FABULAMUNDI. PLAYWRITING EUROPE BEYOND BORDERS?
“Fabulamundi. Playwriting Europe – Beyond Borders?” is a cooperation project among theatres, festivals and cultural organisations from 10 EU Countries (Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Romania, Austria, Belgium, UK, Poland and Czech Republic). The network aims to support and promote the contemporary playwriting across Europe, in order to reinforce and enhance the activities and strategies of the professionals and artists working in the sector and to provide the theatre authors and professionals with opportunities of networking, multicultural encounter and professional development.
Before the current edition, “Fabulamundi. Playwriting Europe” has been funded twice with the support of the European Commission and intends now to widen both its reach and impact in the sector. After the experiences of the last 4 years, Fabulamundi has verified a constant need to provide the sector with adequate and suitable tools that can help them overcome its weaknesses. In spite of the lack of natural connections between and professional attitude amongst the dramaturgies of the different Countries, Fabulamundi partnership has verified there is a growing interest in the European contemporary playwriting; therefore the need to improve the multilateral relationships and the exchanges becomes urgent.
This new edition of Fabulamundi will mark a difference with the previous editions, maximising the impact and the diffusion of the methodologies and activities tested in the previous years and adding new EU scale initiatives.
The theme addressed in this new edition of Fabulamundi is “Beyond borders?”: a wide reflection of a relevant, challenging and dramatic theme Europe and European citizens, women and men have to face every day. Borders are the one refugees try to overcome to seek safety in foreign and unknown Countries; borders (physical or cultural) are the ones some European Countries are rising against immigration and/or against Europe; borders are the ones people with impairments have to face in their everyday life; at the same time, and at a less dramatic scale, borders are the ones playwrights meet when trying circulate their plays in foreign language; borders are the one Fabulamundi partners had to overcome when discussing their expectations about the project and come to a common ground of comprehension.
In few words, “Fabulamundi: Beyond borders?” will focus its attention on the slippery theme of barriers and borders overcoming, with a specific attention to refugee and asylum seekers and immigrants.
As cultural institutions, partners are well aware of the fact that this is a great challenge for the consortium, for intrinsic and extrinsic reasons. The first ones are related to the fact that very often cultural institutions consider their missions as a purely cultural and do not want to be engaged in the social arena; the second ones are linked to the public perception of cultural institutions, very often felt as distant and elitist. The effort of Fabulamundi will be that of combining cultural and social values not only in the public arena but also within the institutions themselves.
Fabulamundi aims to be a stronger and wider platform of support and promotion of the contemporary playwriting across Europe, in order to reinforce and enhance the activities and strategies of the professionals and artists working in the sector and to provide the theatre authors with opportunities of networking, multicultural encounter and professional development.
Specific objectives the project wants to reach are:
- Promote the circulation, translation, publication and staging of new plays across Europe, through an ongoing exchange process supported by the participating organizations.
- Promote the knowledge and circulation of valuable playwrights in Europe through an ongong program of mobilty and exchange.
- Support the playwrights’ professional development, through a wide and ongoing program of peer to peer learning activities, networking and encounter with other playwrights, professionals and stakeholders.
- Capacitate drama related organizations (theatres, festivals, playwrights’ associations, publishers, drama schools…) in the development of new specific competences (Audience Development, co-production, training…)
- Enhance a favourable ‘ecosystem’ for new plays and playwrights circulation and production, promoting the dialogue and the cooperation amongst the different stakeholders involved in the value chain.
- Create an international network of playwrights, artists, professionals and stakeholder (from public institutions to drama schools, from cultural associations to publishing associations) aimed at strengthening the whole drama sector, in a long-term perspective.
- Promote Audience Development in the drama sector at EU level, through the definition, testing, assessing and dissemination of specific strategies (with a new attention to the new citizens and refugees).
- Create, test and assess collaborative strategies and methodologies for the promotion of playwriting at EU level, to be replicated in a long-term perspective with the aim of guarantee the sustainability of the project.
- Promote a cultural reflection at EU level amongst artist, cultural operators and the public on the theme “Beyond Borders?” (theme of the project) addressed from a social and cultural point of view.
The main activities foreseen by the projects are the following.
