International Partnerships

The Cyprus Theatre Organisation aims at making use of opportunities for theatre development provided either by the European Union or on a bi-lateral level between EU member-states, such as the “Leonardo Programme”, co-productions with Germany, Hungary, Romania and the United Kingdom, as well as in bi-lateral collaborations with Germany, Greece, Russia and other countries.

The Organisation is systematically seeking new avenues for exchanges and collaboration with other member-states of the European Union in order to revitalise and enrich theatrical production in Cyprus.

A lasting international step was THOC’s participation in the European Theatre Convention (ETC), which proved that the exchange of experiences and knowledge is extremely valuable to the island’s theatre development. Both the opportunity for continuous information sharing and networking between our island –a place far away from central Europe– and countries having a long tradition in theatre, and THOC’s participation in programmes funded by the European Union through the ETC created a bridge of communication and an extremely fruitful exchange of theatre experiences.

In 2010, THOC hosted in Cyprus the ETC Spring General Assembly, where representatives from more than thirty state theatres attended.


Programme Young Europe

European audience survey

International Theatre Youth Forum

New Book of Plays/European Theatre Today

ΤRAMES


Programme Young Europe

From October 2008 until March 2010, eleven state theatres, all ETC theatre partners, took part in this programme, which aimed at promoting playwriting for young audiences, at encouraging young theatre professionals to interact and share experiences and information, as well as strengthening the relationship between theatres and new theatrical languages in Europe. Eight co-productions, two workshops and two international conferences have dealt with issues such as identity and belonging, immigration and rejection, violence, and the way in which new theatrical languages are used as bridges between different countries. THOC collaborated with Theatre an der Parkaue of Berlin and through the programme the term "classroom play" (i.e. the performance played in the classroom and not in the theatre) was introduced in Cyprus.

Following the successful first edition of the programme, Cyprus was among the group of countries that participated and played a leading role in designing “Young Europe 2”. The particular programme had the same basic principles, beginning with the theme of respect for the right of young people to participate in matters affecting them, multilingualism and diversity.

The programme’s second edition began on 1 October 2011. THOC collaborated with the Miskolc National Theatre of Hungary to write a play about the “kalikantzaroi” (“the goblins”), based on research by Hambis Tsaggaris regarding the subject. In March 2013, eight renowned public theatres in six European countries presented plays for young people aged twelve and above, which were written by young Europeans participating in the programme.


European audience survey

The Cyprus Theatre Organisation participated in a European-wide survey carried out for the first time in all theatres-members of the European Theatre Convention (ETC) in collaboration with the Centre for Audience Development (ZAD) of the Free University of Berlin (Germany). The survey aimed at recording the public’s preferences, aiming mainly at attracting new audiences and at understanding and improving the entire theatre process.

The questionnaire, which targeted the various audience groups, included, among others, questions on the degree of satisfaction of the spectators and the quality of performances. The specially designed questionnaire for THOC was completed before or after each performance held at the THOC Theatre until March 2014.

The preliminary results were announced in the autumn of 2014 in all theatres-members of the European Theatre Convention participating in the survey and will be an important tool of assessment, providing better understanding and interactive dialogue with theatre-goers.


International Theatre Youth Forum

Following an official invitation, the Cyprus Theatre Organisation took part in 2012 and 2013 in the International Theatre Youth Forum, funded by the European Theatre Convention (ETC) and sponsored by the European Union. Every year groups of young people from five to seven European countries meet in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, to participate in workshops and to express their concerns about issues of European identity or other topics young people between sixteen and twenty years of age are concerned about. The participants from Cyprus were selected after an open invitation to all the young people who took part in the Pancyprian School Theatre Games and on completion of the Youth Forum they were awarded the title "ETC Young Ambassador".


New Book of Plays/European Theatre Today

Each member state of the ETC selects the three best new plays which were staged during the two-year period. This is done by a committee appointed by each theatre-member. The plays from all countries are presented in an online or printed biannual publication of the ETC, usually bilingual, giving all details regarding the presentation of the play (synopsis, characters, etc.), together with biographical notes and contact information. Cyprus was included in all four catalogues of the programme, published in the years 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. More information is available on the ETC website: http://www.etc-cte.org/base.php?code=62


ΤRAMES

Within the framework of the exchange programmes of the European Theatre Convention (ETC), the Cyprus Theatre Organisation participated in 2006 in the successful TRAMES Programme (Traductions Mises en Scène), which is organised by the La Comédie de Saint-Etienne.

It is a programme that aims at promoting plays in the member-states through the translation and direction process in the language of each participating country. The play My Mother who Sang on a Lighthouse (Ma mère qui chantait sur un phare) by Gilles Granouillet was the subject of analysis and study of the programme.

The translators who participated in the programme had the opportunity to meet in St. Etienne with the playwright and to work on the translation drafts they had already prepared. At the same time, they met with both the directors of the other participating countries and the French director and actors that would stage the play in French. The theatre organisations that participated in the programme (St. Etienne, THOC, Volkstheatre of Vienna, National Theatre of Craiova) undertook to stage the translated play in a scheduled performance or in a staged reading.

At the meeting of directors and translators held in St. Etienne, THOC was represented by Constantinos Georgiou, philologist and theatre critic, who translated the play in Greek.

The implementation of the latter part of the programme, namely the presentation of the play in Cyprus, was also undertaken by Constantinos Georgiou in a performance staged at the Hani, Kaimakli, Lefkosia, in a space especially adapted for the needs of the play by him. The poetic musicality of the play was commissioned to two leading actors, Antonis Katsaris and Lenia Sorokou and three young actors, Natia Astreou, Paul Kitromilides and Alexandros Chrysostomou of the Free Theatre Workshop of Théâtre SDF, established by Constantinos Georgiou. An added value to the whole endeavour was given by the invaluable interaction of experienced actors and the teenage students of the workshop.

THOC participated for a second time in the TRAMES Programme in 2010. For this particular programme, the Judging Committee selected Carole Fréchette’s play The small room at the top of the stairs (La petite pièce en haut de l’ escalier), which has earned five nominations for the “Grand prix de littérature dramatique” 2009 award. Cyprus was represented by director Magdalena Zira. The first phase of the programme (1-5 February 2010) was completed with a workshop and reading of the play, which took place in St. Etienne and was directed by Jean-Claude Berutti. During the second phase, the play was presented in Cyprus on 17 March 2010 as a staged reading, directed by Magdalena Zira.