New head of acting at the Salzburg Festival: Marina Davydova – Culture

The because Theater maker, journalist and playwright Marina Davydova who fled Russia will direct the drama at the Salzburg Festival from 2024. The 56-year-old is only the second woman in this position to succeed Bettina Hering, whose contract ends in October 2023. The appointment of the dissident, who is very familiar with German-speaking and international theater, is a good, promising decision. Davydova not only has guts and an excellent network, she also has a wealth of experience as a festival director. For 23 years, until March of this year, she directed the NET (New European Theater) festival in Moscow, which she co-founded in 1998 and which presented exciting productions from Europe every autumn. In 2016 she curated the drama program of the Wiener Festwochen.

Born in 1966 in Baku, Azerbaijan, Davydova studied theater in Moscow and taught at various universities on the history of Western European theater. For many years she worked as a theater critic for the newspaper Izvestia. She was also the magazine’s editor-in-chief until she fled Moscow this March TEATR. Davydova is also active as a playwright, director and producer. In 2017 she staged her play “Eternal Russia” at the Theater Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) in Berlin, 2019 at the Hamburg Thalia Theater “Checkpoint Woodstock”. She is currently working on a play for the Munich Residenztheater.

They condemned Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine from the start

Marina Davydova is a courageous and very determined woman. They condemned Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine from the start. Already on February 24, 2022 she wrote a petition against this war. As a result, she was threatened and monitored, and her apartment door was marked with the letter “Z”. On March 5, she left Russia. Since then she has lived in Berlin.

Under Davydova’s direction, the focus of the drama at the Salzburg Festival will continue to be on the German-language repertoire, says festival director Markus Hinterhäuser, “however, with an increased international orientation, our high proportion of visitors from a total of 76 countries should be taken into account”. For Davydova, theater is not a national affair anyway. She sees the meaning and purpose of art in “exploring life in all its aspects”. This is no different in times of war: “As director of drama at the Salzburg Festival, my main focus of interest will be on the search for the depth and persuasiveness of theater and theater work.”

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