A. Create “Fabulamundi – Playwriting Europe: beyond borders?” Artistic Programs in participating Countries
This WP aims at fostering the circulation of new plays and playwrights through an ongoing and coordinated selection, translation and distribution of plays in the participating Countries. An Audience Development Strategy for drama related organizations will be designed, run and assessed in order to foster the audience development in the participating Countries, and to become a replicable successful model.
In detail, the following activities will be accomplished by the partnership:
A1. Preparation, definition and running of Fabulmaundi’s Artistic Programs in participating Countries.
- National playwrights and plays pre-selection: according to a methodology already tested and assessed in the past years by Fabulamundi partnership, the drama related organizations will work at national level for the selection of contemporary playwrights and related plays: about 80 authors and 160 plays will thus be pre-selected.
- Playwrights’ dossier” definition, translation in English and circulation amongst partners: In order to allow a simple and viable circulation of the plays amongst the participating organizations, and to promote them inside the project website, for each author pre-selected a “Playwright’s dossier” in English will be produced and uploaded on Fabulamundi website, for a total of 80 dossiers.
- Selection of foreign playwrights/plays in each Country; translation in local languages and publication: after 12 professional international encounters with playwrights and participating organizations will be held, each of the Participating Countries will select at least 7 foreign plays that will participate the Artistic Programs. It is foreseen that an overall amount of 90 plays and related playwrights will have the unique opportunity of participating Fabulamundi project (90 plays translated in a foreign language, 40 published abroad…).
- Set up and running of Fabulamundi Artistic Programs in participating Countries: In each of the 8 Countries participating the project with their dramaturgies, an ongoing Artistic Program will be designed and run. Each Artistic Program will combine an ongoing artistic production and staging activity of the foreign plays selected with an articulated and rich activity of training, networking and communication. Each drama related organization will participate the National Artistic Program with a series of activities, defined according their vocation and artistic tradition. In general terms, each Artistic Program will combine the following typologies of productions: stage presentations, short residencies and production, long residencies and productions. It is foreseen that for this edition 29 stage presentations; 44 short residencies and 17 long residencies will be held, with 90 texts represented in a foreign EU Country; 80 playwrights will participate Fabulamundi activities, travelling in the Country where his/her play is staged.
The “twinned mechanism”
For this new edition of the project a “twinned mechanism” has been designed, that involves in the project other 8 dramaturgies (Hungary, Bosnia Herzegovina, Scotland UK, Turkey, Slovak Republic, Portugal, Iceland and Finland ) twinned to the 8 already participating, for a total of 16 EU dramaturgies represented in the project.
These 8 twins will select new authors participating the project:
40 new authors and 40 plays will be presented on the Fabulamundi website.
16 authors and plays will be staged in the national artistic programmes and in the Final Festival.
A2. Audience Development
Fabulamundi will focus on the Audience Development theme, developing, testing and assessing an overall strategy for theatre organizations, as well as specific ones for each single drama related organization involved in the Artistic Program design and running. Fabulamundi will then become an ongoing case study, during which CAE will test and assess some of the models defined in its research “Study on audience development – How to place audiences at the centre of cultural organisations”. CAE will thus experiment its 2 years research on a high quality and large context, test the methodology and findings presented in the report and assess them. At the end of the project the “AD strategies for drama organization – Fabulamundi case study” will be produced and disseminated at EU level.
- Design and final assessment of an audience development strategy: a research on the current audience will be implemented by all partners, in order to gather and share standardized information. As a second step, a specific work will be done by CAE with the singular theatres/organizations in order to adapt the strategy to their specific needs and 12 AD workbooks will be produced, aimed at providing the participating organizations with a practical, effective and result-oriented tool, immediately viable.
- Audience Development Activities implementation: theatres will implement their Audience Development Activities, according to the strategy defined, their objectives and needs. Even if these aspects will only be defined in the first year of project, it is reasonable to foresee that each of the 12 drama related organizations will hold workshops and activities with the following target groups: students 14/18 years old; Universities/Theatre schools; associations involved with the “Beyond borders” theme, for a total of more than 30 workshops held.
- Audience Development Empowerment Workshops: CAE will organize and run 2 workshops for each participating organization, aimed at enabling them to acquire methodologies and competences on AD that will go beyond Fabulamundi project and that can be adapted to other initiatives and programs.
