// Home
// Foreword
>> Ten Years Young Directors Project
// Young Directors Project 2011
// SIGNA • Das ehemalige Haus
// Lundahl & Seitl • Symphony of a Missing Room
// Ontroerend Goed • A Game of You
// Poste Restante • The Dinner Club – Salzburg Classes
// The TEAM • Mission Drift


SIGNA • Das ehemalige Haus

>> Tickets & Program

16, 17, 18, 19
, 20, 23, 24 and 25 August

15:00, 18:00, 21:00

Concept and Stage Direction: Signa and Arthur Köstler, Thomas Bo Nilsson

Lundahl & Seitl • Symphony of a Missing Room

>> Tickets & Program

17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25 and 26 August

11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00

Concept and Stage Direction: Christer Lundahl, Martina Seitl
Jula Reindell, Costume design
With Rachel Alexander, Lisette Drangert, Moa Hanssen, Genevieve Maxwell, Colin McLean, Pia Nordin

Ontroerend Goed • A Game of You

>> Tickets & Program

18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24 and 25 August

14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30,
19:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30

With Alexander Devriendt, Joeri Smet, Sophie De Somere, Nicolaas Leten, Maria Dafneros, Charlotte De Bruyne, Aurélie Lannoy, Kristof Coenen, Eden Falk, Kwint Manshoven

Poste Restante • The Dinner Club – Salzburg Classes

>> Tickets & Program

18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24 and 25 August


Concept and Stage Direction: Linn Hilda Lamberg, Stefan Åkesson, Erik Berg

The TEAM • Mission Drift

>> Tickets & Programm

20, 21, 22 and 23 August


Rachel Chavkin, Stage Director
Heather Christian, Music
Nick Vaughan, Stage design
Brenda Abbandandolo, Costume design
Jake Heinrichs, Lighting
Matt Hubbs, Sounddesign



Young Directors Project
Download: Young Directors Project 2011 Folder


Chronic of the YDP - download as PDF




Ontroerend Goed: A Game of You (YDP 2011) © Richard Duyk



Ten Years Ten Days

Since 2002, the Young Directors Project, an initiative of Jürgen Flimm, has taken place annually at the Salzburg Festival – a competition for young, international theater directors and their companies. The goal of the project is to introduce Salzburg audiences to young artists whose work is considered trend-setting for the future of theater – directors who are expected to find international recognition very soon. And also since 2002, Montblanc has supported the Young Directors Project at the Salzburg Festival. It is sponsored in its entirety by Montblanc International; in addition, Montblanc also donates the prize money of 10,000 Euros and the exclusive Montblanc Max Reinhardt Pen for the best director.

Notable Results

Ten years have passed since the Young Directors Project was first introduced at the Salzburg Festival, and in retrospect, two things have become obvious. Not only did all of the young directors whose works were shown in Salzburg embark upon careers and broaden the horizons of their output. They are now known far beyond the borders of their homelands, have made guest appearances at major festivals and directed their own plays abroad. This measurable success, however, is only an outward sign of another, more important development: the former “young directors” of the YDP have made an essential contribution to their generation’s understanding of theater.
Some of them, such as the Latvian director Alvis Hermanis, are characterized by aesthetic originality regarding the action on stage. With Hermanis, it is based on the actors’ painstaking research, taking real persons as models for their figures. Thus, theater becomes a distillation of reality.
Others, such as the Dutch company Hotel Modern or its compatriot Dries Verhoeven, open the view within the theater for the possibilities of visual arts and performance. Hotel Modern made the reality of a day in the life of the Auschwitz concentration camp visible with the help of thousands of dolls. Verhoeven, on the other hand, sought a possibility of visualizing the simultaneous isolation and intimate proximity with one’s fellow human beings, and allowed the audience to experience this physically in his hotel installation You Are Here.

Some former YDP participants now direct their own theaters, for example Barbara Weber, who is head of the Theater am Neumarkt in Zurich. And Fréderic Fisbach, the winner of the very first Young Directors Award in 2002, founded the Centquatre in Paris, an innovative institution that produces and educates about the arts, where commercial and state-supported, pedagogical and professional, local and international projects come together and where all artistic forms and genres find a home.

International Projects

Since the 2007 season, the YDP productions are chosen by the project’s curator, Martine Dennewald, and the Festival’s director of drama, Thomas Oberender. Hundreds of DVDs are viewed, even more reviews and newspaper articles evaluated; some directors send their materials to the Festival on their own initiative, others arrive as secret tips from the theater scene. The goal is always to collect as broad a spectrum as possible, for since 2007 the Young Directors Project has also pursued an increasingly international outlook. Almost one hundred productions are visited for live performances in various countries, since this is the only way to gain a real insight into the quality of a performance, the director’s vision and the cultural context of a theatrical event.
We will celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the Young Directors Project this year with a special orientation of the program, both from the curator’s perspective and through a different disposition. We will show five instead of the usual four productions; one of them, Das ehemalige Haus (The Former House) by the Copenhagen-based collective SIGNA, will be produced as a commissioned work for the Salzburg Festival. The productions will all be shown from August 16 onwards, over a period of ten days and from 11 a.m. to after midnight; therefore, the viewer will be able to see all five performances within two days, in any order he chooses. The YDP performances from the USA, Denmark, Sweden, England and Belgium will be shown in locations all over the city – from the University’s Main Auditorium to the Museum der Moderne, in rented residential houses and of course at the YDP’s usual location, the republic.
In terms of content, the YDP program for the 2011 season assembles very special productions dealing with the immersion of the audience in the performance – thereby opening completely new spaces for theater, literally. With the exception of Mission Drift by The TEAM, they are performances that attempt to create a different form of experiencing theater – beyond the traditional stage, the audience is suddenly in the very midst of the production’s action, and at the same time “outside”, in the city.

