Imagine it’s opening night in the theatre and everyone is there …
There appears to be a yearning for resistance and transparency in today’s complex world. And it is the theatres – financially strapped and oft declared dead – that are suddenly the scene for social reflection: in London, Paris or Cologne.

Germany, France, England – three very different theatre landscapes whose movers and shakers have one thing in common: the firm conviction that hardly any other art form can connect with and move people so directly.
Film-maker Eva Schötteldreier talks to theatre directors, producers and dramatists about a fresh new theatre that is positively booming. And she shows what creative theatre has to offer in our multimedia world. At the head of the pack is the theatre run by Karin Beier in Cologne, where clear socio-political outlooks are conveyed to the audience with directness and emotion.
In France – most recently at the Théâtre de l’Odéon, and again soon at the major Festival d’Avignon – Olivier Py plays with the sensual power of the theatre. The French actor, director, writer, organiser and designer takes the stage himself and believes in the subversive power of the theatre, particularly in today’s world, where culture does not have to be elitist. Borrowing a quote from Corneille, he declares: “Theatre is one of the greatest intellectual adventures”.

And in England, key figures such as award-winning dramatist Simon Stephens demonstrate how theatre can deal with complex highly topical subjects, channelling them into a new acoustic and visual language and offering the audience new perspectives

Dramatists and directors work hand-in-hand, tackling taboo subjects and complex questions. The audience is enthralled – and wants more ...


Script and direction: Eva Schötteldreier
Camera: Steffen Bohn
Sound: Dennis Broer
Production management: Monika Mack, Rolf Bremenkamp
Producer: Birgit Schulz
Commissioning editor: Ulrike Dotzer (NDR/ARTE)

A Bildersturm film production for NDR / ARTE

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