Sat 19.02 - Sat 26.02.2022


Shakespeare is Dead Festival

Lectures & artist talks

From 22 to 26 February 2022, Leuven (Belgium) will host Shakespeare is dead, an international festival for contemporary playwriting. With a year’s delay, due to COVID-19, the festival will delve deeper into the state of the theatre text in today’s world with a handpicked selection of 10 new international texts and 11 new texts from Dutch and Belgian authors. Though the Great Bard may be long gone, playwriting is very much alive and kicking. 

Shakespeare Is Dead is an international festival with some of the most interesting voices in Dutch and Belgian theatre. Get to know the finest new creations from a new generation of Dutch-speaking playwrights during the three days of our international visitors programme on 23, 24 and 25 February.

Playwrights to discover: 

The selected international texts are by Aristide Tarnagda (Burkina Faso),Chelsea Woolley (Canada), Si’an Chen (China), Maria Milisavljevic (Germany), Pipsa Lonka (Finland), Edouard Elvis Bvouma (Cameroon), Jeton Neziraj (Kosovo), Simona Semenic (Slovenia), Jasmine Lee-Jones (UK) and Sami Ibrahim (UK).  Their texts are translated into dutch, but also presented in their original language during living room readings at the homes of the Leuven international community.

Also, eleven new plays by Dutch and Flemish playwrights will be presented in staged readings throughout the three days of your visit. These works are written by Vera Morina, Eric De Vroedt, Frank Siera, BOG., Michaël Bijnens, Anna Carlier, Dounia Mahammed, De HOE, Stijn Devillé, Nico Boon and Freek Mariën. The readings take place in English. German and French translations will be available.

What do we offer? 

You can connect with authors during networking lunches and walk-the-talk sessions: get to know them better in an informal setting and strengthen the international bonds.

In addition, debates and roundtable discussions will allow you to elaborate on issues such as translation practices and international transfers. And there is more: stage performances of new plays, scratch nights, pitch sessions for aspiring writers…

In short, Shakespeare is dead is the essential festival for any lover of contemporary theatre texts and a unique opportunity to discover contemporary Dutch-language ànd international playwriting.

Flanders Literature, Flanders Arts Institute, Performing Arts Fund NL and theater company Het nieuwstedelijk hope to have you as our guest. 

The festival takes place from February 22-26. You are very welcome to attend the entire festival. We offer an extra programme for international professionals within the festival: