Munich: The program of “radically young” at the Volkstheater – Munich

Finally. It seems to be going. The new director of the theater festival “Radikal Jung” Jens Hillje and his team have had to wait two years for this. And he wasn’t the only one – the young theater makers, whose productions were viewed, invited and unloaded out of necessity, were also stuck in a queue. As does the audience, by the way. The pandemic did not allow the theater festival for young directors, which had been established at the Volkstheater since 2005, to take place. But now the program is set: From June 24 to July 2, eleven current productions can be seen in the building on Tumblingerstrasse. Seven productions from Germany, four international ones – almost all premieres – fan out an exciting spectrum between political topics and the confrontation with one’s own physicality.

Director Ewelina Marciniak tells “The Maid of Orleans” from a feminist perspective.

(Photo: Christian Kleiner)

Relief can be felt when the program is presented in the Volkstheater. Artistic director Christian Stückl sees “radically young” as an important stimulus for the city, the scene, but also for the audience, which is finding its way back into the theater. City director Marek Wiechers even remembers the “festival frenzy” of the past few years. Director Hillje, however, throws in a few thoughtful tones: the young theater makers in particular have had a difficult time in the past two years. The festival should also be a place of encounter and exchange for them. New formats were found for this, which are used in the supporting program: artist talks and so-called late nights, some of which extend the performances on the three stages as performances.

The productions of six male and female directors can be seen there, a quota is not necessary at all here. “Bad Roads” from the Left Bank Theater in Kyiv starts things off, with “Radikal Jung” beginning with the politically topical. The Ukrainian playwright Natalia Vorozhbyt traveled early to the crisis region of Donbass and in 2017 wrote six stories about life and war for the Royal Court Theater in London. In 2019, Tamara Trunova directed the play in Kyiv.

Theater: The festival for young directors also has a production by the Volkstheater: the high school opera "high school" from Bonn Park.

A Volkstheater production is also included in the festival for young directors: the high school opera “Gymnasium” by Bonn Park.

(Photo: Arno Declair)

Festival director Hillje classifies a large part of the invited works as “discursive-essayistic”: for example pieces that deal with the topic of racism, such as “Identitti” based on the great novel by Mithu Sanyal, adapted for the stage by Kieran Joel at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus . Or “Carnival”, a work by Joana Tischkau at the Oberhausen Theater. Feminist perspectives can be found in “It’s Britney, Bitch!” (Lena Brasch, Berliner Ensemble), “Civilisation” (Jaz Woodcock-Stewart, London) or “The Maid of Orleans” (Ewelina Marciniak, Nationaltheater Mannheim). Elias Adam, Caner Teker and Sorour Darabi deal with their own physicality in their works. The latter was already invited to Spielart with “Mowgli” last autumn. The fact that the theater makers also came up with new digital formats during the long period of lockdown can be seen again with “” (director: Cosmea Spelleken). And of course the Volkstheater isn’t missing either: Bonn Park’s high-school opera “Gymnasium” is part of this long-awaited festival.

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