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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Teatro EN (new)




for 15 actors/dancers/performers and 5 auditors, in English or Italian
5-11 August
The idea is through Ophelia to plunge into an uncertain dimension. To question the silence. This will be the conscious and unconscious basis for the research and experimentation with the dancers and the actors, to venture out onto unfamiliar paths, onto paths that instil fear.
The strategies and construction materials will be primordial, and require looking into the territory and into places we have never staked a wager on. Raising the physical language to a greater level of intensity, between reality and imagination.

Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts.
Please take note, in particular, that the video to be submitted may be a personal work (an earlier work) or an improvisation, between 1 and 5 minutes long. It must include theatrical movement and must in some way for the applicant be related to death.


King Lear
for 15 actors/dancers/performers and 5 auditors, in English
5-11 August
Based on act V of King Lear (too huge for the stage).
Nudity is required since act V of King Lear talks about the most extreme force of violence and sex.
‘The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most; we that are young
Shall never see so much nor live so long.’
This quotation comprises the last lines of one of the few surviving protagonists in King Lear. As a final stage direction Shakespeare adds: “Exeunt with a dead march”.
King Lear is Shakespeare’s most ‘uncomfortable’ play. And this feeling of discomfort was censored for almost two hundred years until Kean restored it to its rightful position in the nineteenth century.
The last act was rewritten and mutilated several times in order to provide a happy ending in the Hollywood style, since the original was considered too negative.
Compared to the splendid death scenes of, for example, Antony and Cleopatra in that tragedy, the heroes in King Lear die a completely insignificant, unsatisfying death and death does not supply the pretext for any display of fine writing.
‘Too huge for the stage’ is another comment often heard. It is no longer theatre. Shakespeare wanted to say too much in one go. But my opinion is that in this play Shakespeare puts his artistry above his theatre craftsmanship, which is not always an easy task.
In this play Shakespeare is the consummate ‘image maker’. He was not interested in psychology, special effects, political correctness or historical accuracy. In this play he comes out more than ever as a universal contemporary artist who allows form and matter to conflict with content in order to arrive at a different meaning.
Here, Shakespeare is writing layer upon layer, not just one but several stories so as to take the force out of the stories themselves and look for a different total effect. In this sense he is an image maker.
What I am looking for in my theatre work is the moment when form and content make an ‘absolute’ image that goes beyond all anecdotalism. Mil Seghers’ performance of Julius Caesar’s death (in Needcompany’s Julius Caesar, 1990), Carlotta Sagna building the glass construction in The Snakesong Trilogy (1997) are moments like this, when time seems to stand still and the image carves itself into the memory. I call them borderline images.
King Lear is an image that looks back at the audience, arrogant, provocative and in deathly silence. King Lear does not give any answers.
It shows malevolence and suffering without comment.
For that reason it is perhaps ‘too huge for the stage’.
Jan Lauwers

Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts.

for 15 male actors/performers and 5 auditors, in Spanish or Italian
5-11 August
by William Shakespeare
Angelica’s notes for writing and staging the text: “The applicants must explore their own feelings on the violence that characterizes them as men and as human beings, the reasons that lead to violence, personal torture and its relation to desire; they will have to work the worst part of themselves, the most sinister, but without judging themselves for it. I don’t want morality to come into it. I want them to write as if the door to their room was closed. And may their own darkness help them to reflect on the human condition. There is only one path to truth: the lack of modesty and deep immorality that correspond to each of us, simply to stay alive. To observe the filth flowing down the river when we are alone at night, that is man’s duty”.
Recommended reading: “The Diary of a Rapist” by Evan S. Connell
“No man wants to scrutinize his soul’s deepest desires’.
Recommended film: “Go-Go Second Time Virgin” by Kiji Wakamatsu

Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts. In particular the application must include a text no more than 5 minutes long to be staged in a video (again no more than 5 minutes long) that must be submitted by the aspiring applicants.

Hamlet and Ophelia
for 14 actors and 6 auditors, in Italian
5-11 August
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts.


for 15 actors and 5 auditors, in Spanish or Italian
5-11 August
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts. In particular the video they must submit must be a video book of works produced exclusively for the theatre lasting from 1 to 5 minutes.

The Meaning of
for 12 actors/performers and 8 auditors, in English or Italian
1-9 August
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts. In particular they must submit a VIDEO that responds to the following guidelines:
N° 1 – in a clean empty space in the light of day - you must recite a brief excerpt from the prose of F. Hölderlin.
The gestures must refer to Neo-classicism (as in the paintings by Jacques-Louis David).
No hurry.
N° 2 – bare-chested, with legs clad in tights, in front of a bare wall, make free rapid motions, waving a large silk scarf (possibly coloured) in front of you. Free choice of theme and interpretation. No words.


Picasso - Los pajaros muertos
for 40 actors/dancers/performers, in English, Spanish or Italian
1-9 August
La Veronal proposes an approach to the figure of Pablo Picasso, to his work and to everyone he met in his life. Relying on tableaux vivants and group movements, La Veronal represents the complicated and prolific twentieth century through the eyes of the painter, to form a composition of scenes that focuses on the French avant-garde and the Spanish tradition.
This approach will adapt the company’s work to Venice, experimenting on this occasion with a dialogue on stage between artists from different backgrounds, using their movement to frame the composition of a landscape representative of a century to which we are absolute heirs.
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts.


