INTENT NEW THEATRE AIMS TO RAISE THE CURTAIN ON CONTEMPORARY THEATRE IN KOSOVO AND THE BALKANS.
Kosovo only became an independent country in 2008. As a small country with a recent history of conflict, social division and isolation, there is a need to build democratic institutions, livelihoods, security and hope. INTENT New Theatre exists as a step towards a new future for Kosovo.
ABOUT INTENT NEW THEATRE
“Theatre is a laboratory where we can examine our innermost selves. Where theatre thrives, so does democracy. INTENT is a timely and excellent initiative.” Tim Pigott-Smith, Patron INTENT New Theatre (2014-16)
founded in 2014
INTENT New Theatre was founded in 2014. It is a collaboration between Kosovan theatre director Kushtrim Koliqi and UK professionals with backgrounds in theatre and peacebuilding.
that theatre plays a vital role in building and maintaining a civilised society by promoting values of freedom of expression, human rights, empathy, dignity, tolerance and co-operation.
is to enable the energy and creativity of Kosovan artists, and particularly young people, to reach new audiences at home and abroad, to develop a vibrant and innovative arts culture in the region and to use theatre to create new channels for constructive social dialogue and co-operation.
is to build creative relationships between Kosovo and UK arts and theatre professionals through a structured programme of collaboration and exchange. Our programme includes bringing the best of international drama to Kosovo; making plays available in local language, creating outlets for new Kosovan and regional talent in performance and writing; developing theatre education and encouraging specialist forms such as children’s and musical theatre. We leverage UK and international experience to improve skills, raise artistic awareness and open new opportunities for artists in the region while ensuring Kosovan ownership and artistic control over this process of learning and development.
Theatre director, film director and activist. Kushtrim studied theatre directing at the University of Pristina, completing a Master’s degree in 2007. Kushtrim has been involved in productions at the National Theatre of Kosovo as well as in other local and private theatres. His most successful performances are: “Underground man” (Hristo Boytchev), “Open Couple” (Dario Fo), “Closer” (Patrick Marber) and “After Ms. Julie” (Patrick Marber).
As a director, he is well known for his avant-garde and innovative approach, acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. He won the Annual Award for Directing and Best Performance in Kosovo in 2013.
He is also engaged as a director and producer in film and media productions (TV series, short films and documentaries, marketing campaigns, etc.). Most notable is the production of narrative documentary films “People and memories talk” involving civilian victims from the latest war in Kosovo and throughout the region of ex-Yugoslavia. He is a member of the Executive Board of Kosovo Association of Theatre Artists and organizer of several festivals in the country and abroad.
As a human rights activist, Kushtrim has been Executive Director of Integra NGO since 2003, which works on transitional justice, human rights, culture, civic activism, critical thinking and writing, reproductive health, regional cooperation, democratization and integration.
Holds a Bachelor of Arts in Acting (with Honours) from the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Pristina. Rebeka has organised and led acting classes for children and students, worked as translator, a trainer on Education Programs, and as a radio producer. As an actress her appearances include: ‘If this were a play’ ODA Theatre, 2013 (awarded the most successful international performance – MCYS award 2014); ‘Ameba’ Dodona Theatre, 2013; she was Assistant Director and actress in ‘Rock and Roll’ (Dino Mustafic, 2011) National Theatre Kosova.
Rebeka also works in the field of Child Rights Governance with engagements in theatre, short films, radio and voiceovers. She is a member of the Board of Kosovo Association of Theatre Artists.
Trained as an actor at Webber Douglas Academy for Dramatic Arts. She ran literary events for Waterstones bookstore in Hampstead before working in the development department of the Almeida Theatre, London. Emily now works as a scout for a large theatre in New York. She is an independent governor of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama (comprised of eight drama, circus and dance schools in England) as well as an assessor for the Offies theatre awards, organised by OffWestEnd.com. Emily is a co-founder of INTENT New Theatre.
