by.BY

A second season of the site-specific stage readings festival. The main topic: Belarus.

The festival is held under the auspices of the Czech foreign affairs minister Karel Schwarzenberg, the chairperson of the Czech Helsinki Committee Anna Šabatová, the senator Jaromír Štětina, and the British dramatist sir Tom Stoppard.

The title of the project is a word play referring to the authorship (“by“) of Belarusian
dramatists (“BY” is the international vehicle registration code of Belarus). Belarusian drama is virtually unknown to the Czech audience. The aim of this project is thus to present the best of the contemporary Belarusian dramatic works.

The project emphasizes current topics within the context of Belarusian drama (with one exception, all writers are living authors, and all plays were written at the turn of the millennium) and also attractiveness for the Czech audience as regards staging of new interesting topics or issues typical of contemporary Belarus as well as the Czech social climate where political topics resonate with the recent past and intimate topics speak about the human condition in the postmodern era in general. The festival thus has a potential to attract a wide scope of audiences.

It purposively avoids authors kindred with Lukashenko’s regime and this way it assumes the role of becoming a platform for a mobility of writers who are, if not immediately persecuted, at least restricted by the regime and for staging of plays which are not produced in Belarus for various, mainly political, reasons. All plays will be staged in Czech for the first time and in the first Czech translation.

The festival will try to bring some of the writers to the Czech Republic, thus significantly contributing to vitalizing the cultural relationship between the two countries.

The readings will be staged from April to December 2012. They will take place once a month in a site-specific environment: productions will take place in selected non-theatrical spaces around Brno which specifically resonate with topics of the particular dramatic texts and amplify their central ideas. Until last year, there was no continuous cycle of stage reading of original dramatic texts in Brno. As positive response to the first year of the festival YOUGO! by the Feste Theatre showed, audience in Brno welcomes this kind of theatrical activity and is willing to support it.