Storm Chaser: The Tempest
MucchioMisto Workshop organized by Motus (Enrico Casagrande, Daniela Nicolò and Silvia Calderoni)
for 15 actors/performers and 5 auditors, in English or Italian
1-4 August
In the workshop proposed by Motus, the participants will take part in the production that the Company will present during the Festival, making their representation of Venice in their new work “Nella Tempesta” unique.
MucchioMisto Workshop organized by Motus
(Enrico Casagrande, Daniela Nicolò and Silvia Calderoni)
People chase storms out of passion, but more often for scientific reasons: understanding changes in atmospheric phenomena can help predict the weather, and even though it is impossible to prevent natural events, knowing where and when they happen can make them less dangerous.
This MMW* at the Biennale is a prelude to the presentation of Motus’ latest production “Nella Tempesta”, which will be performed in a site-specific version in Venice, involving 15 “actor-accomplices/storm chasers”. For the title of the workshop, we have stolen this bizarre definition of weather-obsessed people who practice storm-chasing. Therefore – as we continue to quote Wikipedia – we find several guidelines: reach your objective, maintain a safe distance, to avoid possible danger and to be in a better position to foresee the path of the storm and the roads you can take to chase it… Choose the right position with respect to the storm, to enjoy a better view without the risk of being swept away by the wind or the rain… The right position will vary depending on the type of storm and the storm chaser’s experience…
These entertaining instructions will be transposed into a dramaturgical setting to address the “Shakespearian tempest” and to participate in the performance itself, which we would like to keep open to intersections and cross-fertilization even though it has already premiered …
 Why not try to change the theatre contract into an open formula of mutual exchange, slowly deconstructing the proxemics, from the inside out, of the relationship between those who act and those who watch?
Let’s try to take advantage of the “temporary nature” of the event on stage to create a different ZONE based on our own life experiences in the nomadic, wandering, unstable and swashbuckling community that we share as somewhat “uprooted” artists. To make this attempt in the city that could make this possible, we need accomplices who are excited by “atmospheric and intellectual change”, i.e. courageous actors attracted by the city’s points of tension or danger and are ready to risk “running aground” to pursue them… Let’s not forget that on Shakespeare’s island the tempest and the drift essentially become carriers of renewal… when no man was his own. What we stage is not a world that is ending, but a world that is beginning. Naturally, storm chasers elude observation and must build appropriate systems for self-protection and camouflage… They must understand nature, respect it and follow its advice: in a certain sense, “be on Caliban’s side”.
*The MucchioMisto Workshops are a series of nomadic ateliers that change on the basis of place, focusing on different issues, to support and critically nurture the entire creation process of “Nella Tempesta”, which began in 2011 and will end in 2068.
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts. In particular, they must submit a video no more than 3 minutes long in which they explain or illustrate what “being in a storm” means to them (they may even use a simple telephone).


Deaths in Venice
for 20 actors/directors/playwrights/dramaturges, in English
7-10 August
Four days of work by the side of one of the finest set designers in the world, who has worked in an artistic partnership with Christoph Marthaler since the 1990s, and whose poetics of everyday life, hyper-realistic and oneiric, have become famous around the world. An experience in the field of scenography strictly related to the specific y of the production.
As I am always very much interested in the places I am working in, the workshop will be about Venice. The participants should have read Thomas Mann´s "Death in Venice" or "Tod in Venedig" as preparation. We will read about or see in films more examples of deaths in Venice and we, the participants, will go and find places which might have been "Tatorte", which can be translated as "sites of crime", but it means rather: places where something has happened and there are traces of this to be found or something might happen at this places in the future.
Each person should find his or her special place, study it and find out about its possibilities for being transformed into at set design.
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts.


The Creative Process
for 20 dramaturges/directors/actors/choreographers, in English or French
2-6 August
Dramaturgy workshop with the Canadian author, actor and director from Quebec, since 2007 artistic director of the French Theatre at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Questioning the creative process: perceiving the relationship with an idea, fragmenting and transforming one’s personal world in relation to others; like different phases in the development of dramaturgy, allowing it to reveal its essence and power.

Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts.


Action and Point of View
for 20 dramaturges/directors/actors/choreographers, in English or Italian
2-6 August
“If writing for the theatre means asking questions that will become the flesh of actors and provoke a discussion in the audience, this will be my last statement, the rest will be questions. Where does technique end and taste begin? If reality is what we like, what are the limits of the playwright’s role? Where does the director come in? Does the audience need to be educated? Does theatre have something to teach us? If it does, who do we think we are? If not what is our point of view? If reality changes the theatre can the theatre change reality? Should it? Does it want to?
Many are sceptical about the fact that writing can be taught but everyone agrees that it may be learned. One learns primarily by reading, observing, copying. And I willingly add by talking to each other.
We will give ourselves small but very practical assignments. We will write and act upon what we write. Together we will attempt to find action in poetry and poetry in action. No one will do anything he does not want to, we will all try to do something we will have the decency to do.” Fausto Paravidino
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts. In particular they must add to the file containing their letter of motivation (no more than 1000 characters, spaces included) one page of dialogue they have written personally.

