Sunday, November 30, 2008

U.S. Deportee Brings Breakdancing to Cambodia

Yuy Sobil is a former gang member from Long Beach, California. He is one of the 189 Cambodians who have been deported within the last six years from the U.S. under the law that requires expulsion of noncitizens who commit felonies. Yuy Sobil, or K.K., is only technically a noncitizen. He was not illegally in the country, but was a refugee from the Khmer Rouge 'killing fields' who found safety in the U.S. in 1980. Now back in the homeland of his parents, he teaches boys that are Cambodian street children the art of break dancing, as well as his hard lessons in life. This story is amazing. Check it out here. I can already hear the phones ringing in Hollywood.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Central European Foundation's Arts Program

Central European Foundation - Celebrating Arts & Culture Programme (deadline: 15 Dec)

Central European Foundation (CEF) announces its third call for proposals to support projects in arts and culture in Slovakia (SR) and the Central European (CE) region*. Our primary focus continues to be breaking down geographic, cultural and financial barriers that keep artists and culture managers from working together in the region.

The goal of the program is to support projects from Slovakia and the Central European region* that focus on developing artistic works, events and performances and presenting them to the widest possible audience. Projects of all artistic genres and diverse themes may be submitted for financial support with several exceptions. Under this call CEF will not support production of feature films that entail major investment (with large budgets) and will not support folklore events or folklore festivals.

The year 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the democratic revolutions in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The foundation seeks to honor this anniversary by supporting projects that address the phenomenon of the revolutions in 1989 and their ramifications for society and culture. For this reason, the foundation will also welcome applications under this call for projects that address this anniversary in an additional category. These projects should, for example, address social or cultural questions related to the events of 1989. Another goal is to help facilitate awareness or interpret the events of the period for the younger generation that did not live through them. Because of the key symbolic and political significance of the Berlin wall, CEF encourages cooperation with partner organizations from Germany as well (see below for funding criteria).

In keeping with our broader mission, the foundation will continue to give priority to international, cooperative projects that foster the following three principles as defined below:
o Creativity: projects create new works in any one genre or combined genres, or revive lost traditions; projects find innovative ways to bring culture into daily life;

o Cooperation: projects involve cooperation across regional or national borders; and cooperation among nationalities and ethnic groups, social groups and sectors of public life. Projects that support mobility of artists and culture managers and involve partners from more than two countries are a point of emphasis; and
o Continuity: projects pay attention to sustainability and long-term impact and address possibilities for continued presence after the funding period is over. This may include educating future artists and/or pedagogues.

General Administrative Guidelines:
1. Applicants must be either an organization FROM SLOVAKIA or a team from Slovakia and any of the following countries: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. The grant application must be made by an organization from Slovakia. In projects that include German or Austrian partners, CEF will not fund administrative or production costs of partners from these countries.
2. Eligible grantees are nongovernmental organizations or public institutions headquartered in Slovakia that have been functioning actively for at least one year. For-profit entities are not eligible to receive grants.
3. CEF will cover up to 60% maximum of the total project budget. The applicant must be able to demonstrate its ability to co-finance the project.
4. There is no minimum or maximum size of a grant, but projects with a total budget over SKK 200,000 (EUR 6,600) will be given preference.
5. Projects must be publicized adequately in the media by the applicant as part of normal activities. Applicants should provide a promotion and media plan as part of each application.
6. The beginning of project implementation must be in 2009 and the project activities must be completed at the latest by 2010.
7. Applicants who have already received support from CEF during a previous grant round are eligible to apply.
8. Applicants must submit an application form, a detailed description of the project and a budget prepared according to the budget template given. The application form, requirements for the detailed project description (checklist) and budget template can be downloaded below.
9. Budgets should be submitted in Slovak crowns or Euros.
10. Each applicant may be a leader on only one project.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Those interested in a grant may apply if they meet the criteria listed above and if they send a completed application form and the necessary additional documents by regular post to the foundation address by December 15, 2008 at the latest (projects must be postmarked Dec. 15 or before). A copy of the application must also be sent electronically (e-mail) to by December 15, 2008 at the latest.