Sofie comes from a predominantly commercial background having worked in sales in the 1980s and 1990s in national newspapers and across a variety of legal, computer and lifestyle titles. She also worked at the Royal Opera House maximising advertising revenue and establishing commercial partnerships.
In 2004 she started her own sponsorship company raising corporate and individual sponsorship for a number of organisations including Ballet Boyz, the China National Beijing Opera at Sadler’s Wells, The Australian Ballet at The Coliseum and Japanese Kabuki on tour in the UK.
In 2006 she launched OffWestEnd.com, a campaigning listings site that now promotes over 100 independent theatres in London, organises The Off West End Theatre Awards (The Offies) and supports writers with the the Adopt A Playwright Award. Sofie also works as a National Official for BECTU, the UK’s media and entertainment union.
Has worked in Kosovo and the Balkans since 2006, on peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. Mary is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science, has acted as advisor to the UN, the European Union and governments and has published widely on security issues in the aftermath of war.
She has been a correspondent and columnist for The Guardian and Daily Telegraph newspapers. Mary is a co-founder of INTENT New Theatre.
PATRONS AND ASSOCIATES
Playwright, screenwriter, director and a leading voice in addressing contemporary political issues through drama. His work includes the plays Plenty, Stuff Happens and the trilogy Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges and The Absence of War. He received two Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing The Hours in 2002 and The Reader in 2008, three Tony Award nominations and two Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Play. Other stagework includes A Map of the World, Pravda and The Vertical Hour. He was knighted for services to theatre in 1998.
Actor trained at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. In 2001, he starred in the West End comedy The Play What I Wrote directed by Kenneth Branagh winning the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and a nomination for a Tony Award. In 2009, he returned to the stage in Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at the National Theatre, Parlour Song at the Almeida Theatre, and The First Domino at Brighton Festival Fringe. In 2011, he played JMW Turner in The Painter at the Arcola Theatre. His best known film roles include the lead role in the TrumanCapote biopic Infamo
Actor and writer whose plays have been produced from London’s Old Vic Pit to the Edinburgh Festival, from New York to Seattle and Toronto. His first commission, Bluebeard, received Time Out Critic’s Choice and the Toronto Festival Patron’s Pick Award; his next, 6/7, was produced at the inaugural HighTide Festival. He was one of the first recipients of the OffWestEnd.com Adopt A Playwright Award in 2009. As an actor he has performed around the world, including the National Theatre’s globally acclaimed War Horse, a European tour of Romeo and Juliet, and As You Like It for Shakespeare’s Globe and The Merchant of Venice at the Singapore Repertory Theatre. His short stories have been published by international arts magazine Auditorium and his first novel Winks awaits publication this year.
Diana Jervis-Read, FRSA
Has had a long career in the arts and entertainment business and has worked in the theatre in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and many other cities. She is consultant and advisor to OffWestEnd.com.
Film and video editor. Following his studies in Film and Philosophy, Tom has worked on a variety of film festivals including, Human Rights Watch and OXDOX documentary festival. Tom is curator of the first ever Frank Film Festival, aimed at offering a platform to independent socio-political filmmakers.
Creative consultant and partner of Jagger Creative Communication LLP. Founded in 2007, Jagger Creative Communication specialises in branding, corporate communication, advertising, website design and marketing. Clients have included M&S, IBM, BP, Arjo Wiggins, John Smiths, Prebon Yamane, Eurotunnel and the NHS.
