Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Platform Activities | 2010, June 23 – 2010, June 28

2nd Annual Encounter in Palmela / Portugal

Time to have the second big annual encounter of the P11+ network.
More than 100 artists from all over Europe will come to Teatro O Bando to prepare and perform at the European Theatre Event: A Midsummernight’s Theatre

Whereas to begin with it was the visual artists who filled Teatro O Bando’s magical space with their diverse works of art, in the days of the Annual Encounter, it will be the actors and their theatres who will be presenting themselves.
The foremost goal in the first year of PLATFORM 11+ was the development of the so called ‘National Plays’ in each of the participating countries.
After extensive research in schoolyards and amongst young people in their home towns, the authors, who had been commissioned by the theatres, wrote their plays. The ‘Play Fairs’, which took place in Budapest, Oulu and London, gave the PLATFORM 11+ partners the chance to get to know excerpts of the play scripts in staged readings. The majority of the plays will be put on stage in the theatres in the 2009 / 2010 season. A wide range of productions have arisen out of the project: mono- logues and plays with big casts, some productions extravagant and others minimalistic, some for big stages, some for classrooms: Conflict laden, tragic, pointed stories as well as light, entertaining collages.
Europe will come to Palmela on the ‘Midsummer Night’, 26th of June, during the Annual Encounter. Excerpts from the National Plays will be able to be seen in shortened versions.
It was the idea of Joa?o Brites’, Artistic Director of Teatro O Bando, to transform the picturesque Barris Valley, home of the theatre group for over ten years, into a giant Open Air stage.
The theatres have the opportunity to present their national productions on 13 small stages. This is a big challenge for the theatre groups who are used to performing under very different conditions in their well equipped theatres. In the Barris Valley there will only be tiny open air stages with a minimum of technical equipment. The duration of the performances will be limited to fifteen minutes so that all the audiences can see all the plays. The short plays will be repeated many times and the stages will be so close to each other that the actors and audiences will be able to hear the foreign language being spoken on the neighbouring stages.
The fact that all the partners were quick to agree to this unusual artistic challenge says a lot about the creative, trusting atmosphere amongst the Artistic Directors of PLATFORM 11+.
The audiences have good reason to be excited. They will be witness to a one and only, never to be repeated Theatre Event. Each audience member has the chance to pick and chose between all the different presentations and because of this will thereby be able to experience their very own personal Euro- pean Theatre Event.
There will be even more going on than the theatre performances. For those who are still fit, the second part of the night begins at 11 p.m. when the theatre lights go out. There are more surprises in store for those who are still full of energy. These surprises will be in the olive groves which stretch along the hillside and in which the artworks of the visual artists will be exhibited. There will be a night workshop in artistic glass production conducted by the Norwegian artist Marianne Loraas. Perhaps there’ll be a short Estonian language course, singing lessons with German Folk songs, or simply relaxed conversations about fishing whilst drinking Finnish liquorice liquor … and for those who run out of steam, there’ll be garden lounges upon which they can recharge their batteries in the lively stillness of the full moon night.
At around 5.30 a.m., when the last courageous survivors greet the rising sun on the hill top of the val- ley, and drink their first coffee of the day together, they will be able to look back on a unique experience :Theatre performances, visual arts, challenges to their own creativity, and definitely a lot of fun and a lot of interesting encounters.

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