Since 2002, the Young Directors Project has enriched the programme of the Salzburg Festival with the staging of innovative international theatre productions, bringing new talent into the spotlight.
The goal of the Young Directors Project is to bring cutting-edge theatre to Salzburg, and support the talent and creative vision of emerging directors. Every year, four different theatre troupes from around the world are invited under Montblanc’s patronage to stage avant-garde productions, inspiring discerning audiences with innovative theatrical performances.
For the 2014 edition of the Project, Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Director of Drama at the Salzburg Festival, has selected theatre groups from UK, France, Austria and Serbia, each director identified as innovative and delivering a fresh approach to theatre. All four productions will be shown during the Festival in iconic cultural locations, two at the republic and one each at ARGEKultur and at the Kunstquartier between July 31 and August 15, 2014, and each performance is staged in its original language with English or German subtitles, making them accessible to the broad, international Festival audience.
Death, love, loss, longing or ambition: every human theme takes centre stage during this immersive cultural experience. Young Serbian director Miloš Loli? addresses political instability, trauma and self-esteem in post World War I Germany with Hinkemann, the expressionist masterwork by Ernst Toller. In this YDP coproduction with the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus, a mentally and physically wounded man craves gratification and recognition in a brutal post-war climate.
French director Nicolas Charaux takes on Der Abschied, a new play by Salzburg native Walter Kappacher based on the little documented final days of Salzburg poet Georg Trakl. A world premiere as part of YDP, this play paints a moving picture of the tormented existence of Trakl who witnessed the horrors of the battlefield in Ukraine during World War I as a ‘dispenser orderly’. Following a stay in the ‘mad wing’ of a hospital in Krakow he becomes a drug addict, and tragically kills himself at just 27 years old.
UK theatre director Alexander Scott brings a very humorous Orpheus to the stage with the Little Bulb Theatre from London, a group of actors who are also musicians, contributing rhythmic jazz to this animated play. In this fictitious play set in the 1930s Euridyce, played by the chanteuse Yvette Papin, has been abducted and taken to the underworld, as Orpheus, played by guitar hero Django Reinhardt, sets off on an epic journey to save her. This highly engaging and musical production addresses questions of love, of loss, and of how to behave in the face of death.
Director Hans-Werner Kroesinger leads students of the acting, stage design and directing classes of the Mozarteum University in 36566 Tage, an expedition into the war years of 1914 to 1918. 8th August 2014, the day of the premiere, will mark 36,566 days since shots were fired at Sarajevo, and the beginning of the war. Beyond well-established historical facts that have become so distant 100 years later, the play provides insights into the hopes, wishes, fears and disappointments of a whole series of less familiar historical figures.
Expertly selected, each production pushes new boundaries of creativity and innovative thinking. As common cultural and human themes are played out on stage in very different ways, emotion and an abundance of artistic talent always surprises and enthrals Salzburg’s international audience.
The Young Directors Project culminates on August 21, 2014 when an expert jury led by Dr. Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival and Thaddaeus Ropac, owner of Galerie Ropac, who have both accompanied the project from the very beginning and author Michael Köhlmeier. Having seen each play and evaluated the artistic merit of each performance they carefully choose the winner of the Montblanc Young Directors Award: recipient of 10,000 Euros and the Montblanc Max Reinhardt writing instrument, exclusively designed for this project.