From 17th to 22nd October 2018, A.T.K (Albanian Theatre Association) in partnership with Tjeter Vizion NGO, with the support of the Municipality of Elbasan and the Albanian Ministry of Culture, organized the 20th edition of Skampa International Theatre Festival, this time under the frame of Atlas of Transitions. A high number of applications arrived from all over Europe. Among them, 11 theatre groups - five from Albania and the remaining from other European countries, such as Italy, Romania, Greece, Macedonia and Kosovo - were selected to participate.
This year’s festival main theme of interest was the exploration of stage performances as a way to cultivate the plurality of theatrical language. Following artistic director Adonis Filipi's vision, the programme was built around immigration-related issues, with the aim to offer a salubrious climate to meet and converse about the performing arts. To reach audiences in the areas surrounding the city center, where artistic and cultural activities are held, thanks to the dissemination of multidisciplinary and culturally diverse works that were realised by artists coming from mixed communities. About 15 performances and various workshops took place, not only in the city of Elbasan, but also in other cities, such as Cërrik, Librazhd and Gramsh. A close bond established thanks to the cooperation between A.T.K, Tjeter Vizion, high schools and municipalities. In addition, round tables and encounters with youth and student groups were organised to promote ethnic diversity as a positive value.
The festival was inaugurated by the comedy play entitled 'Volpone', based on a work by British playwright Ben Jonson, directed by Adonis Filipi with the following cast of actors: Helidon Fino, Ligoraq Riza, Muharrem Hoxha, Ilirda Bejleri, Mario Elezi, Giuliano Brisku, Antoneta Doka, Dhimitër Topuzi, Artan Skënderasi and Elona Mamo. On the second day of the festival 'The Forgotten' was performed by Pristina National Theatre from Kosovo, directed by Short Aliu. The show presents a moment of confession between two isolated young people (interpreted by Edlir Gashi, Qëndresa Kajtazi) closed in a madhouse at the borders of Europe, deprived of any hope. In the turmoil of the mental institution, people are being forgotten, raped, humiliated and treated like animals. The unique way of deliverance seems to be immigration.
Another important moment of the festival was the 'CityZoo' workshop conducted by Cantieri Meticci, who was invited to Elbasan to animate a group of local youth from 18 to 22 years old, from mixed backgrounds, on the creation of a performance – based on an adaptation of the book 'La Notte di Q' by Michael Reynolds. Each participant was asked to concentrate on the different ways to express the 'inner animal'. The plot is located in a zoo where a sudden event happens, that destroys the cages of the zoo, freeing the animals, which were forced to meet, clash, fight each other, find solutions to coexist. From a situation of order (the zoo with the fence and the cages), the audience passes to disorder and is encouraged to search for solutions to re-establish balance.
Other performances that were staged include among others: 'I, Selma' by Skopje's Theatre Company, Indipendent Theatre Company & Act Art (Macedonia), directed by Omilos B. Andonovski and interpreted by Simona Spirovska. 'Sunflower' – by Lab Theatre A.T.K. (Albania). 'Walls in the Open Sky' by Teatro' Arza (Italy), 'The play that goes wrong' directed by Driada Dervishi, Teatri Aleksandër Moisiu & Eja ne Teater (Albania).