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The drama of Czech literature

The international Theatre Festival of European Regions is underway in Hradec Králové, boasting work by and about Czech and international writers. Read more at the Czech Literature Portal Photos – 1) Alexander Grin’s Morgiana, photo by Petr Neubert, 2) Martin Františák’s The Čapek Case, photo by Bohdan Holomíček Petr Neubert

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Performing Kafka’s Year in Berlin

A Greek theater company’s production depicting Kafka’s year in Berlin reflects back on a time of financial collapse and growing menace that is frighteningly reminiscent of Europe today. It begins with a society rocked by financial collapse. Anger spills out onto the streets, the extreme left brandishing the hammer and sickle, the resurgent right raging […]

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Marat/Sade at Prague psychiatric hospital

One of the landmarks of modern theater, Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade, will be performed at Prague’s Bohnice psychiatric hospital As a play about asylum inmates putting on a play of the death of French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat, Weiss’ work already casts a kaleidoscopic glance at political conformity and extremism of two distinct eras of history. With […]

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Bruno Schulz’s ‘Treatise on Mannequins’

The Central European theater company Kompánia will stage a work based on the drawings and writings of Bruno Schulz on Saturday The Treatise on Mannequins is a theater piece inspired by Bruno Schulz’s art and writing, using music, visual art and acting to transmit a “world beyond time and space” to the audience. Director Krzysztof […]

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A Couple of Poor Polish-Speaking Romanians

Eastern disillusionment meets western incomprehension On Dorota Masłowska’s play – “A Couple of Poor, Polish-Speaking Romanians” It is hard to be subversive in the 21st century. Writers and artists of all kinds have been aiming in that particular direction for so long now that it seems almost old-fashioned. And if you’re from what is commonly […]

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Belarus Free Theatre escapes to New York

Evading intensifying KGB searches members of the Belarus Free Theatre managed to cross the Belarusian border and have arrived in New York to perform in the Under the Radar international alternative festival. “We’ve truly been under the radar, in hiding in a real detective story,” group co-founder Natalia Koliada told the New York Times in […]

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A window on cultural life in Belarus

The most recent literalab post recounted the arrest and detention of Belarus Free Theatre director Natalia Koliada and the fact that she and her husband, Nikolai Khalezhin, subsequently went into hiding. Although updates on their whereabouts have been virtually non-existent I will pass on any information I discover. In the meantime you can support their […]

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Belarus Free Theatre driven into hiding

My original idea was to write a series of posts about writing and theater in Belarus the week following the rigged elections to show the obstacles facing free expression in Lukashenko’s authoritarian regime. Although I felt that the political dimension of Belarusian writing is often overemphasized at the expense of literary qualities, it still seemed […]

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