Latvian playwrights and dramaturges: current vibes

Evarts Melnalksnis


I have studied culture theory and management in Latvia with a focus on the post-dramatic theatre, as well as music theatre dramaturgy in Hamburg. Although I do work a lot in my practice on creating different types of texts and sometimes dramatic texts, I still see my role more broadly. It includes proposing ideas, projects and processes, researching, inviting artists and communicating in the artistic process, communication at inter-institutional, international and interdisciplinary levels, managing the artistic process, communicating with funding bodies, reflecting on artistic events, providing wider context at the social and political level, educating, moderating etc. While developing an idea, I am looking for relevancies and connections with the place and social groups in question, as well as current world processes, especially in cases where historical material is in focus.

My approach is based on following the impulses sprouting from the material and applying different contexts to it. I often use the deconstruction method. Apparently, I am more interested in avoiding a clear and unified narrative and causal logic than trying to polish rational continuity, allowing the viewer to form the connections himself. Performing as a dramaturge, in various functions, I have worked in both dramatic theatre and opera, contemporary theatre and dance performances and performance arts, as well as various music-related projects using the performing arts methods, as research and/or community based, site-specific, devised theatre, collective creation etc. In recent years, the work of the curator has taken an increasing place in my practice. As an important curatorial contribution in Latvia, I would highlight my work in the project of an anthology of performing arts translations, where I select, translate and edit the texts of authors such as B. Brecht, H. T. Lehmann, H. Goebbels, D. Roesner, A. Matzke, B. Kunst, M. Rau, F. Malzacher, B. Healy, T. Etchells a.o.