For the third year in a row, ITF Divadelná Nitra features the outputs of the international project Be SpectACTive!, co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme. The project aims to promote an active spectator relationship to performative art and bring art to their everyday life. Bolstering participation in artistic production is the interest of 19 European partners joined by the Be SpectACTive! network. It serves an important impulse for citizen activation in culture in particular and public life in general, develops individual responsibility for steering the course of local cultural programme and supports regional development. The project features a broad array of production and research activities. The outputs are not locally specific – on the contrary, they initiate connections with the international community.
By entering the network in late 2018, Association Divadelná Nitra has moved from creation for audiences to creation with audiences. It also aimed to entrench Nitra on the map of modern creative European localities, following the concept of eventful cities (creative cities with a rich all–year offer of events). By organising the project, it works towards fulfilling its long-term ambition of supporting local artistic production and its contact with the international arts scene.
2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic intensely affected our budding project. The organisers have additionally directed their attention to seeking new forms of crisis work with spectators, as well as experimenting in international artistic mobilities, artistic residencies, and organising output presentations abroad. Network leaders and members thereby contributed to the effort of finding functional solutions in artistic production and presentation during pandemic and post-pandemic times on the national and European culture scene.
>> Presentation of productions ICARUS, Blue is the Colour, and the project Be SpectACTive!: Artists talk, 4 October 2021, 10.30 AM – 12.00 AM, Meeting Point DAB
The Audience Programme Board functions as an advisory body to festival curators since 2019. It consists of a heterogenous group of citizens primarily from Nitra Region, but also more remote cities and villages (altogether 20 to 30 people). Based on regular meetings under the guidance of the project coordinator, its members exchange observations and opinions on recommendations for the festival programme. Besides online and physical meetings, they also sit in at theatre performances and festival events. By the end of the season, the Audience Programme Board makes a recommendation (grants the ‘APB Seal of Approval’) for 4 to 5 theatrical artworks. Of the pieces programmed for ITF Divadelná Nitra 2021, these are the productions War and Peace (Slovak National Theatre – Drama, Bratislava), The Tinker (Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra), Borodáč or Three Sisters (State Theatre Košice), Lebensraum (LAB Theatre, Bratislava), and Joan of Arc’s Second Death (New Theatre, Nitra).
The Audience Programme Board is coordinated by theatre critic Miro Zwiefelhofer. He studied theatre art theory and criticism at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. In 2011 – 2014 he co-selected the foreign programme of ITF Divadelná Nitra and since 2020 he is the festival’s accompanying programme dramaturge. In 2013 he was member of the dramaturgical board of Nová dráma/New Drama festival. He actively reviews and evaluates professional and amateur theatre and is one of the programme coordinators of Nitra’s candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2026.
In 2022, the Audience Programme Board will enrol new members through an open call.
>> Festival meeting of the Audience Programme Board, 2 October 2021, 12.30 PM – 1.30 PM, at bod.K7
The world premiere of ICARUS will present the results of a joint work by teenagers from Nitra and Prague created under the guidance of an artistic team (Marie Gourdain / FR, Jaro Viňarský / SK, Václav Kalivoda / CZ). For this production, Association Divadelná Nitra partnered with Tanec Praha international festival for contemporary dance and physical theatre, the J. Rosinský Elementary School of Art in Nitra and others.
The project’s ambition is to foster contemporary dance production in Nitra and Prague, connecting a group of first-class dance artists with teenagers in both cities. The creative process since 2019 featured creative residencies in Nitra and Prague, discussions, and physical and music workshops. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, outputs in 2020 and 2021 have come to include regular online meetings, bringing participants inspiration and positive impulses during lockdown.
>> Workshop and residency of Prague children and artists involved in the project ICARUS in Nitra, 28 September 2021 – 3 October 2021
>> World premiere: ICARUS, 2 October 2021, 3.00 PM – 3.45 PM, Svätoplukovo námestie
The world premiere of Blue is the Colour will conclude a running rehearsal process by choreographer and director Petra Fornayová and her creative team taking place since 2019. Her project was selected on the basis of an open call published by Association Divadelná Nitra in May 2019. The organisers’ ambition was to support international production by Slovak artists and a participative approach to local production. This ecological piece was created in collaboration with Dublin Theatre Festival in Ireland, Plesni Teater Ljubljana in Slovenia, and Kunstencentrum BUDA in Kortijk, Belgium. It is the result of a continuous rehearsal process in Slovakia, a creative residency in Slovenia and online communication with partners and the public in Belgium and Ireland.
>> Creative residency of the artistic team of Blue is the Colour in Nitra, 22 September 2021 – 4 October 2021
>> World premiere: Blue is the Colour, 3 October 2021, 4.00 PM – 5.00 PM, Párovské Háje Culture House