The International Jury of the Europe Theatre Prize, which gathered in Turin, gave the award for the XI Edition ex-aequo to Robert Lepage and Peter Zadek.
The IX Europe Prize for New Theatrical Realities was awarded to Biljana Srbljanovic and Alvis Hermanis.
The XI Edition of the Europe Theatre Prize took place in Thessaloniki, Greece from 26th to 29th April 2007. The Europe Theatre Prize is the most important European acknowledgement awarded to an artist's theatrical work considered in its broadest meaning.
After the enormous response to last year's edition – hosted by the Municipality and the Teatro Stabile of Turin – created by the unforgettable presence and speeches of Harold Pinter, winner of the Europe Theatre Prize, this year's event was financed by the Greek Ministry of Culture. The events were organized in collaboration with the National Theatre of Northern Greece, which hosted the Europe Theatre Prize in its venues.
Robert Lepage was born in Québec City in 1957. He is one of the most interesting directors in contemporary theatre. Lepage's approach to the scene does not take into consideration any boundaries; his work mixes with great ability scenic and visual features, texts, music and new technologies. The combination of these features shapes a unique theatre, constantly marked by a highly visual and mature quality, never spoilt by any redundancies nor by any excess in performance.
During his long career, which started in England and continued for over forty years in Germany, Peter Zadek has revitalised the art of theatre direction, both working directly on texts with "his" actors and through a "conceptual" way of directing. Thus he found (and still finds) his personal visions and vivid impacts of every play, his "saints" being Shakespeare, Ibsen and Chekhov.
In previous editions, the Europe Theatre Prize was awarded to: Ariane Mnouchkine and Théâtre du Soleil, Peter Brook, Giorgio Strehler, Heiner Müller, Robert Wilson, Luca Ronconi, Pina Bausch, Lev Dodin, Michel Piccoli and Harold Pinter.
Biljana Srbljanovic, a Serbian playwright, was born in Belgrade in 1970. Her irony and deep pessimism hide, in reality, a precise commitment to assert – from a Serbian perspective – some fundamental values in order to establish a new and broader European cultural and political space, based on freedom, democracy and respect for all diversities.
Alvis Hermanis, born in 1965, actor, writer and set designer of his own performances, has become a figure of importance in Latvian and subsequently European theatre. His productions, which are often adaptations of literary works, have been increasingly invited in the last few years to the most important Festivals.
In previous editions, the Europe Prize for New Theatrical Realities has been awarded to: (I) Anatolij Vasiliev, (II) Giorgio Barberio Corsetti, Comediants, Eimuntas Nekrosius, (III) Théâtre de Complicité, Carte Blanche – Compagnia della Fortezza, (IV) Christoph Marthaler, (V) Royal Court Theatre of London for discovering and promoting young playwrights, (VI) Theatergroep Hollandia, Thomas Ostermeier, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, (VII) Heiner Goebbels, Alain Platel, (VIII) Oskaras Korsunovas, Josef Nadj.
The Europe Theatre Prize was created in 1986 as a pilot programme of the European Commission and it has been recognised by the European Parliament and Council as a "European cultural interest organisation". The Union of European Theatres and the European Theatre Convention are associate and supporting bodies; other associate bodies are the International Association of Theatre Critics, the Mediterranean Theatre Institute and the International Theatre Institute UNESCO.
Over four days, the prize-winners were the object of meetings, colloquia and demonstrations of work, including: open rehearsals, performances, lectures and videos. The Europe Theatre Prize has become, since its very first edition, an important rendezvous for theatre people coming from all over the world: artists, men of culture, critics, journalists from leading newspapers around the world, University professors, theatre and Festival directors.
This year's celebration ended on the evening of Sunday, 29th April 2007 with the official Prize-giving Ceremony.