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Photo: Qendra Multimedia

The Return of Karl May
(Entertaining play for the German people)
Qendra Multimedia & National Theatre of Kosovo, Pristina/Kosovo

An event of the transcultural festival POSTWEST

Staged Reading

In Albanian with German and English subtitles

Kara Ben Nemsi, the famous character in the works of Karl May, flees the East and heads toward German lands with a group of actors from Kosovo. On this almost epic journey, he encounters Slavoj Zizek, Peter Handke, a member of the National Socialist Underground, and a host of other characters. The play confronts the audience with Western Europe’s almost demonizing approach toward the East—its supposed cultural, political, and intellectual superiority—which, according to Aleksandar Hemon, is deeply rooted in colonialism and racism.

Director: Blerta Neziraj
Text: Jeton Neziraj
Costume Design: Sebastian Herlich
Choreography: Gjergj Prevazi
Composition: Gabriele Marangoni
Light Design: Mursel Bekteshi, YannPerregaux
Video Design: Ilir Gjocaj
Artistic collaborator: Alban Beqiraj
International Outreach: Maud Dinand
Coordination: Beqir Beqiri
Stage manager: Lendita Idrizi
Translation into English: Alexandra Channer
Translation into German: Zuzana Finger

With: Ylber Bardhi, Adrian Morina, Arta Muçaj, Edona Reshitaj, Shpetim Selmani, Armend Smajli

Coproduction between Qendra Multimedia & National Theatre of Kosovo and Volksbühne Berlin. A Qendra Multimedia project, in cooperation with National Theatre of Kosovo.

Funded by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Kosovo, Goethe-Institut, The Olof Palme International Center, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, European Union Office in Kosovo

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

Qendra Multimedia in Pristina is considered to be one of the most interesting and authentic theater companies in Southeastern Europe. Since its foundation in 2002, it has produced several shows that have been successfully performed in major theaters and at festivals across Europe and America.

The National Theatre of Kosovo is the most important theatrical institution in the Republic of Kosovo. It was founded just after World War II and since then has produced hundreds of plays that have been viewed by over one million people.

Born in Pristina (1984), Blerta Neziraj studied psychology at the Université Lumière Lyon 2 and theater directing at the Faculty of Arts in Pristina. She completed her master’s degree in theater directing at Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.She directed plays at Qendra Multimedia, the National Theater of Kosovo, Schlachthaus Theater Bern, and La MaMa Theater in New York, among others. The plays she has directed include: a.y.l.a.n (the City Theater of Gjilan, 2019), In Five Seasons: an Enemy of the People (Qendra Multimedia, 2019), The Living Sphynx (the National Theater of Kosovo, 2019), 55 Shades of Gay (recreated for La MaMa in New York, 2019), and many more. Some of these productions have toured several theaters and festivals, both local and international, including: Piccolo Teatro di Milano; Theatre de Vidy, Lausanne; Theater im Pfalzbau, Ludwigshafen; the National Theater of Albania and the Volkstheater, Vienna. She was a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab in 2018, and has earned several accolades in Kosovo for her work as a director.

Jeton Neziraj is a playwright and the director of Qendra Multimedia. He has written over twenty-five plays that have been staged, translated, and published widely in Europe and the USA. The German theatre magazine Theater der Zeit and the German radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur described him as “Kafka of the Balkans,” while the Los Angeles Times called him “a world-class playwright who challenges our complacency at every twist and turn.”


Director Blerta Neziraj. Photo: Jetmir Idrizi

Jeton Neziraj. Photo: Slavica Ziener 

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