This year’s international festival of contemporary theatre “Homo Novus” will speak clearly about the uncertainty

From September 8 to 18, the International New Theater Festival “Homo Novus” will take place again in Riga and several regions of Latvia. The program includes new works by Latvian artists Iveta Pole, Liene Pavlovska, Katrīna Dūkas and Voldemārs Johansons, as well as performances created in close collaboration with artists from Norway, Canada, Italy, Germany, Australia, the USA and other countries.

After this challenging year, we wanted to return to the familiar, therefore Vidzemes Market will act as our meeting place for this year’s festival, becoming a hub of activity and a space of artistic possibility. The market practically and symbolically has always been a place where people meet and where the interaction at the simplest human level takes place. This year we wanted to build the festival’s program even more closely with the viewer, focusing on the joy of meeting, co-creation, being together, at the same time and space, the fragility of the body and its ability to change, and around the awareness that we are all connected in countless ways.

Frm now on, Homo Novus is determined to provide contemporary performance encounters for everyone, regardless of access requirements. This year we have works designed for deaf and hard of hearing audiences, sound based works for persons with vision impairment, and we do our best with the help of our volunteers and accessibility experts to provide access to performances for people in wheelchairs.

The festival continues the tradition of being on the precipice of practice, seeking out the new and curating change. This year will be no different. We want to invite audiences to lean in to better understand ideas and each other, we want to meet challenging practices and witness to the extraordinary. Over the course of ten days, the performances will take place in a variety of formats – in-person, one-to-one, remote performances over the phone, textual performances etc. We are ready to ask uncomfortable questions to ourselves and others, ready to listen to the seemingly inaudible and look more carefully to what is considered constant and invariable.

This is the first festival led by the new team of the Latvian New Theater Institute and its new artistic director Bek Berger, but its direction remains the same – we continue to look ahead, to cause unrest, to address, to open, to hurt, to heal each other and take steps in unknown territories together.

Photo: Ingri Fiksdal’s performance “Diorama”, photo credit Istvan Virag.