European Drama from Poland and Ukraine

Readings and discussions 18th & 19th October 2022, English Theatre Berlin and Theater Vorpommern, Greifswald

As part of panorama #2: übertheaterübersetzen, “European Drama from Poland and Ukraine” presents two playwrights from Poland and Ukraine, Olha Mazjupa, winner of the international author prize at the Heidelberger Stückemarkt 2017, and Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk, participant in the Berliner Stückemarkt 2011. The audience in Berlin and Greifswald will have the chance to get to know two of the most important playwrights and voices in each of their countries. In discussions and staged readings of their plays, the guest authors will be introduced by their translators Lydia Nagel and Andreas Volk, and the theatre scholar Iwona Uberman.

Scene from “Richtung Osten fliegt der Ball” by Olha Mazjupa at the Teatr Dramatyczny, photo: KarolinaJóźwiak

In the last two years in particular, the theatre cultures in Poland and Ukraine have become increasingly networked with each other. This is primarily due to political events. As a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine that started in the spring of this year, many artists, authors and theatre-makers have had to leave their country and found a new home in Poland, where they are trying to establish new lives as artists. This is facilitated by the linguistic proximity, shared historical experiences and theatre traditions.

At a time when the dynamics of social and political processes as well as the strong European consciousness of the people in Poland and Ukraine continue to surprise those in the West, German-language theatres are also becoming painfully aware of the widespread absence of Polish and Ukrainian plays and playwrights. Instead of differences, they are looking for common ground.

Initiators and discussion chairs

Photo: Christina Kurby

Lydia Nagel, born in 1977 in Wismar, Slavic languages scholar and cultural studies scholar, has been translating Ukrainian drama into German continuously for more than ten years. She is a founding member of Drama Panorama and translit e. V. as well as a member of the VdÜ. She has translated many plays from various Slavic languages into German and regularly recommends plays to publishers, theatres and festivals. Since 2015, she has facilitated workshops on literary and theatre translation.

Iwona Uberman, theatre studies scholar (PhD about “Auschwitz in the Theatre of ‘Embarrassment’. George Tabori’s Holocaust Plays in Theatre History since the End of the 60s” at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich). She works as a translator into Polish with a focus on theatre (including Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Oliver Kluck, Felicia Zeller, Ulrike Syha, Lukas Bärfuss, Lukas Linder, Miroslava Svolikova, Ewald Palmetshofer, Henriette Dushe), also works for the journal on contemporary drama “Dialog” and as a theatre critic for Polish theatre journal “Teatr”.

Photo: private
Photo: Andrzej Walkusz

Andreas Volk, born in 1971, studied Slavic languages and comparative central European studies in Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder). From 2009 to 2011, he was an assistant researcher at the Collegium Polonicum in Słubice. Co-founder of the German-Polish translation yearbook “OderÜbersetzen”. Editor of the German-Polish-Ukrainian literary journal “radar” (2009-2016). Translator of contemporary Polish drama, including: Demirski, Górnicka, Lupa, Pałyga, Sikorska-Miszczuk, Słobodzianek, Szatrawska, Warlikowski. In 2013, he was awarded the ZAiKS translator’s prize and in 2022 the Karl Dedecius prize.

A cooperation between Drama Panorama e. V., Theater Vorpommern and English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center. An event by Drama Panorama: Forum für Übersetzung und Theater e. V. as part of the project panorama #2: übertheaterübersetzen, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds as part of the Neustart Kultur programme.