V4@Theatre Critics Residency is a creative platform for theatre critics up to the age of 35 coming from the countries of Central and
Eastern Europe. The project was created in 2015 by Association Divadelná Nitra, in collaboration with partners from participating countries. Over the years, it has expanded its number of participants, represented countries and lectors, with the support of the International Visegrad Fund and the Slovak Arts Council. Its aim is to develop critical reflection on theatre, to map new tendencies in contemporary production in the field of scenic arts and to introduce analytical methods that serve reflection on often highly specific and experimental artworks. During their residency, a group of selected theatre critics take active part at the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra. They attend performances in the festival programme and produce analyses at ongoing meetings with residency lectors. From the very beginning, their residency takes place under the guidance of respected foreign theatre scholars and theatre critics Patrice Pavis (2015‑2018), Thomas Irmer (2017, 2018, 2019) and Stefan Tigges (2019), who facilitated this intercultural dialogue on contemporary art.

This year, residency participants followed the main programme of the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra under the guidance of German theatre scholar Stefan Tigges and analysed it at regular meetings. Thomas Irmer, the second residency lector, complemented the programme with his lectures. The project V4@Theatre Critics Residency serves an educational function, but it is also a platform for international cultural exchange and the exchange of information about current developments in the field of scenic arts in the Central and Eastern European region. At the end of their stay, residents met participants from other educational programmes organised by Association Divadelná Nitra at a collective reflection on the staged productions, at which they also presented the contexts of artistic production in their home countries.

By combining analytical seminars reflecting on the main festival programme with the critics’ active participation at meetings with artists, the project offers fertile soil for open discussion, whose ambition is to transcend the context of the festival and tie into the broader socio‑political framework.
The fifth edition of the residency at Divadelná Nitra joined 18 theatre critics from eleven countries. Over its five successful, the project has seen more than 60 participants.
At this year’s festival, former and current residency participants will once again meet representatives of partner institutions and other colleagues from the field of theatre criticism. Besides developing the professional skills of young critics, we intend the mini‑programme V4@Networking&Reminiscences to promote collaboration among critics, professional journals and festivals in Central and Eastern Europe and so to stimulate theatre criticism in the broader context.

participants: Anna Ambartsumyan (RU), Petra Babulicová (SK), Emma Elefánti (HU), Réka Fazakas (RO), Sona Hovhannisyan (AE), Marina Israilova (RU), Miroslava Košťálová (SK), Beáta Kovács (RO), Luka Kurjački (RS), Marek Lollok (CZ), Mariana Matveichuk (UA), Yuliya Makarevich (BY), Marcin Miętus (PL), Siyana Nedyalkova (BG), Bohdana Orleanova (UA), Anna Pavlova (RU), Ida Slezak (PL), Svetlomira Stoyanova (BG)
substitutes: Marta Bryś (PL), Veronika Holečková (CZ)





Stefan Tigges, Germany
Stefan Tigges is a theatre scholar. He works internationally as an educator and researcher (for instance, universities of Bochum, Mainz, Vienna, Avignon and Rouen) and currently completes his habilitation on the theatre of director Jürgen Gosch and stage designer and director Johannes Schütz. Stefan specializes in contemporary theatre, drama and performance art, methodological approaches to performance analysis. Between 2009‑2012, he represented the Schaubühne Berlin in the European theatre network ‚Prospero‘ and acted as a visiting research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (2017‑18). Selected publications include: Von der Weltseele zur Über‑Marionette. Cechovs Traumtheater als avantgardistische Versuchsanordnung (2010); Dramatische Transformationen. Zu gegenwärtigen Schreib‑und Aufführungsstrategien im deutschsprachigen aum (2008); Zwischenspiele. Neue Texte, Wahrnehmungs‑ und Fiktionsräume in Theater, Tanz und Performance (2010); Das Drama nach dem Drama. Verwandlungen dramatischer Formen in Deutschland seit 1945 (2011); Jean Jourdheuil. Grenzgänge (2015).

Thomas Irmer, Germany
Thomas Irmer was editor-in-chief of the monthly journal Theater der Zeit, Germany (1998 – 2003) and dramaturgical advisor for the international theatre season Spielzeiteuropa at Berliner
Festspiele (working, among others, for Robert Lepage, John Jesurun, Peter Brook, William Forsythe, Heiner Goebbels and Frank Castorf) in 2003 – 2006. He also run international  lectures and talks. Currently, he works for various theatrical magazines (staff writer for Theater der Zeit and regular contributor to Didaskalia, Szinhaz and Shakespeare in Norway). He has also lectured at the Kennedy-Institut at Freie Universität Berlin from 2003 to 2012. He is a member of several juries of German and international dramatic and theatre competitions and of the ITI Germany.

main organiser: Divadelná Nitra Association

Supported by:


    V4@Theatre Critics Residency Project is supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council, main partner of the project