9 June 2010

The ETC publishes the 9th edition of the biannual selection of the 120 best contemporary European plays for the stage. Stories written by 128 playwrights from 41 countries in 37 languages and staged on European theatres for all generations give an insight into the European cultural landscape: “European Theatre Today”. Paris, 04.06.2010: “A writer must use his special relationship with the public to denounce the appalling situations that exist in our country and to ask questions about their roots” in citing Gorki Jean-Claude Berutti, president of the ETC, affirms the role of the writer and of the art of theatre in 2010 : Addressing Europe in crisis, in war, coming to terms with its recent past, but also a Europe with its personal stories of its 495 million inhabitants, asking general questions about life, couples, generations or simply of how to get older and wiser. These are the subjects of daily life, of philosophy, questioning our society, subjects collected by Europe’s theatre practitioners who manifest their European vision about the current situation and our lives. The selected 120 best contemporary European plays for the stage deal very often with issues related to each country’s recent history, related to war and communism but also in relation to their neighbouring countries. As for example in the Italian play by Laura Forti, « Nema Problema », a strong, politically incorrect play. It is a closing speech on the Yugoslav war, but could be about any modern war. The five Croatian playwrights of « Zagreb Pentagram » on the other hand, describe in their play an authentic, generational view of Zagreb in transition – particularly the exciting years from 1980 until today. When looking at Serbia, the young Belgrade writer Neda Radulovic, speaks in an ironic, critical and at the same time melancholic way in her debut play “Painkillers” about dilemmas, self-examinations and wanderings of the modern, and post-modern emancipated individual, through an originally chosen angle of interpretation of the male-female relationships. Further north in Europe, the Norwegian playwright Kim Atle Hansen wrote « Buy Nothing Day » which is a play about youth and political engagement, about naive belief and fundamentalism. What consequences may engagement have and should engagement take no risks? It is striking that the overall numbers of plays for young audiences increased remarkably compared to the last edition and even more to the previous one four years ago. Is it a sign that youth plays more and more a central role when designing our future? Or is it simply an affirmation, that the theatres of Europe have long recognized this tendency and invest their resources into a programme and services for young people! Apart from these observations, it has also been noticed that the writing style together with category classifications changed. Plays written by more than one playwright are no longer exceptions, and more often ‘other characters’ than the classical female or masculine figures are part of the stories. The drama theatre proofs to be an evolving art form, just like the society it expresses, evolves. The European drama repertoire of “European Theatre Today”, selected by national reading committees of theatre experts and published every two years by the ETC, is available online in English and French on the ETC website ( will be launched in CD-Rom format as of June 27 during the festival « New Plays from Europe » in Wiesbaden, Germany. The ETC is a public theatre network founded in 1988 to promote contemporary playwriting, to support the mobility of artists and to develop the artistic exchange throughout Europe. With its activities and artistic projects, the ETC fosters multilingualism in theatre, facilitates intercultural dialogue and creates a European drama repertoire. Counting today 41 members in 24 countries, the ETC has become the most important theatre network across and beyond Europe and is one of the selected institutions as part of the structured dialogue with the European Commission with the civil society in the platforms « Access to Culture », « Cultural and Creative Industries » and « Promotion of Multilingualism ». For further information or if you wish to order the CD-Rom, please contact: Heidi Giebel Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 63 53 64 Email: