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Estonian Performing Arts Showcase draamamaa.weekend

The next Estonian Contemporary Performing Arts Showcase draamamaa.weekend takes place September 5–9th 2022 in Tallinn & Tartu.

Liisi Aibel, liisi@teater.ee

draamamaa.weekend is an Estonian performing arts showcase that has been held every year since 2013. From 2021, the festival will take place in cooperation with the Estonian Theater Festival DRAAMA.

The Estonian performing arts showcase draamamaa.weekend brings about 35 personally invited foreign curators and theater directors to Tallinn. The guests are invited in close cooperation between the theaters participating in the festival and the Estonian Theater Agency. The main goal of the festival is to expand and strengthen the contacts of Estonian performance institutions with foreign countries and to increase the possibility that valuable productions will go beyond Estonia. In addition to the performance program, the festival has various meetings, acquaintances, and, if possible and necessary, also showings of the new productions in progress.

draamamaa.weekend is essentially a festival of contemporary performing arts. The festival program does not represent the mainstream of our theatrical art, and better examples of our word theater are generally excluded from the showcase format. The festival is mainly aimed at a few dozen invited guests, whose expectations and hopes for the festival are to find new contacts, partners, artists, and productions to invite to their festivals or theater houses.

The festival program is put together by the team of the Estonian Theater Agency based on the offers from the theaters, taking into account the export potential of the productions and the possibility of transporting and adapting the production to different halls; the possibility to translate the production text in such a way that not too much is lost during the process (incl. reception by the audience) and flexibility in terms of performance times (possible daytime or late-night performances during the festival). We expect the theaters to be ready to take an active part in the festival, ie to participate in the evening acquaintance events with foreign guests and to prepare materials in English introducing their theaters. There are no genre restrictions on productions, but productions aimed at adult viewers are preferred.

In addition to the above criteria, the program takes into account the criticism of the productions or the new production’s feedback on the creators’ previous works and the fact that the productions would be new and exciting for those festival-goers who have already visited a lot of theaters in their lives. We assume that foreign visitors will no longer come to Estonia only to look for Eastern European exotics because we belong fully to the field of contemporary European performing arts and our performing artists are able to compete with their colleagues in Berlin or Amsterdam.

The Estonian Theater Agency finances the accommodation of guests and the transport costs of some foreign guests. We also cover the costs of translation and translation equipment. The costs related to the provision of festival performances are covered by the participating performance institutions.