Behind the curtains: Theatre in the spotlight across the Greater Region

Several major theatres have joined forces to create and promote cross-border theatrical performances, raising awareness of the Greater Region’s creative potential.

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A performance of ‘(in)visible’ facilitated through the Total Théâtre project.  © Angie Miesl & Roland Kaiser A performance of ‘(in)visible’ facilitated through the Total Théâtre project. © Angie Miesl & Roland Kaiser

" My project looks at the efforts we make to understand each other. It comes from my childhood when I dreamed about inventing a device for better communication to avoid any form of misunderstanding. "

Tatjana Pessoa, writer and director of “whatsafterbabel

ERDF-funded project ‘Total Théâtre’ has encouraged a closer artistic and administrative cooperation between theatres in Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg. As a result of this closer collaboration, plays, performing arts professionals and audiences have been moving across the four countries, raising much awareness of this art and the talent the region has on offer.

Sharing knowledge, raising awareness

Participating theatres have learned a great deal about the workings and traditions of their counterparts and despite differing approaches, each worked together effectively and will continue to do so. Much awareness of the region’s cultural potential has been raised as a result of the project, with both residents and tourists having regular access to interesting and thought provoking cultural programmes. Those involved in the production of the plays have also learned a great deal, enhancing their technical and language skills as a result of their experiences. 

Exchange programme

Seven art projects were developed throughout the project’s duration. These included the so-called ‘Studios Greater Region’ - an international laboratory of contemporary theatre that offered young artists a space for experimentation and research. A theatre writing competition called ‘The Iroquois’, which was led by an experienced, bilingual writer and director, was also held for secondary schools in the Greater Region. In addition, the ‘Volante’ programme offered young directors, playwrights and designers the opportunity to work on various productions in partner theatres, while learning technical, linguistic and intercultural skills.

Coordinated by the National Theatre of Luxembourg, six other major theatres were involved in this ambitious initiative: the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken, the NEST - National Dramatic Center of Thionville-Lorraine, the Théâtre de Liège, the Chudoscnik Sunergia Eupen, the Agora Theater of St. Vith and Theater Trier.

Tatjana Pessoa is a Belgian writer and director who participated in Total Théâtre. Her project called ‘whatsafterbabel’ was performed not only in English; it featured 11 languages in total, with five actors from around Europe exploring the labyrinth of linguistics in the search of a common tongue.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the “Total Théâtre” project is EUR 4 428 879, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 992 995 from the Operational Programme INTERREG IVA “Grande Région” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date