SUBTITLED “The Powerless to Those in Power,” the Arteterapia theatre festival presents 11 performances by various community theatres, focusing mainly on the wrongdoings, injustices and marginalisation of various groups of people. After five years in Banská Bystrica the festival has moved to Bratislava, and between June 3 and 6 it can be visited in the STU Small Stage / Malá Scéna on Dostojevského Rad and in the Ticho a spol. / Silence & Co independent theatre on Školská 4. In addition to Slovak ensembles, theatre-makers from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy and Saudi Arabia will also be involved.

Started as a festival for mentally challenged actors, Arteterapia has gradually developed into an event presenting the work of people for whom theatre still has the power to change things, head of Malá Scéna Štefan Korenči told the TASR newswire, ad-ding that the dramatic plan is manifold, but focuses mainly on issues like homelessness, single mothers and the confrontation between traditional and modern values.

“While originally the festival was a kind of therapy for the mentally challenged actors from the Divadlo z Pasáže / Theatre from the Passage from Banská Bystrica, now it should be a kind of therapy for the whole society,” Viera Dubačová, the festival’s founder, told TASR. She added that the growing extremism in Banská Bystrica was one of the reasons for moving the event to the capital. The main programme is rounded out with panel debates, lectures, workshops by organisers of foreign community festivals, as well as documentary film screenings. Except for the piece on June 6 at 20:00, no subtitles will be available in English. However, the bulletin is both in Slovak and English. The whole programme can be found at festival-arteterapia.sk.