Adapting and Rewriting the Classics: Il Gattopardo
for 20 dramaturges/directors/actors/dancers/choreographers, in English, Spanish or Italian
7-11 August
Today the repertory of our theatres borrows largely from the classics of the western tradition. How do we transform these texts – often centuries-old – into the basis for an authentically contemporary theatre without running the risk of becoming “stuffy” or altering the essence of these works? With the participants in the workshop, playwright Florian Borchmeyer will develop strategies and techniques to adapt and rewrite classic texts, basing the discussion on his work as a “dramaturg” at the Schaubühne in Berlin with directors such as Thomas Ostermeier, Alvis Hermanis and Romeo Castellucci, with whom he collaborated in the adaptation of dramas and novels for the contemporary stage.
During the workshop practical exercises will be held in which the participants will work on the adaptation for the theatre of the novel Il Gattopardo by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts.


for 20 actors/singers and 10 auditors, in English
2 August
Teatro la Fenice, Venice
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts
In particular, they must submit a video lasting from 1 to 3 minutes in which the applicants must sing.


Classical Text and the Ensemble: Measure for Measure
for 20 actors, in English or Italian
1-4 August
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts. The selection process will give precedence to participants in the 2012 Donnellan-Ormerod workshop.


Words Fluttering Away
for 15 actors/dancers/performers and 5 auditors, in English, Italian or French
3-6 August
Dirk Roofthooft worked with famous theatre directors, choreographers and musicians, including Jan Fabre, Jan Lauwers/Needcompany, Luk Perceval, Ivo van Hove, Theu Boermans, Jan Ritsema, Josse De Pauw, Peter Vermeersch, Wim Vandekeybus, Ron Vawter (The Wooster Group), Zita Swoon, the London Symphonietta, the jazz legend Henry Threadgill (opening Salzburg Festival ’98) and the opera director Peter Sellars.
One might say that his acting technique is very versatile.
In the high technology environment created by Guy Cassiers, the acting of Dirk Roofthooft is intimate and casual. He is mumbling, stammering, faltering. He makes sentences flutter away and whispered words hover in the air.
For a director like Jan Fabre, whose artistic work is more body-oriented, Roofthooft’s acting is rather extravert, with bigger gestures. The actor for Fabre needs to be an athlete of emotions.
But irrespective of the director he is working with, Roofthooft is always a modest servant of beauty. It is the beauty of the text, that the actor is allowing to speak for itself. Roofthooft creates shades of a character by not stressing what is already accentuated by the text, by digging into each detail, every intention of a text, by searching for what has not been written, by playing one’s paradoxical behaviour. He is always looking for new ways to express a text. His motto is ‘if one has found something, one has not searched enough for it’.
Dirk Roofthooft is very careful in his choice to participate to a project. If the project has not been born out of an inner necessity, if he can not defend the text and if he does not find an urgent beauty he himself wants to convey, if the artistic collaboration is not based on an urge or curiosity, he declines it.
In this workshop Dirk Roofthooft will try to convey to the participants how to work with text material and with silence, with their body and their voice in various ways.

Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts. In particular they must send a video book of works for the theatre lasting from 1 to 5 minutes.


Re-directing the Classics: Shakespeare
for 15 actors/dancers/performers and 5 auditors, in English or Italian
6-10 August
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts.


The Tempest – daily print newspaper of the Theatre Biennale
for 8 critics, bloggers, and journalists who have worked for at least 2 years on blogs, websites, and daily print newspapers in the field of theatre, performance, and live performance; 1 photographer specialized in stage and theatre photography; 1 illustrator-cartoonist, all under the age of 35
1-11 August
The project, conceived and coordinated by Andrea Porcheddu, with editor-in-chief Roberta Ferraresi, will work on the making of La Tempesta, the daily print newspaper of the Theatre Biennale. The editorial staff will be responsible for reporting on everything that happens during the festival. The participants in the workshop will be required to take active part in the festival, to write reviews, articles, and interviews with the protagonists of the Theatre Biennale.
This material will be used in the newspaper, on the Biennale website, or for any other publication developed by the Theatre Biennale. The articles written during the festival may also be published in the respective websites, blogs or newspapers of the individual participants in the workshop. The texts may be written in Italian and in English.

For the selection process, applicants must submit their curriculum vitae, a letter of motivation, a document containing at least three (3) articles/reviews considered particularly representative of the applicant’s work. The photographer and the illustrator/cartoonist must present a portfolio of images (online).
Applicants must complete the registration form in all its parts:
- form for photographers and illustrators
- form for critics
Also required is good knowledge of online word processing systems, and preference will be given for good knowledge of graphic and desktop publishing software.
Participants must ensure their presence on site for the entire duration of the workshop, with no limit to working hours.
Each applicant should have his own laptop computer, digital recording device, camera or similar.