Brand New Ganz Novi Festival Brings ‘Ganz Neu’ Plays for Development to Zagreb

It’s been 6 years since Ganz novi festival had it’s premiere in Zagreb, bringing some of the freshest international plays and auteurs to the city. When something is six years old, we can’t quite call it brand new, as the name of the festival suggests about itself. Using the colloquial phrase ganz novi (ganz neu (ger.)/brand new) when starting the festival for the first time, the organizers used it for the themes explored on it, not the fact that it was a new player on the scene.

Ganz novi festival is a four day exploration of global trends in theater for development, always seeking for brand new ways of expression in the art form. The form differs from its more classical counterparts in its relationship with the audiences, trying to develop a dialog with them and higher levels of participation through improvisation, spoken word plays, performances, musical numbers and other tools of engagement meant to galvanize, criticize and engage communities in which the plays are made and talk about the pressing issues of today.

Taking place from October 13th -16th, the festival will host over 50 artists from 9 countries that will present current theater trends in their communities and the issues they are dealing with. The festival will open on Zrinjevac park where the French sound art duo Kristoff K. Roll will present their art installation In the Shadows of the Wave, calling citizens to create a sound archive of their memories of dreams they had.

After three weeks of intense preparations, María Jerez, Eva Badanjak, Matea Bilosnić, Sara Ercegović, Ivan Penović, Martina Zelenika and Cuqui Jerez will present their collaboration Cabinet of sweet wonders in which the artists from different fields explore visual aesthetics of different artistic endeavors and mix them all in a carnival like ride through the current visual poetics in representing reality. María Jerez will also perform her play Blob, the ultimate undefined entity which is all and nothing, that lets you become what you want to be, confronting you with your deepest dreams, darkest fears and greatest desires.

After performing at Moma and Walker Art Center, the Lebanon artist Rabih Mroué is bringing his play Riding on Clouds to Zagreb, telling a story of a man in the Lebanese civil war reexamining the concepts of war. He will also present his video project Pixelated revolutions that shows images of the Syrian war in a way that exposes the rule of images over reality in the conflict.

Famous auteurs like Rabih Mroué and Erna Ómarsdóttir will also present their latest play and projects on the festival, searching for socially acceptable frameworks for expressing and using anger and rage as creative rather than destructive tools. Audiences will be able to express anger as well, maybe not in a creative way, but definitely in a therapeutic way, in the Black Yoga Screaming Chamber. Two chambers will be set up in Student center, Savska street 25 (where the majority of the festival takes place) where people can freely use them to scream their hearts out, be it from rage or joy.

#BuildingConversationZAGREB2016 is a project from playwright Lotta van der Berg and visual artist Daan ‘t Sasa that explores the ways our speech forms the world we live in. Inspired by practices of Aborigines, Occupy movement, Native Americans from the Great Lake District and philosophers Bruno Lataur, David Bohm and Chantal Mouffe, they’ve created a program of speech that focuses on the way we imagine our future through talking and finding ways to connect people through it.

The festival is completely free and tickets can be picked up from 11am each day of the festival at Teater &TD in Student center. You can check out the complete program HERE.