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International news round-up: September 20

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Lepage’s play Kanata to go ahead in Paris

FRANCE/PARIS Robert Lepage’s controversial play Kanata is to be produced by Paris’ Theatre du Soleil. The yet-to-be-staged production about the relationship between First Nations and settlers in Canada has been criticised widely for cultural appropriation and the lack of Indigenous performers. Lepage’s Montreal company Ex Machina cancelled the production after tense meetings in June with members of the indigenous community over the show and the withdrawal of co-producers. Theatre du Soleil subsequently cancelled its own production but has now ignored Indigenous voices and stated that it wanted audiences to judge for themselves. Lepage will direct and has offered his services for free.

Mark Shenton: Theatre must navigate the choppy waters of cultural change

ITI Inter-Europe Artist Exchange Programme

EUROPE The Network of Emerging Arts Professionals of the International Theatre Institute has launched the inaugural ITI Inter-Europe Artist Exchange Programme. Participating ITI national centres were paired together earlier this year via a draw and have since been working together to arrange to send emerging artists to their partnering countries for a short artistic residency. The aim is to give emerging artists the opportunity to create original work in a different cultural landscape from that which they are used to, and to give centres the opportunity to strengthen ties and work together on a continent-wide project. The pairings are United Kingdom-Greece, Macedonia-Italy-Russia and Switzerland-Slovenia. Further information is available at facebook.com/NEAPofITI, or email the project coordinator Fin Ross Russell at fin@islandlifeproductions.com.

Europe Theatre Prize winners announced

RUSSIA/ ST PETERSBURG The prize events and winners for the 17th edition of the Europe Theatre Prize and the 15th edition of the Europe Prize Theatrical Realities, which take place this year in St Petersburg, have been announced. The events will be hosted and financed by the Baltic House Theatre. Winner of the Europe Theatre Prize is Russian director and actor Valery Fokin, with a Special Prize going to Spanish director and actor Nuria Espert. The Europe Prize Theatrical Realities is shared by Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Swedish company Cirkus Cirkor (director Tilde Bjorfors), French director Julien Gosselin, Polish director Jan Klata, Swiss director Milo Rau and Portuguese actor Tiago Rodrigues. The Returns section, which hosts productions by previous winners, will present Hamlet, directed by Lev Dodin, and Alice, The Governor and The Storm, directed by Andrey Moguchy. As a side-event, Italy, which hosted the previous edition in Rome, will present the show Elvira by and with Toni Servillo, produced by Piccolo Teatro/Teatro d’Europa di Milano. Events run from November 13-17. premio-europa.org

Godwin to take helm at US-based theatre

US/ WASHINGTON A Brit has been appointed the new artistic director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, based in Washington DC. Currently associate director at the National Theatre, Simon Godwin will take up the position in August 2019. He will succeed Michael Kahn, who has led the theatre since 1986. Godwin began as an associate at the National in 2015, and has also worked as associate director at the Royal Court and Bristol Old Vic.

Simon Godwin leaves National Theatre for US-based Shakespeare Theatre Company

Warsaw funds new home for state theatre

POLAND/WARSAW Warsaw City Council has approved $41 million (£33 million) of funding for a new home for the Jewish Theatre. The state theatre’s full name is the Ester Rachel Kaminska and Ida Kaminska State Jewish Theater and it was founded in 1950. It was evicted in 2016 from its former premises, which were demolished the following year by the site’s owners despite protests by the theatre and its supporters. The new funding decision will allow it to move into a 19th-century, five-storey tenement building nearby, representing one of the few surviving parts of what was historically Jewish Warsaw. An architectural competition will kick off plans for renovation of the new venue along with a centre to promote Yiddish culture.

The International section is co-edited by Ian Herbert and Nick Awde. Contact email: international@thestage.co.uk

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