|1974 by Teatro Meridional|
©L. Rossetti, Phocus Agency
When he accepted the Europe Theatre Prize in 2007, Canadian director Robert Lepage could have been quoting Robert Schumann, whose proposal in May 1950 became the foundation for the European Union. Fifty years later, the issues have shifted from preventing war to protecting the economy, but the goal of cooperation remains.
One of the many projects created and funded by the now 27 EU countries, the Europe Theatre Prize recognises work that bridges European borders. In April, the 14th Prize was awarded to German director and European icon Peter Stein, in St Petersburg, Russia’s imperial “window to the west” itself a city of over 80 theatres. The event was attended by a few hundred journalists, directors, actors and VIPs from all over the continent, with only two things in common: interest in theatre and a general lack of ability to speak Russian. Or Icelandic, Finnish, Czech or Portuguese, which is where the winners of the festival’s other award, “New Theatrical Realities”, hailed from.
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