“(Re)discovering Europe” is the first project for which the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc received funding from the European Union through co-financing from the Creative Europe program. The project, which centers around modern Europe and the challenges it faces today, will try to view the perspectives of minorities – how different minorities participate in creating the identity of modern Europe and whether theatre can offer a different view of Europe through this discourse.

The Italian Drama ensemble of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc is the project leader, and the minority theatre will work with the following partners:

  • Teatrul German de Stat Timisoara (German Theatre of the City of Timisoara, Romania); – Teatro stabile Sloveno / Permanent Slovenian Theatre of Trieste (Italy);
  • National Institution Albanian Theatre Skopje (North Macedonia);
  • Kosztolányi Dezső Színház (Kazalište Kosztolányi Dezső (in Hungarian language), (Subotica, Serbia).

“(Re)discovering Europe” will conduct its activities through all partner cities: Trieste, Timisoara, Subotica and Skopje, of which three cities are connected through the “European Capital of Culture” program:

  • Rijeka, European Capital of Culture 2020
  • Timisoara, European Capital of Culture 2021
  • Subotica as the nearest city to Novi Sad, European Capital of Culture 2021

The project will further confirm their European identity, belonging to European values, and readiness of intercultural dialogues in the local, regional and European context.

The citizens of Rijeka will be able to take part in various programs within the framework of the “(Re)discovering Europe” project:

  1. A theatrical co-production based on Luigi Pirandello’s work “Mountain Giants”
  2. The “Theatrical Knowledge Incubators” educational programs in cooperation with regional art schools, developed through three subprograms:
    1. “How to Watch” workshops designed for actors, students of dramatic arts, artists and coordinators of contemporary dance and theatre programs
    2. Informal workshops of an educational nature designed for the audience, “Flea Market of Theatre Knowledge”
    3. “Euro Performance,” a workshop for students of dramatic arts
      1. Audience development program: performative cuisine – culinary diversity
      2. Interdisciplinary workshop for actors “From Pirandello to Brexit,” led by the editor of the play “Mountain Giants,” Paolo Magelli
      3. Scientific research of the Faculty of Economics of Rijeka on (non)inclusion of minorities in cultural life and project evaluation

“(Re)discovering Europe” is a project with the potential to create a permanent platform that would gather an ensemble of national minorities at the European level. In this way, in addition to promoting intercultural dialogues, these ensembles and their members can receive the opportunity to present themselves in markets that were previously inaccessible to them due to linguistic and cultural differences.

Such a way of connecting would help minorities to raise their importance, recognition and visibility on the local, national and European level, as well as to increase the international mobility of their artists. This format would bring together various cultural backgrounds and languages, which would not be an obstacle here, but rather an advantage in the search for a unique theatrical language that transcends national specificities.

Different artistic markets, to which the ensembles participating in the project “(Re)discovering Europe,” will be able to present their work, are an opportunity to access a new, wider audience. After the premiere at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka (the Italian Drama’s parent organization), the project will be presented in Trieste, Timisoara, Subotica and Skopje (cities whose minority ensembles will participate in the project). The idea is to present future projects in countries within the same speech community, thus expanding the radius of access to potential audiences, and giving participating artists the opportunity to act transnationally and internationally. This will be a direct result of the project, as well as a sustainability test. In the case of the German theatre in Timisoara, the plan is to present the project and their theatre partners in Germany, as well as at German-speaking festivals (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).

As the project is part of the Rijeka 2020 European Capital of Culture program, Timisoara 2021 European Capital of Culture, and the Novi Sad 2021 European Capital of Culture, the presentation of performances in different environments and other joint activities will represent these cities as European Capitals of Culture.