Ortzai (Vitoria Gasteiz, Basque country, Spain)

Transadmin/ December 14, 2016/ partners

ORTZAI is a Theatre Centre, founded by actor Iker Ortiz de Zarate and based in Vitoria Gasteiz (Basque Country, Spain).

One of ORTZAI´s areas of specific expertize is TRAINING (Neumokinesia is the basis technique used in ORTZAI to train actors, dancers and musicians; this technique was developed and registered by ORTZAI and, having proved its suitability to train stage artists, it has also caught the attention of prestigious international art and culture institutions as well as the attention of Health professionals as a tool to develop the self-awareness and inner well being).

ORTZAI created its own company, known for its concern about values as Gender Equality, Education for Peace, Enviromental Care and Social Integration. Its actitivy includes the organization of different international workshops by foreing teachers (John Strasberg, Amy Werba, Deborah Berman, Luis Blat, Andrea Puglisi, Tomaso Tellung…). The European / international spreading of the artistic and educational work as a way to exchange experiences and points of view enriching the students is one of ORTZAI´s main concerns.

ORTZAI organizes three annual theatre seasons (“Winter Theatre for the Whole Family”, “Sacred Theatre” and “The Classics of the Bailey”), always according to the values above as well as focused, often, on political aspects (memory, acceptance, and reconciliation). ORTZAI has cooperated with / worked for institutions such as the Basque Parliament, Basque Symphonic Orchestra, Santa María Cathedral…


In 2011, before the terrorist group ETA announced the ending of its violent actions, ORTZAI staged the play “¿Y ahora? So now?”. The play, a big success in the Basque Country and abroad (it was taken to NY by the Cervantes Institute as well as by NYC University, to Havana by Casa Gaia and the Spanish Embassy in Cuba, Venice by University Ca´Foscari…) was the first ever to take onto stage the subject of reconciliation after suffering the consequences of terrorism, placing the plot in the Basque Country, nowadays.


In 2013, ORTZAI staged the play “Job, rehearsing crisis” Sifnos Crisis Theatre was an approaching to the crisis the world is facing, celebrated in Sifnos (Greece), coordinated by La Transplanisphère and The University of Pantheion. Tomaso Thellung de Courtelary´s “Esposti a tutto” was staged by ORTZAI in 2014.


One Land Many Faces is the European project in which ORTZAI participated  as an associate, focused on the subject of identity, namely the European identity; how it can be built when so many identities coexist in the continent. Also working on this subject of identity, ORTZAI cooperated with American artist Annita Glesta in her project “Gernika”.


Vitoria Gasteiz, is a small town, nowadays capital city of the Basque Country. The small town of 50.000 inhabitants was suddenly enlarged to receive thousands of immigrants coming from other parts of Spain in the 60´s and, again, recently, to receive a big amount of immigrants from other countries. In a medium-size town of the Basque Country, where identity is a big concern that affects politics and coexistence, the new balance between locals, already naturalized immigrants (those who arrived in the sixties) and recently arrived ones is a big challenge. That challenge is reflected in ORTZAI´s productions (both students´ productions and professional ones) which mainly stage great European classics (Anouilh, Beaumarchais, Voltaire, Giraudoux, Wilde, Sade, Shakespeare…), trying to reinforce the link between Vitoria Gasteiz´s local crucible of cultures and the European crucible of cultures.
From the Basque political conflict to today´s and tomorrow´s Europe, through the specially delicate period Vitoria Gasteiz is facing nowadays concerning integration.

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