize for the best piece of direction. The winner of the Montblanc Young Directors Award 2008 will receive prize money amounting to €10,000 and the Montblanc Max Reinhardt fountain-pen, which was specially designed for this project. All performances are new productions and will be shown in the original language with English or German super-titles.

This summer, the topic of memory, the reconstruction of human experience, characterizes the four productions presented as part of the program: the New York-based company Nature Theater of Oklahoma goes in search of our memories of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In his new work, Marius von Mayenburg examines the process by which memories are corrected and deleted within a family, so that people can continue living with a past thus rewritten. From Bergen in Norway, a form of “musicalized theater” has been invited: in Brecht’s Die Maßnahme (The Measures Taken), four people are judged for shooting a comrade; they justify this with the course of events, recreating them. And the Japanese company chelfitsch tells of five history-making days in March of 2003; the perspectives of the figures dreaming of the future and letting the present pass them by is just as fleeting as the memory of those days. More here.

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