Ukraine, Germany, GB

Directors: Katharina Schenk and Peter Cant

Actors: Sonya Bascakova, Igor Dymov, Alexandra Indik, Semyon Kyslyi, Volodymyr Rudenko, Danilo Shramenko

Language: English

Katharina Schenk (Germany, 1986) and Peter Cant (UK, 1986) met on an ETC residency in 2016 at Gogolfest in Kiev, Ukraine. At that festival they staged their first collaboration as co-directors, The World Doesn’t End, with a company of young actors from the city.

The following year they invited the actors to a summer residency at Schloss Freudenberg in Wiesbaden, Germany, creating a new show, If You Can’t Find a Partner Use a Wooden Chair, which they performed at Gogolfest’s 10th Anniversary edition. Following the success of their shows in Kiev, Schenk and Cant were invited by the ETC and Deutsches Theatre, Berlin to develop a new work in December 2017, I Tell You We Must Die, presented as work-in-progress.

The duo returned to the Deutsches Theater twice in 2018, to create an original work with the Junges DT’s Frühlingscamp and to direct a staged reading of Pavlo Arvie’s The Book of Healthy and Delicious Food, part of the Radar Ost season.

For Schenk and Cant, each work begins with a found space, from which action, character, movement, text and music are suggested. Although the physical space remains unchanged, and the actors work with only the poorest props, the audience member comes alive to a ‘dream architecture’, co-authoring the work through their attention to image, sound and space, as if they are a camera roaming through the sets of a silent film.

As they embark upon the third year of their international project, Schenk and Cant will reunite with their company at Schloss Freudenberg for a residency this autumn, supported by the ETC. They will explore ideas of travel, home and transit, culminating in an intimate new performance, performed first in Wiesbaden and planned to tour Ukraine later this year.

As research for the residency, the company travelled to the Carpathian Mountains, Lviv and Kiev this summer. For the autumn residency the company will make Schloss Freudenberg their temporary home, extending their intercultural dialogue to include the castle’s visitors and staff while proposing a futurity-based model of home as a utopian concept, discovered in the act of being together, home not as a place but as a sense, defined not by borders but by values of play, self-expression and exchange.

This residency is part of the project „Theatre is Dialogue – Dialogue of Cultures: European networking with Eastern European theatres“, initiated by the European Theatre Convention (ETC). With thanks to the German Federal Foreign Office for its support of the project.

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