B. Playwrights’ and drama related organizations’ professional development and internationalization
The activity aims at creating tools and training paths for the internationalization of playwrights’ careers and for their professional development; online tools and peer learning activities will be designed by a specific training provider organization and will be held in the participating organizations and at the Fabulamundi European Festival (FEF) during the last year of the project.
In detail, the following tasks are foreseen:
- Set up and assessment of Fabulamundi’s Training Methodology: At the beginning of the project Creative Skillset, the organization specialized in training responsible of the technical implementation of the activity, will work in order to define the Fabulamundi Training methodology.
- Design, update and deliver an online workbook: Creative Skillset will work with the participating organizations in order to define a workbook that will support playwrights in the internationalization of their careers by providing them useful information on the different European Countries and with useful, first-hand tips from professionals already involved in international circulation of playwrights and plays. At the end of the project, the workbook will be sent to the network organizations, assessed in its final version, and it will thus reach about 40.000 organizations.
- Design and manage an online training platform: Creative Skillset will design and then launch an online training platform that will be addressed both to participating playwrights and to external ones. Participants will be invited in as members where they will be able to join in online virtual discussions, share their work and experiences and download materials from the programme.
- Design and run a Playwrights Mobility Program (MobPro): Fabulamundi will design, develop and run a structured mobility program in the participating Countries (MobPro), addressed to the 80 participating playwrights. MobPro will consist of 8 mobility activities developed in the 8 Countries represented by a dramaturgy and held during one of the long residencies foreseen. Pre-selected playwrights will: meet other EU playwrights and other relevant organizations/persons; exchange experiences in a peer-learning approach; meet a selection of relevant stakeholders of the hosting Country in order to have an effective networking and professional opportunity; reflect on the “Beyond Borders” theme with colleagues and experts.
- Fabulamundi European Festival (FEF) – Professionals’ session: During the 4th year, FEF will be held with a specific session dedicated to playwriting professionals (playwrights and stakeholders). The Professional Session will be an unique encounter, learning and networking activity, that for the first time set together professional, playwrights and stakeholders coming from 16 European Countries. The Professional Session will be attended by playwrights presenting their work, professionals of the playwriting environment and stakeholders organizations and will foreseen co-writing experiences and networking meetings.
C. Create an European Network for playwrights and plays circulation and fruition
The activity is aimed at creating an European Network for the promotion and circulation of playwrights and plays and at enhancing the knowledge and fruition of national and international plays by the public. The network will be composed by playwrights and stakeholders representing the whole chain of a play production, distribution, acting and fruition (playwriting schools, theatres, publishing companies, playwrights’ associations, cultural centres and social associations…).
In detail, the following tasks are foreseen:
- Create and update Fabulamundi online database of EU drama related stakeholder: During the first months of activity Fabulamundi’s partnership will work together in order to detect and involve in the project their own network of professionals, organizations and stakeholders interested in playwriting projects. The aim is the creation and updating of an online database with information on stakeholders (drama schools, cultural centers and organizations, theatres, publishers…) interested in the project.
- Design and run national meetings amongst stakeholders: Fabulamundi will organize several meetings in each participating Country with the aim of connecting the operators and stakeholders involved in the network, explaining them the project and start discussing the opportunities opened by the network. During the last meeting foreseen in each Country, a national Fabulamundi network will be officially created.
- Design and run 1 EU meeting of the national Fabulamundi networks: during the Fabulamundi final festival an international Fabulamundi network will be officially created, aimed at promoting Fabulamundi activities as an ongoing one, promoting new strategies of cultural management and audience development and promote cultural exchange and the co-production of new cultural products and events.
D. Create Fabulamundi European Festival
This activity aims at creating the first edition of FABULAMUNDI – PLAYWRITING EUROPE European Festival, an international event dedicated to playwriting. FEF will be composed by 2 sessions: the live session, with a selection of the best productions from participating organizations and stage presentations selected from “twinned Countries”, and the professional session, dedicated to training, meetings and conferences and to networking. The activity is meant as the piloting of a yearly event to be produced in the different Countries participating to and adhering to the project in the forthcoming years. The first edition FEF will be held in Rome in September 2020.