PROJECTS, PLAYS AND EVENTS
• Staging productions of local and international plays in Kosovo
• Making international work accessible to Kosovan audiences
• Study visits and exchanges between UK theatres and Kosovan artists
• Bringing the work of Kosovan writers, directors, actors and technicians to UK and international audiences
• Education workshops and master classes
ON KOSOVO FIELD PREMIERES IN ALBANIAN
INTENT New Theatre, in collaboration with Tamasha Theatre Company staged a reading of the critically acclaimed BBC Radio Play On Kosovo Field at the Qendra Multimedia in Pristina on 18th May 2018. Produced for the first time in an original Albanian language version, On Kosovo Field is the acclaimed radio drama written by Fin Kennedy that grew out of songs created by PJ Harvey on and after a journey to Kosovo. Originally told over five episodes on BBC Radio 4 in 2017, the production of On Kosovo Field was directed by INTENT Artistic Director, Kushtrim Koliqi with an all-Kosovan cast. the first two episodes of the BBC drama in Albanian, followed by a live listening of the original third episode in English
PROJECTS AND PLAYS
18 May 2018
RADIO DRAMA IN KOSOVO – YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!
Following the staged reading of On Kosovo Field, INTENT New Theatre is continuing to work with Tamasha and Kosovan partners in radio and the theatre and including the British Council, to develop a festival of radio drama in Kosovo, with On Kosovo Field as its centrepiece.
31st May 2018
An evening of West End theatre
The first social evening for supporters of INTENT New Theatre was held in Pristina with a screening of Sam Shepard’s play True West. To encourage new theatre audiences INTENT, in collaboration with Digital Theatre, is providing access to some of the best of international theatre via the big screen. Digital not only offers the chance to catch past productions of hits from London’s West End, but their subscription site, available through INTENT, also offers teaching sessions and Q & A’s with the creative teams behind both classic and contemporary plays. Future events coming up – for details contact Fjolla Hoxha email@example.com
6 May 2016
Kosovo tunes into radio writing
Award-winning radio playwright Fin Kennedy (author of On Kosovo Field) gave a first-ever workshop on writing for radio in the Qendra Multimedia Center in Pristina. Using examples of past radio plays broadcast by the BBC, and performances by actors including Andrew Sachs, he showed the creative possibilities of sound to tell stories you cannot see except in your imagination. Ten writers selected from an open call, took part in the workshop, learning how to create sound pictures and develop a complete story in just 15 minutes of drama. Although writing for radio is largely unknown in Kosovo, this workshop led to seven original scripts which were submitted in November, two of which will be performed in a scripted reading in London in 2017.
16 November 2015
Theatres of Conflict.
Can drama build peace?
A panel discussion at the London School of Economics on the role of theatre in the politics of post-conflict and state transformation.
Peacebuilding and state-building initiatives traditionally bypass the arts in favour of governance and economic reforms. However there is a growing awareness that culture is an important dimension of creating stable, peaceful and democratic societies. Theatre is an important space for connecting communities previously at war. To explore the potential of drama in conflict-affected societies, we bring together leading theatre, human rights and peacebuilding professionals. We will also show a short film of political theatre-making by INTENT New Theatre entitled Kosovo: Life and Liberty in a Young Country.
David Lan, Artistic Director of the Young Vic theatre in London,
Charlotte Onslow, Programme Development Advisor (Art and Peacebuilding) at International Alert,
Kushtrim Koliqi, Artistic Director of INTENT New Theatre,
Dr Mary Martin (chair) Senior Research Fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, LSE and executive director of INTENT New Theatre.
INTENT New Theatre calls for special visa arrangements for visiting artists
INTENT New Theatre is spearheading a campaign to call on the British government to make it easier for visiting artists to obtain short-term visas to the UK. INTENT gathered 50 signatures from leading theatres and artists in the UK, such as Chichester Festival Theatre, the Young Vic, the Donmar, playwright Sir David Hare and actor Toby Jones to protest at the government’s decision to refuse short-term visas to two young Kosovan artists, supported by INTENT New Theatre. In a letter sent to the British Ambassador in Kosovo, the Foreign Office, Home Office and the chair of the Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, Daniel Evans, artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre said:
‘The free movement of artists is an essential driver in encouraging freedom of expression, cultivating new talent, nurturing collaborative relations between countries and fostering shared democratic and artistic values. We believe that story-telling through theatre – famously described by Sir Peter Hall as “a community’s live debate with itself” – is particularly important in countries transitioning from conflict, helping them to counter extremism and combat feelings of hopelessness and isolation, especially among a predominantly young population. We expect the UK government to support the principle of artistic exchange as a tool for international co-operation, peace-building and cultural diplomacy. We therefore call upon the UK government to do everything in its power to grant visa applications that enable young artists abroad to access the achievements and facilities of the UK theatre industry.’