SELECTION PROCESS: The Board of the Central European Foundation makes the final decision on the results of the grant round. All applicants will be informed of the selection results individually. An updated list of approved projects will be regularly published on the foundation’s website. The selection may last 3-4 months. We request that applicants take this timeline into account when designing their projects. There is no set number of projects that will be supported under this call. The foundation reserves the right not to fund any projects submitted. The application form, checklist and budget template can be downloaded HERE. For reasons of lack of time, foundation staff will not offer personal consultations of project and will not check the completeness of applications before the deadline.

Please submit all materials to CEF at: Central European FoundationSasinkova 12811 08 Bratislava, Slovakiae-mail:

*The definition of the Central European region for this call is: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists

The UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists promote the mobility of young artists in order to enrich their personal perspectives, to enable them to engage in an intercultural dialogue and expose them to cultural diversity. The Program offers residencies to young artists (between 25 and 35 years old) worldwide. It shares many objectives with the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), which advocates cultural exchanges and highlights creativity and the need for artists to enrich their experience through contact with other cultures. These residencies are catalysts for the development of artistic expression in all cultures of the world. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

U.K. Evening Standard Award Winners

Winners at the 54th Evening Standard theatre awards:

Best actress
Margaret Tyzack and Penelope Wilton - The Chalk Garden (Donmar Warehouse)

Best actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Othello (Donmar Warehouse)

Best play
The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall (inspired by a book by William Feaver; Live Theatre and National Theatre co-production)

The Ned Sherrin award for best musical
Street Scene (The Opera Group, Young Vic and Watford Palace Theatre co-production)

The Sydney Edwards award for best director
Michael Grandage - Othello / The Chalk Garden / Ivanov (Donmar Warehouse and Donmar West End at Wyndham's)

Best design
Neil Murray - Brief Encounter (Kneehigh at Cinema Haymarket Theatre)

The Charles Wintour award for most promising playwright
Tarell Alvin McCraney - In the Red and Brown Water / The Brothers Size (Young Vic)

The Milton Shulman award for outstanding newcomer
Ella Smith - Fat Pig (Trafalgar Studios and Comedy Theatre)

Special award
Kevin Spacey

Editor's award
The Royal Shakespeare Company for the History Cycle at the Roundhouse

Sunday, November 23, 2008

'Theatre Methods 09' Festival-Fair in Slovenia

THEATRE METHODS 09: International Festival-Fair
Between Tradition and Contemporaneity
July 6-12, 2009
Bovec, Slovenia

"Theatre Methods" is the annual professional festival-fair dedicated to the Bridge between Tradition and Contemporaneity in performing arts. The festival is an opportunity to demonstrate methods of training in traditional theatre and to present contemporary works created as the result of traditional theatre training techniques. At the moment THEATRE METHODS 09 has been accepting presentation proposals.

Presentation format:
• performance (not requiring special technical conditions)
• workshop/master class
• work in progress
• reading/lecture• any other way of demonstration to the presenter's discretion.

The festival is aimed at new international contacts, creative exchange and communication. "TM" does not imply opportunity of a one-day tour. Important condition of "TM" is that performers and theatres presenting works at the festival participate in the whole programme from the first to the last day - attending other festival events, workshops, performances, etc.

ACCOMODATION & VENUE (Bovec mountain resort):
Nearest airports: Ljubljana (Slovenia), Trieste (Italy) or Klagenfurt(Austria).

If you wish to present your work at TM09, please become familiar with Submission Guidelines before submitting your proposal. The festival committee is considering proposals in appropriate standard only. Links to web sites are not considered as the application.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Canada Likely to Cancel International Tours

A survey by the members of the Conférence Internationale des Arts de la Scène (CINARS) suggests that up to 600 out-of-country performances by 36 Canadian arts organizations could be cancelled in the absence of two cultural diplomacy programs and a stalling economy.

CINARS said the questionnaire was informal, sent to 220 organizations, of which 36 responded. But the numbers hint at the broader impact the recent cutting of PromArt and Trade Routes - two programs until recently administered by the federal government to help artists and organizations tour their work abroad - will have on Canadian's foreign profile.

CINARS general director Alain Paré said the timing could not be worse with the economy already struggling. He hopes to have a more accurate picture of the fallout after its annual conference, now under way in Montreal. "Canada's a huge country, but we don't have the population to support our artists. It's a question of survival to tour abroad," he said.

Paré added that it would be dangerous to cancel so many shows, leaving international buyers hesitant to book Canadian acts they fear might not honour their agreements. Companies responding to the survey included the Alberta Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Les 7 doigts de la main. Their estimates put next year's resulting financial losses for all 36 companies at $4.9-million.