YDP Winners since 2002

The jury found all three productions involved in the project equally deserving, and therefore the cash prize of 10,000 Euros was split between them. For his radical approach and his well-thought-out realization of Jean Genet’s drama Les Paravents, Frédéric Fisbach received the Max Reinhardt Pen as an exclusive prize.
Jury: Helga Rabl-Stadler, Peter Simonischek and Thaddaeus Ropac.

The Montblanc Young Directors Award in 2003 went to the Latvian director Alvis Hermanis for his production of Nikolai Gogol’s The Inspector-General, an adaptation by the New Riga Theater in cooperation with the Salzburg Festival. Alvis Hermanis received the Montblanc Young Directors Award for his excellent production, which offered a new narrative perspective by inventing a location for the action which sheds a new light on Gogol’s comedy.
Jury: Helga Rabl-Stadler, Andrea Breth and Thaddaeus Ropac.

In 2004, the Montblanc Young Directors Award went to Àlex Rigola and his Lliure Theater Ensemble from Barcelona, who created a spectacular evening of theater with their production of Bertolt Brecht’s Santa Joana dels Escorxadors (Die heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe). The members of the jury – Helga Rabl-Stadler, Thaddaeus Ropac and Peter Simonischek – honored the piece because of its brilliant combination of political fury and artistic effort, convincingly transferring Brecht’s criticism of capitalism to our times.

The Montblanc Young Directors Award in 2005 went to Sebastijan Horvat and his ensemble of the Slovenian National Theater Drama in Ljubljana. The production of Alamut by Vladimir Bartol in an adaptation by Dusan Jovanovic offered an extraordinarily successful adaption for modern times as well as contemporary theatrical language.
Jury: Helga Rabl-Stadler, Thaddaeus Ropac, Peter Simonischek and Wolfgang Kralicek.

In 2006, the Montblanc Young Directors Award went to David Bösch, who won not only the audience’s hearts, but also the jury’s with his production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing. The prize was awarded to a production which returned to the roots of the comedy, but also offered a modern and impressive interpretation of the topic. Together with the excellent actors of the Thalia Theater, Bösch managed to revive a play that is more than 400 years old, and to tell its story anew.
Jury: Helga Rabl-Stadler, Thaddaeus Ropac, Peter Simonischek and Wolfgang Kralicek.

The 2007 Montblanc Young Directors Award went to Simon Versnel for directing the YDP contribution Le Salon, performed by the Belgian company Peeping Tom. Although Peeping Tom’s Le Salon uses classical expressive elements – language, movement and music – it is still an extraordinary piece, approaching the very limits of bodily expression. The great expressive force of the actors fascinated the audience, touching it in an almost existential way. The production by Peeping Tom with its subtle rhythm showed an astonishingly broad range of human feelings: truly, a homage to life.
Jury: Helga Rabl-Stadler, Thaddaeus Ropac, Peter Simonischek, Wolfgang Kralicek and Sunnyi Melles.

Kelly Copper, Pavol Liska and the Nature Theater of Oklahoma received the Montblanc Young Directors Award in 2008 for Romeo and Juliet. The jury honored an outstanding theatrical concept in this production, which approaches its central topic with irony, but offers a surprisingly serious and touching view – the topic being our need for love and appreciation, and the resulting conflicts.
Jury: Helga Rabl-Stadler, Thaddaeus Ropac, Peter Simonischek, Wolfgang Kralicek and Sunnyi Melles.

In 2009, the Montblanc Young Directors Award went to Dries Verhoeven and the production You Are Here. The YDP jury gave the award to a production which literally turns viewing habits on their head, challenging the audience directly in an unprecedented way. This work convinced the audience through its original concept and breath-taking sets. It touched its viewer, who became a co-author and co-actor here, in an unusual way. On the one hand, the visitor was completely left to his own devices and abandoned to his own thoughts and associations, but on the other hand, he experienced himself as part of a community. This simultaneity of intimacy and public display was both irritating and fascinating, in a lasting manner.
Jury: Helga Rabl-Stadler, Thaddaeus Ropac, Peter Simonischek, Wolfgang Kralicek and Sunnyi Melles.

The 2010 Montblanc Young Directors Award went to Sylvain Creuzevault and his company d’ores et déjà, for Notre terreur. The newly constituted jury, consisting of Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler, renowned actors Birgit Minichmayr and Klaus Maria Brandauer, journalist Andrea Schurian and gallery owner Thaddaeus Ropac, honored a deeply impressive ensemble achievement, where actors became co-directors and the director was a primus inter pares. With youthful enthusiasm, the ensemble visualized the history of the French Revolution and its consequences for the present time, making clear the potential for failure even of the highest ideals and the dangers inherent in a dictatorship of good. This was achieved with reduced means and direct contact with the audience, for example through clever use of the space and an increasing dramatic development.

Translation: Alexa Nieschlag