Four plays by Kosovan writers were the centrepiece of a production at London’s Unicorn Theatre on Tuesday 28th March to showcase the work of INTENT New Theatre. Director Rachel Valentine Smith assembled a wonderful group of actors to bring the extracts to life. The evening opened with our patron, Toby Jones, performing an extract from ‘Department of Dreams’ by Jeton Neziraj, commissioned by Intent. Award winning playwright and actor, Pericles Snowden who ran our first workshop in Pristina won an AIDF grant to research and write ‘Broken Season’. Intent playwright Fjolla Hoxha, author of ‘Hibernation’ has been mentored through Intent and continues to develop and strengthen her voice. Two extracts from radio dramas were the result of a radio drama workshop we organised with Fin Kennedy who was in Pristina with our help to research his BBC Radio 4 drama series ‘On Kosovo Field’. The evening concluded with an extract from Hannah and Hanna, a play by acclaimed writer/director John Retallack, exploring the relationship between two sixteen-year-old girls in Dover in 1999, one a Kosovan refugee, the other British.
Partnership with Chichester Festival Youth Theatre
INTENT New Theatre has developed a partnership with Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, one of the largest and leading centres for involving and educating young people in dramatic arts, to organize short-term study visits to the UK to mentor young Kosovan artists in technical theatre skills. The scheme devised by CFYT and INTENT will provide the opportunity for young Kosovans aged between 16 and 22 to spend a week in Chichester, observing and working on a current production. This kind of technical training does not currently exist in Kosovo where there are only opportunities to learn to act and direct. The training visit, fully funded and supervised by CFYT and INTENT New Theatre, will allow the participants to develop skills and an appreciation of technical aspects of theatre as part of our larger mission to create long-term cultural links and promote contemporary theatre as a tool for conflict prevention and peace-building in the region. If you are interested in applying for this scheme and would like further details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
30-31 January 2016
PLAYWRITING WORKSHOP, Pristina
RICHARD TWYMAN, award-winning director and Associate Director (International) of the Royal Court Theatre, London gave a day long masterclass in the art of storytelling for the theatre. The workshop was attended by 25 Kosovan artists, who discovered the most powerful ways of telling stories through theatre, received advice about writing for the stage and techniques to shape and structure a story. The workshop included examples from successful and original contemporary plays and gave participants a chance to discuss their own – past and future – writing.
8-11 July 2015
Kosovo. Life and Liberty in a Young Country
The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, UK invited INTENT New Theatre to produce a short studio piece entitled: ‘Kosovo. Life and Liberty in a Young Country’ as part of its community theatre event in July 2015, whose central theme was ‘the Rights of Others’ and the search for liberty. The 15 minute piece, developed through creative workshop was filmed in Kosovo and was shown at the Marlowe 8-11 July, 2015. INTENT Artistic Director Kushtrim Koliqi, and executive director Mary Martin spoke at a post-performance discussion about the themes of freedom and theatre in Kosovo on Friday 10 July, 2015 at the Marlowe, with UK playwright Anders Lustgarten and Paul Allain, Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Kent. Kosovo, Life and Liberty in a Young Country was edited by Tom Gibbons.
11-12 April 2015
Theatre Workshop, Pristina
INTENT New Theatre held its first creative workshop in the Oda Theatre, Pristina. The workshop was devised and led by PERICLES SNOWDON, of the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, London. From over 100 applicants, 20 actors and writers were selected to spent two days co-creating presentations on the themes of historical memory, national pride, freedom of expression, oppression and human rights.