V4@Theatre Critics Residency is a creative platform for theatre critics up to the age of 35 coming from the V4 region and selected countries of the Eastern Partnership. The project was created in 2015 at the initiative of Association Divadelná Nitra, in collaboration with partners from participating countries. Over the course of its existence, it has, with the aid of the International Visegrad Fund and the Slovak Arts Council, steadily expanded its number of participants, represented countries and mentors.

The project’s objective is to foster critical reflection on theatre, keep track of new tendencies in contemporary scenic arts and to introduce analytical methods that serve reflection on often unique and experimental artworks.

The Residency programme allows a group of selected theatre critics to take active part at the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra. The group attends theatrical performances and works out preliminary analyses at meetings with Residency mentors. The members’ residency at the festival takes place under the guidance of respected foreign theatrologists and theatre critics Patrice Pavis (since 2015) and Thomas Irmer (2017, 2018), who will facilitate this intercultural dialogue on art.

Under the guidance of world-renowned French theatrologist Patrice Pavis, participants followed the main programme of Divadelná Nitra 2018 and analysed it at regular meetings. The second expert mentor of the project, German theatre critic and curator Thomas Irmer, contributed to the project by means of his lectures.

In addition to serving an educational function, the V4@Theatre Critics Residency project is also a platform for international cultural exchange and the exchange of knowledge on current developments in the scenic arts in the regions of Central and Eastern Europe. The participants’ task was to prepare a presentation on the current situation in the scenic arts field in their home country and delivered it during the festival at a public discussion forum.

By combining analytical seminars reflecting on the festival’s main programme with the critics’ active participation at meetings with artists, the project provided ground for open discussion, whose ambition was to surpass the context of the festival and to engage with the wider socio-political framework.

The  fourth edition of the Residency at Divadelná Nitra was joined by16 theatre critics from ten different countries. Over its four years of activity, the project has involved more than 45 participants.

This edition of the project also featured a meeting of current and former Residency participants with members of partner institutions and other theatre critics, in order to aid networking and forming new international contacts. Besides developing the professional skills of young critics, we intended the mini-programme V4@Networking&Reminiscenes as a platform that fosters collaborative ties among critics, professional journals and festivals in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, and so stimulates the field of theatre criticism.

Participants: Marcin Bogucki, Olga Śmiechowicz,  Aleksandra  Spilkowska (PL), Fruzsina Dézsi, Klára Nagy, Krisztina Vagdalt (HU), Silvia Dumitrache (RO), Plamen Harmandjiev (BG), Anna Kaluger (UA), Ana Kvinikadze (GE), Dana Maxim (MD), Diana Pavlačková (SK), Kseniia Reutova (UA), Tereza Turzíková (CZ), Anastasia Vasilevich (BY), Anna Zelenevskaya (BY)

Main Organizer: Association Divadelná Nitra

Project was Supported by International Visegrad Fund, Slovak Art Council


  • Arts and Theatre Institute, Czech Republic 
  • Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, Poland 
  • Trafo – House of Contemporary Arts, Hungary 
  • The Theatre Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia 
  • East European Performing Arts Platform, Poland 
  • Visual and performing arts centre „ART Corporation“, Belarus 
  • Center for Cultural Projects Azart, Moldova 
Patrice Pavis (France)
was Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Paris (1976 – 2007). He was Professor at the School of Arts at the University of Kent in Canterbury. In 2011 and 2012 he was a visiting professor at the Korea National University of the Arts. He has published a dictionary of theatre and books on semiology, performance analysis, contemporary French dramatists, and contemporary theatre. His most recent book publications are: La mise en scène contemporaine (Armand Colin, 2007; English translation: Routledge, 2013) and Dictionnaire de la performance et du théâtre contemporain (Armand Colin, 2014; English translation: Routledge, 2016), L‘analyse des spectacles (3ed.) 2017; L‘analyse des textes contemporains (Armand Colin, 2017).
Thomas Irmer (Germany)
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 organises international lectures and discussions. 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