“Can we all move to Austria?” This rhetorical question posed by Alexandru Darie, the artistic director of the Bulandra theatre in Bucharest, humorously interrupted a series of speeches full of numbers and information regarding the theatrical structures of seven different countries in Europe. It was a natural and spontaneous reaction, since so many different systems clashed in this conference in order to understand and detect each other’s similarities and differences.
Despairingly similar or chaotically different? The difficulties to be dealt with in the theatre by countries such as Bulgaria and Austria or Russia and Luxembourg, may be at the back of our mind, however, when they are put on the same table, they can be impressively revealing.
We had this chance on Sunday, 17 September 2017, thanks to the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe, which unites twenty different—not only—European theatres, from east to west, from north to south. Artistic directors from seven theatre members of the UTE, from Greece, Romania, Austria, Luxembourg, Serbia, Russia and Bulgaria, had fifteen minutes each to enlighten us regarding the way theatre works in their respective countries.
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Union des Théâtres de l'Europe gathered, in the last 3 decades, some of the most important European theatres and artists. Through festivals, exhibitions, exchanges, masterclasses, cooperation projects, the UTE help create a continuous flow between West and East, between generations, between tradition and innovation. Our celebration is inspired by this rich history. With the help of the Interferences International Theatre Festival, we wish to remember some of the best performances presented at past editions of the UTE festival and look forward to new horizons.