James Bradshaw
Canada's Globe and Mail
November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

China Invests in Cultural Centers

China will invest 800 million yuan (USD $117 million) this year improving cultural facilities in rural areas where some 800 million people live. In addition to 200 million yuan allocated earlier this year, the investment, announced last week, will mainly be used to build cultural centers while improving old ones in small towns and villages, according to the Ministry of Culture.

China has constructed about 36,800 such centers since 2006. More than 20,000 centers will be built before 2010, mainly in less developed central and western areas, said Zhang Xiaoping, director of the ministry's division for mass culture affairs. Total investment could reach 4 billion yuan by 2010 according to the government's plan, he said, adding that last year saw 100 million yuan spent to start the project.

With cultural centers next to their homes, villagers do not need to travel far to find a library, a cinema or a museum. They can enjoy folk performances and fine arts created by fellow villagers, or set up a handicraft workshop. They can also enjoy movies or read books via computers as many rural centers will be linked with a network called the National Cultural Information Sharing Project, Zhang said. He said the plan was to give rural people better access to cultural facilities to improve their quality of life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Company Theatre's 'Workspace' Residency

Mumbai’s The Company Theatre announces its international performing arts residency 2009 in India for interested actors, dancers, musicians and other artists. The Company Theatre (TCT) is a theatre organization with over 15 years of experience in the creation, sustenance and dissemination of theatrical work. Its ensemble of activities includes several performances, theatre workshops and seminars, performance-related studies, theatre festivals and international collaborative ventures. Over the last five years, TCT’s efforts have been directed towards the fruition of their most ambitious project: The Company Theatre WORKSPACE - an international residency for theatre research & performance. The dream now realized, rests on 5 acres of land, surrounded by the inspiring environs of a lake, mountains and open fields in the Indian countryside. It is three hours away from the bustling city of Mumbai, near the thriving hill-station of Lonavala in Maharashtra. Led by its founder, theatre director and performer Atul Kumar, this is a facility that provides performance artists with uninterrupted time and space to further research and creative work. More information and the application available here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chekhov’s White Dacha in Disarray

Due to his diagnosis of tuberculosis in 1899, Chekhov left Melikhovo (in southern Russia) for the warmer climes of Yalta (in the Ukraine). The playwright had a distinctive house, known as the ‘White Dacha’ designed for him by Leo Shapovalov. Chekhov stayed in the house until 1904, where he wrote two of his most famous plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. The dacha became a museum in 1921 and contains many of Chekhov’s belongings. Unfortunately today the house is in shambles. The heating was turned off in 2005, and due to the harsh winters by the sea, mold has set in and the roof is leaking. Scholar and translator, Dr. Rosamund Bartlett, has started the Yalta Chekhov campaign to save the dacha, and has already won the support of Tom Stoppard, Michael Frayn, Kenneth Branagh and Ralph Fiennes. The campaign aims to raise enough money to return the dacha to the condition in which Chekhov left it. The aim of the Yalta Chekhov campaign is to have restoration work complete by the 150th anniversary of Chekhov's birth, in January 2010. Why won’t the Russian or Ukrainian governments cover the expenses? As always, politics. The Russians don’t want to pay for something that’s in the Ukraine and the Ukrainians don’t want to pay for something that promotes a Russian writer. Read more about it here in a ‘Guardian’ article.

Monday, November 17, 2008

All the Web's a Stage

Having just completed our first 24 hour web-streamed global event this weekend, it seems the world wide web is playing a greater and greater role in all sorts of 21st century theatre. For instance, the UK company Punchdrunk has teamed up with gaming company Hide & Seek, Hewlett-Packard research arm HP Labs and online design firm Seeper to create a "hybrid experience" between real and computer-generated worlds. Also, The Builders Association’s latest show, now playing at BAM, is a techgeek’s dream. Continuous City was developed over two years and tells the story of families trying to stay in touch as they journey around the world. It stages the internal experience of using social networks, video chats and blogs. By no means are The Internationalists setting a trend, but we’re certainly pleased to be a part of the adventure.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Around the World in 24 Hours Schedule

Saturday, November 15

5pm: Opening Festivities
'Live from Newcastle, It's Saturday Night'
Streaming with Pia Furtado in the U.K.

6pm: Real Andromaca by Ximena Escalante (Mexico);
directed by Tamilla Woodard; translated by Andrea Thome

8pm: Herjólfur has stopped loving by Sigtryggur Magnason (Iceland);
directed by Jeremy Lydic; translated by Gunnlaug Guomundsdottir

9pm: Panel Discussion with International Artists:
Sigtryggur Magnason, Catherine Coray, Randy Gener,
Caridad Svich, Sergei Grabbe and Ana Mărgineanu

10pm: Cocktail Reception & Recorded Performance of Music Man (in Portuguese) written, performed and directed by Michel Melamed (Brazil)

11:30pm: You Don't Know What Love Is by Michael Baran (Finland);
directed by Jake Witlen; translated by Eva Buchwald

Sunday, November 16

2am: Miriam by Lenka Lagronová (Czech Republic);
directed by Ashley Kelly-Tata; translated by Petr Onufer and Mike Baugh

3:30am: Live Streamed Performance of Never Heard of Her (in Japanese)
directed by Yuko Takeda

4am: Recorded Performance of Regurgitography (in English)
written, performed and directed by Michel Melamed (Brazil)

5am: Recorded Performance of Free Money (in Portuguese)
written, performed and directed by Michel Melamed (Brazil)

6:45am: Recorded performance of Colombo Calling (in English)directed by Cristina Bejan (Romania)

7:30am: Recorded Performance of Buy Me With a Coffee (in Romanian) directed by Ana Mărgineanu (Romania)

8am: Live Streamed Performance of Brunch in Berlin – Truth or Lies
an adaption of "Quizoola!" by Tim Etchells with Katja Fillmann and Christine Rollar

9am: Recorded Performance of An Insider-Pre-Pre-View of NEXT:STOP
a Swiss-German Project by Theater Topoï:log

10am: Hkleelee-Tell Me & Flight 123 by Leila Buck (Lebanon);
directed by Lauren Keating

11am: Women of War by Jawad Al-Assadi (Iraq);
directed by Esther Neff; translated by Hania Jurdak

1pm: Mwena by Nick Nanna Hadikwa Mwaluko (Tanzania);
directed by Ana Mărgineanu

2pm: The Kings by Julio Cortázar (Argentina);
directed by Doug Howe; translated by Caridad Svich

3pm: Panel Discussion and Excerpts in Spanish from Mexican Playwrights: Luis Ayhllón, Jose Alfonso Carcamo, Cutberto López Reyes and Ernesto Anaya;
in association with the Lark Play Development Center
Andrea Thome – U.S. / Mexico Playwright Exchange Program Director

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Philanthropy Phalters

Given the shit-storm of the global financial meltdown, what will happen to charitable giving? Over $300 billion was donated last year in the United States, and individual donors account for 88% of that giving. It’s not really a question of ‘if’ things will be bad, it’s only a question of ‘when’. Check out this article from the NYTimes called ‘Bracing for Lean Times Ahead’.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

EATC's 'Art of Analysis and Rehearsal' Seminars

In January & February 2009, the European Association for Theatre Culture will host a seminar in two parts for directors, acting teachers, pedagogues and actors: Part I - The Art of Analysis and Part II - The Art of Rehearsal. “The first part of the seminar will concentrate on the analysis of the role and play at the table following different directions: vertical and horizontal, from different perspectives and on the basis of different philosophies and sciences. Furthermore, Jurij Alschitz has developed a new method for the analysis of a role by asking “40 Question of One Role”. The second part of the seminar will focus on rehearsal methods. Different authors and texts need different approaches. The rehearsal becomes a tool for analysis as well. In order to make a correct choice for one method, you must be familiar with various ones. This knowledge gives you the basis to find new ways for the realization of your own artistic language on stage.” The seminar includes lectures, discussions, exercises on the main subjects and practical stage work with individual assignments. Click here for the full details.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Gulliver Connect" Call for Applications

The Central European Foundation (Bratislava), Kulturkontakt (Austria) and The Felix Meritis Foundation (Amsterdam) are proud to present the Gulliver Connect program 2008 - 2009, a mobility program for young and up-coming artists, arts managers and cultural operators in Europe in 2009.

Thanks to a large network of cultural organisations throughout Europe and beyond, Gulliver Connect offers hands-on work experience. It's unique ability is to use such an extensive range of host organisations to match the individual talents of young people. And it enables the host organisations to find valuable working partners in future.

