Tanya’s Birthday. Berlin
Director: Mārtiņš Eihe
Dramaturgy: Arnita Jaunsubrēna, Degna Martens
Design: Ieva Kauliņa
Technical assistance sound, light, video: Dina Beināre, Normunds Balodis
Director’s assistance: Charlotte Garraway
With: Mārtiņš Eihe, Charlotte Garraway, Arnita Jaunsubrēna, Daniel Nerlich, Juta Vanaga
A point of convergence in European history—the year 1989, or more specifically, the period between the Baltic Way and the fall of the Berlin Wall—serves as the point of departure for the production Tanya’s Birthday. Berlin. The Baltic Way not only impacted the Baltic states but the history and future of the whole of Eastern Europe, while the fall of the Berlin Wall symbolically opened up the border between East and West in a cultural as well as a geopolitical sense. The creative team behind this production explores the mark left by these two historical events and analyzes the interconnections between them from artists’ perspectives as witnesses of their time.
The performance is set in and takes place as a virtual birthday party. The spectators assume the roles of friends and family. As the actors address all those gathered and begin telling stories, they gradually reveal the many ambiguous and multifaceted life stories that have shaped their extended family. For the online performance, please have bananas as well as snacks and drinks of your choice ready to toast Tanya together with all guests and spend an exuberant evening with her.
In English with Russian, Latvian and German parts.
The performance includes photos from the collection of the Latvian National History Museum.
VIDEO RECORDING OF PERFORMANCE
The transcultural theater festival POSTWEST sought to bring together artists from ten countries who had developed twelve new plays especially for the festival. With its dramatic history between East and West, the Volksbühne is the perfect venue for this gathering of invited theater makers from Eastern Europe. POSTWEST has thus outgrown its original iteration as a stage event and is responding to this new reality. The Coronavirus crisis has allowed us to observe how many countries are turning in on themselves once more, and information about the situation in other countries seems like mere statistics. Against this background, reflecting on historical categories and the possibilities of their dissolution becomes more important than ever. East or West? Post-West, post-East, post-EastWest? Does a shared cultural heritage lead to a similar historical awareness? With such a wide variety of countries and identities, is it even possible to think about and shape the future together? What do a strong civil society, solidarity, values relevant to the future, and democratic systems look like to us? How can we, as theater makers—even during a global lockdown and without any public gatherings—continue to establish networks and long-term transcultural initiatives in order to respond artistically to these current social debates? POSTWEST lives on as a space where artistic disciplines are not only considered from an individual or national perspective, but also create a transcultural context.
Created as part of Latvia’s Centenary Programme. Funded by State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.
Festival Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
Informative support: Satori.lv.