In 1990 Jack Lang and Giorgio Stehler founded the Union of European Theatres. The main aim of the association was "to build the European Union through culture and theatre, to encourage a collective cultural movement that overcomes barriers and language barriers in order to develop a theatre of art which is seen as a vector of as a vector of fraternity between people.
In the year 2020 the global trauma caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has completely turned daily life upside down, it has kept entire social, cultural and economic sectors in place. A catastrophe, both in the sense we know today and in the original sense - in Greek sense of the word, katastrophé means a sudden change or a great upheaval. The project proposed by UTE and its partners aims to to explore exactly this meaning, to look at the great upheaval caused by the pandemic from a new perspective, that of renewal, of reaffirming theatre as a space for reflection and as an element of cohesion in a divided Europe.
Under the specific perspective of the pandemic crisis and the disruption caused by war in Europe, Catastrophe looks to promote the resilience and recovery of important cultural operators, artists and cultural professionals and contributes to safeguard, develop and promote European cultural and linguistic diversity and heritage.
The project aims to return to the founding principles of UTE, bringing together important theatre institutions from Western and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean area and the former Yugoslavia. These theatres will work together to create 5 co-productions based on the themes of ancient Greek tragedy. These themes - a kind of Esperanto not only of the performing arts but also of European experience - are the point of departure for the formulation of a collaborative and creative strategy in a post pandemic Europe, through new works of drama and theatre.
These co-productions will be accompanied by related events (conferences, debates, workshops, etc.), which will link artistic creation to the public. The culmination of the project - the Finisterra Festival - will take place in Porto at Teatro Nacional São João from 27th January to 26th February 2023.
Union des Théâtres de l'Europe gathered, in the last 3 decades, some of the most important European theatres and artists. Through festivals, exhibitions, exchanges, masterclasses, cooperation projects, the UTE help create a continuous flow between West and East, between generations, between tradition and innovation. Our celebration is inspired by this rich history. With the help of the Interferences International Theatre Festival, we wish to remember some of the best performances presented at past editions of the UTE festival and look forward to new horizons.