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Fast Forward


Annually in November, the European festival for young stage directors Fast Forward over four days invites young directors from all over Europe to Dresden. In this setting many of the emerging artists have their first encounters with an audience of another country, speaking another language – a meeting marked by excited expectation. Not only that: they make contact with colleagues of their generation from abroad and, together with professionals, the press, students and trainees, share different perspectives on theatre and its artistic and social capabilities.

Fast Forward is a festival for beginnings, a festival that brings people together and facilitates working partnerships. As platform for emerging theatre artists this festival is still unique: in the artistic range of works it shows and in its outreach for the artists invited. Not only the festival jury - newly assembled every year and awarding on the last day one of the directing teams with an invitation to create new performance at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden - is fostering young talent practically. In the supporting programme, students and graduates from European theatre academies meet international experts in changing constellations. The exchange between the artists is the base for new networks and discussions about the theatre of the future. And above all, it‘s the audience that is invited to join in the conversation and to cast its vote with the Audience Award. As is the Youth Jury, which was established in 2022.

In collaboration with its partners, the Dresden University of Fine Arts, Hellerau - European Centre for the Arts and others, Fast Forward presents a multi-voiced Europe in the centre of Dresden - with German and English surtitles, of course -, a theatre festival for those who are at the beginning and a festival which is good for surprise and showing that there is a future to theatre.



Young directors from Germany, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Norway, Belgium and Finland are coming to Dresden to present their work at the Fast Forward festival 2023. Diversity is one of the hallmarks of this festival, as is the invitation to the audience to discover new things together: whether it’s the stories and issues of a generation that’s wondering what the future of its present might look like, or ist artistic inventions in theatre as innovative contemporary art. Fast Forward is a laboratory for the future and since 2022 has also been inviting a jury of young people from Dresden to award a prize, along with the audience and the expert jury. It’s dialogue in practice and a festival for young theatre directors that in this form is one of a kind in Europe. And: Fast Forward is a platform for new discoveries that might subsequently be invited to the Wiener Festwochen as a result. I hope you’re looking forward to four exciting days in Dresden with young theatre from all over Europe as much as I am! 


Barbara Klepsch
State Minister of Saxony for Culture and Tourism



I am very happy that Fast Forward is once again taking place at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden in autumn 2023. At this festival, theatre-makers are invited to a concentrated showcase of their work and to enter into dialogue with each other. Fast Forward doesn’t just bring together people from different countries in Europe together in Dresden, it’s also an important event for the state capital of Saxony. Hearing young people’s perspectives on our world, on our community in Europe and intercontinentally through the productions presented and the supporting programme on a local level is an annual enrichment for the city. Bringing international artistic developments regarding current questions around diversity and migration into dialogue, and thus contributing to or even challenging regional debates, can help to broaden our view of these issues. I hope the 2023 festival is a great success and I wish all our guests an inspiring stay in Dresden and at the theatre.

Annekatrin Klepsch
Mayor for Culture, Science and Tourism of the State Capital Dresden



“Follow your fine phrases through to the point where they become incarnate”: In 1835, Georg Büchner grappled with the political legacy of the French Revolution in his drama DANTONS TOD. Büchner was only 22 years old and knew that power – state, economic and social power – can humiliate, exploit and kill people, and how it does this. He asks whether a revolution that doesn’t reproduce what it’s fighting against is possible, one that leaves space for people and their needs – for different kinds of people. However, almost 200 years later we still seem a long way off from understanding the urgency of this utopia.
Fast Forward 2023 gives accounts of situations from life that everyone is familiar with, which are up for debate or for which we need new rituals: like for saying goodbye to someone in the Greek production GOODBYE, LINDITA, for love that endlessly fails in I’M STILL EXCITED! from Portugal and the relationship of a young homosexual man to his parents in the Serbian play OUR SON. In MESSAGE FROM TYLER – MEMENTO MORI, KIRSIKKATARHA from Finland, five characters wrestle with a legacy that teeters between tradition and bankruptcy. The German-Norwegian production SECOND SEASON takes great pleasure in dissecting a comedy that appeared the same year as Hitler’s fascist political programme, while Belgian theatre-maker Salim Djaferi found an important source for his play KOULOUNISATION in Victor Klemperer’s LTI, the Dresden literary scholar’s analysis of the deadliness of the political rhetoric of German fascism. And Büchner? A production of his WOYZECK fragment by the group Glossy Pain serves as the basis for discussing a woman’s murder.
Sometimes it’s difficult to understand why we have such a hard time getting along. Let’s avoid the fine phrases, let’s keep trying with stories, with other people’s stories, with stories that share experiences, with stories that can advise us. Welcome to Fast Forward 2023!

Joachim Klement
Artistic Director Staatsschauspiel Dresden

Charlotte Orti von Havranek
Curator Fast Forward

festival team

Artistic Direction & Curation Charlotte Orti von Havranek Production Management Heli Meisterson Production Assistance Charlot Richter Technical Coordination Nadine Baske, Silman Graßelt, Hanna Gudenau, Julius Kählig, Stephanie Schneider Technical Management Peter Keune Heads of technical, lighting, video, sound Bodo Garske, Andreas Barkleit, William Sonntag, Thomas Kohlert, Manja Schreyer (Staatsschauspiel Dresden), Ronald Scheurich (Labortheater), Michael Lotz, Patrick Lauckner, Falk Dittrich, Johannes Petzold (HELLERAU - European Centre for the Arts) Surtitles Panthea Translation of the greetings and texts for the performances and the supporting programme Anna Galt Press & Public Relations Franziska Blech Graphic Design Andrea Dextor Fast Forward Trailer & Documentation David Campesino Editing Performance Trailers Varvara Nikiforova, Charlot Richter Photography Sebastian Hoppe website design 2022-23 Kristian Andresen

Special thanks go to all colleagues at Staatsschauspiel Dresden and at the partner venues who have made the festival happen.

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