The 2017 edition of international theater festival MESS will open September 30 with a play performed by a Belgian troupe, the festival organizers told a press conference in Sarajevo. “The Blind Poet”, written and directed by Jan Lauwers, will be performed by Needcompany troupe at the National Theater in Sarajevo and the Bosnian National Theater in Zenica.
During the nine days of the MESS festival, 22 plays from 13 countries will compete for the festival prizes. The festival director Nihad Kreševljaković said the theme of MESS 2017 is diversity as a value of every society: “Our mission is to constantly remind that freedom is the oxygen of art and every society, or as Nietzsche said, we have art in order not to die of the truth.”
The three plays in the main MESS program were selected by Alja Predan. The MESS Market program that focuses on Bosnian theater production will feature four plays.
“The program of the 57th MESS is perhaps best described by a part of the synopsis of MDLSX play by Italian MOTUS troupe. The plays are like hymns to diversity, beyond the limits of what society defines as ‘normal’, beyond skin color, sex, sexual orientation, religion or nationality,” said the festival’s art director Selma Spahić.
Director of the Bosnian National Theater in Zenica, Hazim Begagić, said that the cooperation between MESS and his theater is “logical and natural, as our understanding of what the mission, function and meaning of theater and the festival should be is the same”.
“MESS is one of the most important cultural events in this region and we are happy that we present together the current trends in European and world’s theater to the Bosnian audience,” said Begagić.
The Zenica theater will stage its play “My Factory” in Sarajevo during this year’s MESS.