Playwrights Set for Ensemble Free Theater Norway's BELARUSIAN DREAM THEATER
Ensemble Free Theater Norway (EFTN) announces the playwrights who will participate in Belarusian Dream Theater, an international performing arts event supporting freedom of expression in Belarus conceived and initiated by Brendan McCall, Artistic Director of EFTN.
On 25 March 2014, Belarus´ Freedom Day, partner theaters will present readings and/or performances of new short plays about Belarus simultaneously in Australia, Belarus, Canada, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States (California, New York, and Vermont).
Belarusian Dream Theater´s participating playwrights come from Australia, Austria, Belarus, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and their new short plays show a vast range of style, subject matter, and aesthetic. This year´s writers are: Morgan Bassichis, Manuel Borras, Jez Broome, Nancy Gall-Clayton, Vivienne Glance, Diane Rao Harman, Jacob Juntunen, John Ladd, Laura Lynn MacDonald, Rex McGregor, Daniel Michaelson, Cynthia Morrison, K. M. Mustatea, Martha Patterson, Alice Pencavel, Richard Pettifer, Anna J. Rogers, Jake Rosenberg, Nikolay Rudkovski, Aurin Squire, Zellie Thomas, Tatsiana Tuteishaya, Chris Van Strander, John Weagly, and David L. Williams.
The hope is that this coordinated cultural event will stimulate a greater knowledge and interest in Belarus by international audiences, journalists, and artists.
The impetus to create Belarusian Dream Theater´s originate in McCall´s personal and professional experiences. This includes his collaboration with Belarus Free Theatre in Minsk and Oslo in 2010, as well as volunteering with Amnesty International and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee to support greater freedom of expression in Belarus, particularly after 19 December 2010, when post-election protests were brutally repressed. His 2011 article about these experiences published in Contemporary Theatre Review (UK), "When Theatre is ´Thoughtcrime´," won an international journalism award presented by the Solidarity with Belarus Information Office (Warsaw, Poland), and has since been translated and published in Belarusian.
With Belarusian Dream Theater, McCall aims to achieve greater international focus on Belarus through dramatic writing and performance, similar to SBIO´s efforts in journalism. Further, he cites his past participation with Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (Theatre Communication Group and the Japan Playwrights Foundation) and NoPassport´s Gun Control Theatre Action as particularly inspiring in establishing precedent.
"This is a powerful example of how theater is more than just entertainment," says McCall. "All of these writers, actors, and directors are working for free. Hopefully, these new plays of Belarusian Dream Theater can inspire more people to take action, to create, and to speak up against censorship everywhere."