Health crisis and climate change, main characters of the Escena Erasmus tour

  • Fundació General UV
  • October 19th, 2020
A scene from the play. Picture: Abulaila.
A scene from the play. Picture: Abulaila.

This year, ten actors and actresses will tour 15 localities over the entire Valencian region to put on stage the most critical and scathing vision of the current European reality, badly damaged by the health and climate crisis. For this purpose, Escena Erasmus of the Universitat de València starts ‘The Small Europes 2020’, a programme which has been adapted to this day and age in order to make drama reach all the corners of the European continent.

On the 17th October, the programme begun in Bellreguard (La Safor), with the release of the stage play ‘The new world show’, written by the playwright Daniel Tormo and directed by Anna Marí. Over this month, it will be played in Barx (Valldigna-La Safor), on the 18th, and Villar del Arzobispo (La Serranía), on the 31st. In November, it will head to Rafelcofer (La Safor), on the 8th; Tavernes de la Valldigna (Valldigna-La Safor), on the 20th; Massalfassar (L’Horta Nord), on the 21st; Gátova (El Camp de Túria), on the 22nd; Algar de Palància (La Baronía-Camp de Morvedre), on the 28th; and Navarrés (La Canal de Navarrés), on the 29th. In December, it will be shown in Faura (El Camp de Morvedre), on the 4th; Torrebaja (El Rincón de Ademuz), on the 5th; Quatretonda (La Vall d’Albaida), on the 6th; València (L’Horta), on the 9th and 10th; Alfarrasí (La Vall d’Albaida), on the 12th; and the clousure will take place in Enguera (La Canal de Navarrés), on the 13th.

‘The new world show’ stars a comedy troupe with animal names that have put on an “alleged” variety show to talk about the new world in which the current society is immersed; but this company suffers from the absence of two of their most important constituents, which adds one more problem to the already chaotic organization of the scenes and meanings.

This is the play’s synopsis, with a script “written from the humour and the distance, as an attempt of understanding the world in which we live in and what we are going through as a species. At the same time, it intends to be a tribute to the comedians that dedicated themselves to make others happy; which is very necessary nowadays”, noted the show’s director, Anna Marí.

Culture as a tool for the development of Europe’s future
On the 8th October, the 2020 tour was introduced in the courtyard of La Beneficiencia, in a ceremony presided by the Deputy of Culture, Xavier Rius, who was accompanied by not only the mayor of the welcoming municipalities, but also by the vice-principal of the Universitat de València Antonio Ariño and Carles Padilla, as well as the co-director of the European drama project Escena Erasmus, Josep Valero.

The Culture and Sports vice-principal of the Universitat de València, Antonio Ariño, in reference to the importance of keeping ‘The Small Europes’ project alive, reiterated, precisely, that “the fact that critical culture is alive is, to a large extent, responsibility of the Touring Theatre”, a secular trajectory initiative launched during the time of la República, by Garcia Lorca or Casona. And added: “If we do not make memory of the past, it is really difficult to build a future; and you –he said, adressing the actors and actresses of Escena Erasmus– are going to make memory with the Tour in the towns. Nowadays, and more than ever, we have to work for the culture, and for a civic and supportive society; only in this way we will contribute to the development of Europe’s future”.

For his part, the Internationalization and Cooperation vice-principal of the UV, Carles Padilla, highlighted the journey of 10 years of the theatrical and European project of Escena Erasmus, “which was born to the Universitat de València and that, after a decade, it has moved beyond the university until cloning itself in other cities of the Spanish State, and even to other European universities.

The Deputy of Culture, Xavier Rius, highlighted the commitment to culture promoted by the Valencian public administrations and its support to programmes such as ‘The Small Europes”. “Escena Erasmus is a leading project of the Valencian cultural scene and now, it is also European; from the Valencia Regional Council, we want to consolidate our support with extra effort: the edition of an audiovisual, done by the documentalist David Segarra, tells about the intimate life of an international company in times of pandemic. We will release it in La Beneficiencia at the beginning of 2021; furthermore, in a few months, the bibliographic trilogy where we will find the 10-year history of Escena Erasmus will come into existence”, announced.

‘The Small Europes’ and 10 years of Escena Erasmus
‘The Small Europes’ is a cultural programme launched by Escena Erasmus (vice-rectorate of Culture and Sports and vice-rectorate of Internationalization and Cooperation) and the Culture Department of the Valencia Regional Council, with the support of the General Foundation of the Universitat de València, to establish bridges for dialogue between the reality of the Valencian localities and the European cities represented by the actors and actresses. Thereupon, Josep Valero noted that: “Our actresses and our actors have born and lived in many corners of Europe and the world. The towns that we will visit are Europe too, our Europe”.

“We want that towns enjoy a theatre show, and that a meeting point is promoted in order to allow the reflection about what are we and which particularities bond us to our continent. Likewise, we intend that our actors get to know their towns and our culture, and that they talk about it in their countries. Thus, ‘The Small Europes’ creates bridges for dialogue between our local Europes and other cities of all around Europe and the world.”, he said.

Escena Erasmus (The European Charlemagne Youth Prize, 2011; Young Talent Prize, 2018; and a Heritage Special Mention of the PEARLE (Live Performance Europe), 2018) is an international project of the Universitat de València in which Erasmus and local students take part to benefit from their creative potentional, to encourage their participation in the social life and culture of Spain so as to build a more beneficial Europe for everyone.

Additionally, the European theatre project of the Universitat de València has recently commemorated its tenth anniversary. Since it was founded, it has approached the theatre to more than 230 towns of the entire Spanish State; and it has already been installed in the European cities of Padua and Cagliari (Italy), Marburg (Germany), Lodz (Poland) and Sofia (Bulgaria) by means of the European theatrical web on Scene Network, coordinated by the Universitat de València, which was consolidated with a meeting in the Cultural Centre La Nau in 2018 and that counted with the incorporation of refugees to the show.

And that is that the Universitat de València is one of the Europe’s leading universities in reception of ‘incoming’ students, having received in 2013 the honorific recognition for the best Erasmus Institution.  


STAFF of the thatre play ‘The new world show’
Performers: Ellen Barnes, Celia Burgos, Sarah Gruninger, Celio Hernández, Laura Magallón, Cima Nadaf, Núria Pareja, Eetu-Pekka Parkinen, Aarón Sánchez and Sergio Villa
Original text: Daniel Tormo
Direction: Anna Marí
Assistant director: Josep Valero
Stage movement and choreography: María José Soler
Assistant stage, department and cover: Andrea Caloxe
Set designer and producer: Luis Crespo
Costume design and production: Tonuca Belloch
Music and sound design: Panchi Vivó
Lightning design: José Martín Márquez

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