Project history

FOUNDATION (2008-2012)

Prospero, which was founded in 2006, brings together theatres with important creation and touring missions in their countries. Their artistic directors and managers are recognised for their high standards and creative talents. Convinced Europeans, discoverers of new artists, passionate about languages, aesthetics and the multiplicity of European stories, they question and transform practices. For them, the future of Europe lies in the reasoned gathering and the idea of a common success. This implies a good knowledge of other practices, a better listening and a real sharing of points of view, traditions and research.

From 2008 to 2012, six theatres created a cooperation mechanism with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union the Prospero project. The partners were the following:

  1. Théâtre de la Place (former Théâtre de Liège, Belgium)
  2. Théâtre National de Bretagne (Rennes – France)
  3. Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione (Modena – Italy)
  4. Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz (Berlin – Germany)
  5. Fundação Centro Cultural de Belém (Lisbon, Portugal)
  6. Tampereen Yliopisto / Tutkivan Teatterityön Keskus (Tampere – Finland)

These renowned institutions have signed a European cultural cooperation agreement that defends and illustrates a poetic and political theatre, which favours the common education of critical judgement. This programme brings together partners for whom Europe cannot be built from a financial or economic point of view, but must be built on history, common myths, shared values, through an artistic and cultural gesture.

The objectives of this first project were to:

  • promote the circulation of works and artists,
  • to contribute to the emergence of a European citizenship,
  • to take advantage of a common cultural space and heritage,
  • strengthen intercultural dialogue and promote cultural diversity.

FROM 2014 TO 2017

From 2014 to 2017, some of the Prospero partners came together again to develop the project further, they are joined by new members:

  1. Théâtre National de Bretagne – Coordinator of the project (Rennes, France),
  2. Théâtre de Liège (Belgium),
  3. Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione (Modena, Italy),
  4. Φεστιβάλ Αθηνών & Επιδαύρου / Athens Epidaurus Festival (Greece),
  5. Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg (Luxembourg),
  6. Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz (Berlin, Germany),
  7. Fundação Centro Cultural de Belém (Lisbon, Portugal),
  8. Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam (The Netherlands),
  9. Barbican Centre (London, United Kingdom),
  10. and an associate partner, Toneelgroep Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

They decided to work for three years along two lines:

  1. The development of European creation: with the aim of identifying, supporting and accompanying six large-scale creations. These shows toured throughout Europe.
  2. The emergence of young actors: The members of the Prospero group worked with schools and training institutions. Six classes have discovered another country, another theatrical culture and another educational approach during workshops lasting at least 15 days. Each year, students from these schools travelled to Berlin to take part in FINDPlus (Festival International New Drama), an event organized in the spring by the Schaubühne, focusing on contemporary writing and inviting some sixty young actors to discover shows, meet artists and take part in workshops.

Document à télécharger : « Prospero brochure 2014-2017 »

FROM 2019 TO 2020

Ten European public theatres with a solid reputation, some of which have been working together for several years, held a series of meetings from July 2016. Together with the Théâtre de Liège (Belgium), appointed as leader, they decided to form a project group. In order to carry out its actions, Prospero has set itself a number of work areas and challenges:

  1. To analyze the role of theatre today:

Theatre is able to create non-virtual human links, promote languages and brings together millions of spectators across Europe. It remains a powerful place for direct dialogue, especially in times of crisis.

  1. Involve artists more in a new phase of European construction:

 The rise of populism is sowing doubts among European youth. It is important to address this debate with artists, in order to give a new cultural impulse to the European dream.

  1. Changing practices for the theatre of tomorrow:

This age-old art form must question and seize the opportunities that present themselves in this age of digital technologies: there are new audiences, subjects, practices, formats and territories to conquer.

  1. Defining and developing new methods of touring:

This implies a digital strategy associated with the territorial policy of the theatre sector. The audience’s opinion no longer depends solely on the spectators, but is now also made up of TV viewers and internet users who can access the show from outside.

In addition to transforming the theatre system, Prospero aims to promote European ideas and values through its actions, its joint projects and the gatherings it organizes. The Prospero partners believe in a united Europe, but a Europe of diversity of cultures, languages, histories, races and social constructions, a unity of shared differences. Prospero intends to promote the role of theatre as an important and more visible force in the cultural and political construction of Europe. In the tradition of the Enlightenment, it aims to promote the ideas of openness, freedom, diversity and equality.

This new consortium was composed of:

  1. Théâtre de Liège – Coordinator of the project (Belgium),
  2. Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz (Berlin, Germany),
  3. Théâtre National de Bretagne (Rennes, France),
  4. Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe (Paris, France),
  5. Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione (Modena, Italy),
  6. Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (Amsterdam, The Netherlands),
  7. Teatro São Luiz (Lisbon, Portugal),
  8. Göteborgs Stadsteater (Sweden),
  9. Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb (Croatia),
  10. Teatros del Canal (Madrid, Spain).