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Jasen Boko (HR)

How New World order has influenced changes in subjects of plays in New Europe

If the director’s theatre dominated the eighties in European theatre, testifying to the creative crisis of both the theatre and the society, last twenty years were definitely marked by two big and interesting changes: a comeback of the Playwright into the centre of the theatre in nineties, and interest in verbatim, documentary plays in new millenium.

The reasons for this shift were rooted in the social and political changes, as the politically  monotonous eighties gave no alternative to the theatre but to search for its purpose in itself. However, this not so inspiring decade ended with a true explosion, the fall of the Berlin Wall, powerful enough not only to reshape the political situation in Europe, but also to trigger intriguing developments in the performing arts.

The fall of communism led Europe to believe that dream came true – a happy and peaceful united Europe, free of barriers set up by ideologies and social differences. But, in less than two years, a dream turned into nightmare images of the Balkan massacre, an unsuccessful transition, followed by additional social gaps and turbulence all over.

Playwrights answered by bringing an urban subculture onto the stage. Rather than being an entertaining lullaby, theatre showed dark side of the reality asking for the changes.

With new political shock, attack on New York's World Trade Center and involvement of American and European military forces in Afganistan and Iraq that followed it, themes of theatre plays have changed again: this time verbatim plays took over. Reality in new division of the world was dramatic enough to take over without visible artistic adaptation. Loosers and marginal characters that dominated nineties on the stages gave  way to protagonists of world politics: leaders of the world and their words took over the stage.

Unlike dead eighties, theatre in last two decades started to be engaged, socialy oriented and political again, which, no doubts, can be directly connected to political changes.