Natascha Siouzouli studied theatre, philology and literature at the University of Athens and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2006 (dissertation title: Raum-Zeit-Spiele. Bondy inszeniert Strauß [Playing with space and time. Bondy stages Strauß]). Until 2009, she was a research assistant at the Institute for Theatre Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2010, she has been co-directing the Institute for Live Arts Research in Athens, Greece. She also works as a translator. Her major research interests concern conceptions of presence and absence in performance, the shaping of identity and community in theatre, relationships between theatre and festival, and the political performance.
European theatre festivals look back on a very long and eventful history. Specific characteristics aside, they can be roughly categorized into two groups in terms of self-perception: on the one hand, those focusing on the local—concentrating for instance rigorously and consistently on one particular genre that plays a central role in shaping the national imagination (such as the festivals of Epidaurus and Bayreuth)—and, on the other hand, those aiming for the global and acting as platforms for the interaction of identities, biographies, cultures etc. (such as the festival of Delphi and Theater der Welt). Of particular interest in this context is the way in which these two dimensions are entangled. Most of the theatre festivals currently taking place in Europe are international and function as topoi of encounter for performances of cultures, while at the same time insisting on a specific identity, a particular trademark, a culture of their own. The project intends to closely examine this entanglement of local and global in the context of European theatre festivals, and explore its aesthetic, political and ethical implications: what precisely constitutes a festival culture? How do the various cultural articulations function in this process? What are the aesthetic, political, and ethical consequences for individual performances in particular and the festival in general? Considered as central structural elements of the history of festivals, the concepts of tradition, crisis, and transformation will receive new accentuations and interpretations in discussing this particular entanglement of local and global.