The following activities are foreseen:
D1. Preparation, definition and running of the first edition of FEF (Fabulamundi’s European Festival):
- Set up of the Artistic Programme: The Artistic Programme will give the hosting city the unique possibility of showing, in a single Festival, a selection of some of the best new plays circulating at EU level on the theme “Beyond borders?”. The Festival Artistic program will be composed of: a selection of 12 best Fabulamundi staged plays, selected by the participating Countries amongst the ones already performed; 16 Stage presentations of the plays selected in the Twinned Countries; stage presentation of the collective play produced during workshops.
- Set up of the Professionals’ session: see related paragraph above
- FEF organization and running: FEF will last 1 week and will be composed of an Artistic Programme and of a Professionals’ session. As it concerns the Artistic Programme, about 29 performances will be held (12 “best of” productions, 16 twinned stage presentations and 1 collective stage presentation); Professionals’ Program will run for 7 days. Communication and dissemination activities will be developed during the FEF.
D2. Audience development:
- definition and implementation of a specific Audience Development strategy for the FEF: Being it the first edition of Fab International Festival, a specific strategy will be set up and implemented to attract the public, ensure the professionals and artists participation to the Professionals’ sessions, ensure the sustainability of the Festival and more in general the network after its end. For this reason, CAE will be responsible for defining and implementing the strategy together with the hosting partner and the other partners involved in the project.
- Fabulamundi Audience Development Conference: In order to share the results and findings of this multi annual theoretical and practical research on Audience Development, an international conference will be held during the final phase of the FEF.
E. Communication and dissemination of project results
The communication will be held at 2 levels: international one, aimed at fostering the project and its activities beyond the project’s borders – with stakeholders of EU countries and institutions; at national and local level, in order to maximise the impact on the local audiences and stakeholder organizations. The activity leader will be in charge of the overall communication strategy, of the development of communication activities at EU level and of the coordination of the activities at national level. The partners will be responsible for the development of activities at national and local level, according to the overall strategy defined.
Amongst the foreseen communication tools:
- Fabulamundi website: http://www.fabulamundi.eu/en/ Fabulamundi website will be in English and will provide information on the project, its activities and results; on the different ongoing activities (meetings, networking activities…); on the specific Artistic Programs. A specific area will be dedicated to the playwrights online catalogue and stakeholders’ databases, where all the dossiers will be available for researchers through a simple and intuitive search bar. Documents and tools will be available for free download.
- Newsletter to professional and stakeholders: A monthly newsletter will be delivered to professional, stakeholders, targeted audiences and press contacts in order to update them about the project activities and results and invite them to participate specific events.
- Project launch conference: concurrently to the kick off meeting, the project launch conference will be held: The Steering Committee and testimonials from the past Fabulamundi editions will attend the conference, explaining the project main aims and goals and describing the networking strategies that will be implemented.
- Artistic Programs communication (national and local level): in order to ensure an effective communication of the project activities at local and national level, and in order to maximise the impact of specific moments of the project itself, held at national/local level (meeting with playwrights, running of the Artistic Program…) a specific communication strategy will be implemented by each of the participating organizations.
- FEF communication and launch conference: FEF (September 2020) will be one of the most relevant moments of the project, and will need a specific communication action, in order to maximise the attendance and participation of public, professionals and stakeholders the project wants to involve in the artistic and professionals sessions.
- Disseminating meetings: Each participating Country will organize a dissemination meeting at the end of the project aimed at transferring the projects findings. Where possible, the events will be hold in coincidence with national relevant events linked with the playwriting sector, in order to maximise the impact of the event itself.
- Final conference: The project final conference will be held the last day of the FEF Festival (Rome, September 2020) and it will be the most important moment for the dissemination of the project results, since it will address all the aspects treated during the project: artistic production and circulation of EU plays, Audience Development activities, definition and assessment of a specific methodology for the professionalization of playwrights and drama related organizations.
- Dissemination of the project to EU relevant events: in order to maximise the diffusion of the project results and achievements, projects’ representatives will attend 5 amongst the most important EU events in the sector.
- Web channel: the Web channel will be one of the most powerful and innovative tools designed during Fabulamundi project, thanks to its favourable balance costs/benefits. The Youtube Web Channel “Fabulamundilive” will be weekly updated with contents developed by the partnership, with a particularly high activity during the running of the Artistic Programs at national level.
