Theme of festival

Losing ground 

Theatre is a living organism, developing with the advent of every new generation of theatrical creators, having the need for their own, authentic creation. They accentuate other themes, choose other theatrical means and poetics, naturally. Changing the social atmosphere and rhetoric also changes the theatre. The loss of the ability to lead a cultured dialogue in the public space, the building of imaginary and totally tangible walls between cultures and religions, show the essence of theatre - the place for discussion, the conflict of opinion, free expression and reflection.

Social skepticism, caused by the fatigue of a rigid political establishment, reawakens the ideology that has been completely rejected in the past. Hate, the application of collective guilt, or xenophobia are a reaction to the absence of a new, progressive approach. Loss of empathy, open dialogue. We simply live in a time when old values stop paying off and the new ones have not yet been created.

Is theatre the platform capable of offering the missing alternative? To what extent should this searching, the creation of new values be innovative? Is it desirable to get rid of the past, to start building new bases, or is the reflection of our historical experience to move forward absolutely necessary? New ideas, philosophies, artistic styles often stem from the denial of their predecessors, as if standing in the opposition was the basic catalyst for progress. As if the existence of an alternative, the "second truth" was inadmissible. Do we have to break before we begin to form?

With the search for personal truth, its own theatrical poetics, it is similar. The multi-thousand year development of theatre and drama has to be reflected, whether we want it or not. Rejection, binding and free inspiration from our predecessors are a reaction. In places where artists from different cultural and geopolitical backgrounds meet, we expect a variety of approaches to this heritage, and there are questions: Is there objectivity? An objective truth? An objective theatre? An objective morale? Can we find common ground at all?

The theme of the SETKÁNÍ/ENCOUNTER is Losing Ground. "Loss of ground" means stagnation and lagging. This theme is understood in a positive way as personal development through erasing the old and finding new values in a world that is hectically changing. Three characters – Nature, Culture and Future – are going to acquaint us with the theme. The location of "common land" is a step forward, innovation. However, finding this "common ground" does not mean an unambiguous agreement, nor the creation of universal truth, of one theatrical poetics. It means the ability to accept the other's opinion, the ability to talk about our differences. Mutual inspiration.

The young theatre makers who meet at our festival stand at the threshold of their entry into the professional theatre. They find their own themes and ways of making. The SETKÁNÍ/ ENCOUNTER is an opportunity to rip its sharp edges. It’s a platform where they can make their criticism of peers in a similar situation but in a different context. That's why we try to ask questions, not answers. Let's form together, as festival participants, creators, visitors, and  organizers. We are losing our ground to find something new and exceptional.


Libor Brzobohatý

playwright of the festival

 Marek Slováček

director of the festival

Team #ENC18