The work placements will lead to new professional skills and establish new forms of international co-operation. Both the visitor and the host organisation benefit from each other's working practices. They share information, experiences and ideas, and establish far reaching professional contacts.

By creating a dynamic network Gulliver Connect adds a new dimension to the social, artistic and cultural development of Europe and beyond - a stepping stone for the future co-operation in the arts. Click here for guidelines and applications.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama, The Musical!

Far be it for the theatre to lag behind when it comes to keeping up with current affairs. This past Sunday, OBAMA, The Musical opened in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The hour-long production was written and directed by George Orido, and tells the story of Obama’s life, beginning with his father’s move to America. Orido says there have already been invitations to perform in the UK and South Africa, and he isn't ruling out a sequel. Read the complete BBC story here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

South Korea's Long-Term Cultural Strategy

South Korean Culture Minister Yu In-chon said he will formulate a long-term overseas promotional strategy to boost the global popularity of Korean culture. Long-term planning invariably means a bigger budget in promoting Korean culture. Yu said the plan is on the drawing board, adding that the action program will eventuate early next year.

Yu mentioned the on-going Korea Festival in Brussels, Belgium as a good example of promoting Korean culture overseas. The minister of culture, sports and tourism said the event is gaining huge popularity in Brussels because it shows the essence of Korean culture ― not only traditional culture, but also food, fashion and other things. He added preparations took two years. A similar event will be held in Petit Palais, Paris in 2010.

For the Americas and Europe in which Korean culture is relatively unknown, the government will take a more aggressive promotion strategy. It will expand multi-cultural exchange programs with East Asian countries through ASEAN to introduce diverse Asian cultures. He said the comprehensive Korean cultural promotion policies would be completed by 2012. Read the full Korea Times article here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama to the World

"And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope. For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow."

- President-elect Barack Hussein Obama

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

'Feasting or Flying' in Berlin

" Feasting or Flying: Art into Theatre – Theatre into Art". Orchestrating a dialogue between the visual arts and theatre, this project sets out to explore the reciprocal impact and attraction between the two media. On view across the three stages of the Berlin Hebbel am Ufer theatre are works by visual artists, newly emerging commissioned works, together with existing installations. Out of a series of discussions and on-site inspections with artists, there evolved a festival program, which is to be performed over 16 days on the three stages of the HAU. Here the focus of interest lies both in the theatral moments of the visual arts, and in the encounter of a diverse array of artists with the specific aesthetic of the theatre. This raises the question of the significance of mimesis describing processes, which oscillate between representation and imitation. Sharing the same title of the festival "Fressen oder Fliegen", the work by Harun Farocki and Antje Ehmann alludes to the statement: "Some dissect a bird in order to eat it, others in order to discover how to fly".

With Jérôme Bel, Phil Collins, Keren Cytter/Susanne Sachsse, Thomas Demand, Diedrich Diederichsen, Tim Etchells, Harun Farocki/Antje Ehmann, Anselm Franke, Peter Friedl, Tellervo Kalleinen/Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Katarzyna Kozyra, Melissa Logan/Thomas Meinecke, Mobile Academy, Rabih Mroué, Peaches, Rimini Protokoll, Christoph Schlingensief, Tino Sehgal, Tris Vonna-Michell.

Dates: November 1 - 16, 2008
Location: Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin, Germany

Monday, November 3, 2008

East Midlands Build Their ‘Curve’

Leicester’s £61 million replacement for its old Haymarket playhouse is about to get its curve on. The new building, designed by Uruguay-born architect Rafael Viñoly, is like “a cathedral, teleported from the future. Or a huge ocean liner, as dreamt by Salvador Dalí.” And after a ten year wait, Paul Kerryson, the theatre's artistic director, is “palpably excited”. Read the full UK ‘Telegraph’ article here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Magneto and Professor X wait for Godot

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will star as Estragon and Vladimir, respectively, in a new production of Samuel Beckett's 1953 classic Waiting for Godot, which is being staged by Sean Mathias as the first production as artistic director of the 2009 Theatre Royal Haymarket Company. McKellen and Stewart first worked together in the original production of Tom Stoppard's Every Good Boy Deserves Favour for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1977. Godot will tour prior to its arrival, beginning performances at the Haymarket on April 30 for a strictly limited season that is currently booking to June 28.