F. Management, monitoring and evaluation
The activity will ensure the project a sound and effective management, both as it concerns the activities run and the use of resources.
Amongst the foreseen activities:
- Create the direction and management bodies of the project
- Produce Fabulamundi management, monitoring and evaluation plan
- Host and manage 6 transnational SC meetings
- Run virtual meetings
- Produce a 4 months project advancement reports
- Elaborate the interim and final evaluation report
- Run an external audit
Fabulamundi will mainly address the following 3 priorities:
- transnational circulation of plays
- support Audience Development awareness rising in the participating organizations
- capacity building and empowerment of competences of playwrights and participating drama related organizations.
For each of the mentioned priorities, Fabulamundi aims to reach the following results.
A. the most important results directly linked to the transnational circulation of plays
- 80 authors preselected from 8 Countries/dramaturgies (10 authors each)
- 160 plays preselected (approx 2 per author)
- 160 dossier on the preselected plays circulated amongst partners and on the project website
- 80 authors and 160 plays inserted in Fabulamundi online catalogue
- 40 authors and 40 plays from 8 “twinned dramaturgies” inserted in the online Fabulamundi Catalogue
Therefore, a total number of 120 authors out of 16 Countries and 200 texts in circulation and promotion
- 90 plays selected for international circulation activities in the 8 Countries
- 90 plays translated in the 8 local languages
- 16 “twinned plays” translated in the 8 local languages
Artistic Program activities:
- 29 stage presentations staged
- 44 short residencies and final production held
- 17 long residencies and final production held
- 16 “twinned plays” staged in the partner Countries and during the final international festival
- more than 140 meetings, workshops and engagement activities with audiences
- 40 plays published in the participating Countries
Therefore, a total number of 106 texts (participating Countries + twins) staged in the national and international program of the project.
B. the most important results directly linked to the Audience Development
- “AD strategies for drama organization – Fabulamundi case study” dossier
- 12 tailored – made AD strategies designed and run
- 12 Drama Labs of 5 sessions each, for a total of 60 workshops held
- 36 activities with Universities/drama schools (3 each drama related partner)
- 36 activities with organizations working on the project theme (3 each drama related partner)
- 24 AD Empowerment workshops held (2 for each of the 12 drama related organization), for a total of 60 professionals trained.
An impressive overall total of 156 workshops on Audience Development will be held during the project.
C. the most relevant results directly linked to the formal and informal ongoing capacity building activity
- 80 playwrights participating the national meetings
- 80 playwrights participating the MobPro activity in a foreign Country
- 90 artistic production activities held with the selected playwright
- 500 playwrights and professionals involved in the online training activities
- 28 playwright attending the training activities in the Final Festival (FEF)
- 12 organizations involved in mobility activity for the playwrights’ selection
- 8 organizations holding a MobPro in their Country
- 12 organizations attending the FEF
- 36 networking meetings held in the 8 Countries + 1 at international level
- 12 participating organizations trained in AD
PARTNERSHIP AND NETWORK
The partnership is composed by the following organizations:
From Italy, PAV s.n.c. (project leader), Associazione culturale AREA06, Teatro i; Austria, Wiener Wortstaetten; from Belgium, Culture Action Europe; from Czech Republic, Theatre Letí; from France, La Mousson d’été, Théâtre Ouvert; from Germany, Interkulturelles Theaterzentrum Berlin e.V.; from Poland, Teatr Dramatyczny m.st. Warszawy; from Romania, Teatrul National Targu-Mures, Teatrul Odeon; from Spain, Sala Beckett – Obrador Internacional de Dramatúrgia; from UK, Creative Skillset, Performing Arts Network and Development Agency – PANDA.
Moreover, Fabulamundi project can count on an already existing network able to support its activities during and after its lifetime, thus ensuring a massive dissemination of results and the sustainability of the project findings even after the end of the project itself. Fabulamundi network, to be implemented during the overall duration of the project, can already count on the support of some of the most relevant cultural institutions and drama related organizations at EU level, that will provide a specific support according to their missions and activities. More than 40 organizations have provided the project with a letter of support.