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International Guests

International exchange

WESTWIND is more than just a festival where the NRW theatre scene comes together. It also invites international visitors and showcases international guest performances.

This year will once again offer opportunities to meet international theatre-makers, strike up a conversation and examine the similarities and differences of theatre for young audiences in an international context, including at a moderated discussion with Alexis Rodríguez Suárez and Seda Sönmeztürk on Monday, 13 June 2022 from 9 pm.

In recent years, many of the international partnerships established at WESTWIND have resulted in coproductions and collaborations, giving the NRW scene the opportunity to shine both nationally and internationally.

This year’s international network convention and artistic exchange platform will include:

Ilona Goyeneche, Mexico

Noel Jordan, Scotland

Tamara Kiknavelidze, Georgia

Kateryna Lukіanenko, Ukraine

Mostafa Mohamed, Egypt

Adjjima Na Patalung, Thailand

Sannidhi Surop, India

Iman Zaki, Egypt

TBA, Ukraine

This exchange is funded by the international visitor program of the NRW KULTURsekretariat.

In addition, we are pleased to be able to invite 2 more international guests to WESTWIND: Nadiia Matsiuk and Iryna Zapolska

Nadiia Matsiuk, Ukraine

is a dancer, choreographer and actress. She was born in 1996 in Kyiv (Ukraine). She pursued acrobatics, gymnastics and dance from a young age and was educated as a teacher and choreographer of modern dance.
Nadiia is involved in independent theatre performances as well as educational, sociocultural projects. As a member of the team of the non-governmental organisation VIDLIK PROJECTS, she worked with teenagers from various regions of Ukraine. As a teacher of modern choreography, she has experience working with children of all ages. Serving as an actress and choreographer of the theatre project “ПЕРША ВИСТАВА / PERSHA VYSTAVA” has enabled her to gain experience in interactions with young children.

Iryna Zapolska, Ukraine

is a theatre critic, curator, director, teacher and performer. She has been involved in theatre projects since 1997, particularly in the fields of education, museum work and cultural development for children of all ages. From 2004 to 2014, she worked at DAKH Theatre (Kyiv) in a programme aimed at increased project development for interactive family leisure. From 2012 to 2019, she curated the children’s programme of the international festival of contemporary art Gogol Fest. In collaboration with the participants of this festival, she organised art residencies, seminars and specialist training courses. Since 2014, she has cooperated with Dansema Dance Theater of Lithuania to introduce Ukrainian audiences to innovative forms of children’s theatre. Since 2014, she has headed the theatre project “ПЕРША ВИСТАВА / PERSHA VYSTAVA”.

“ПЕРША ВИСТАВА / PERSHA VYSTAVA” (NGO “ART DIM”) is a project that presents the work of the non-governmental organisation “Art House”. Since 2014, the project has encompassed various events that open up theatre as a tool for young audiences to learn about the world. The team of the non-governmental organisation “ART DIM”, which comprises experienced specialists from diverse art and education fields, is dedicated to the development of educational programmes in arts and culture.

Ilona Goyeneche, Mexico

is a Chilean journalist, cultural manager and freelance curator of performing arts who lives in Mexico. She worked at the Goethe-Instituts of Chile and Mexico before continuing on to Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where she served as programme coordinator of the UNAM cultural centre Casa del Lago until 2021. In Germany, she curated a selection of plays for guest country Mexico at the contemporary dramaturgy festival HEIDELBERGER STÜCKEMARKT 2015 and served as curator of the Mexican theatre festival ENDSTATION SEHNSUCHT 2016 carried out by Münchner Kammerspiele. She was a jury member of the 2018 Festival Muestra Estatal de Teatro de Jalisco in Mexico and part of the selection committee for national works at the international performing arts festival FIDAE 2019 in Uruguay. She is now a curator of the Ibero-American theatre festival ¡ADELANTE! in Heidelberg, Germany.

Noel Jordan, UK

is the festival director of the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. He joined the Imaginate team in 2015 from Australia, where he had worked in theatre for children and young people for almost 30 years.

Noel has extensive experience as an award-winning producer, director, actor-devisor and drama educator. Whilst working as a drama lecturer in arts education at the University of Melbourne, he also completed his master’s degree in education.  As a producer, Noel worked at Sydney Opera House where he curated the annual youth programmes House:Ed and Kids at the House (2004-2010 and in 2011 as a guest curator).

From 2008-2014, Noel concurrently served as an executive committee member of ASSITEJ and a board member of Youth Performing Arts Australia (YPAA).

Tamar Kiknavelidze, Georgia

is a deputy director of Tbilisi International Children’s and Youth Theatre Festival. She is responsible for programme coordination and educational events. Actively involved in performing arts, playwriting and arts education, Tamar has given lectures at secondary schools and higher education institutes. She also coordinated a project to get a series of contemporary plays translated into the Georgian language and organised public readings. She has extensive experience working with children and teens in formal and informal education settings as an instructor for various age groups. She has served on the juries and organisational committees of several of performing arts festivals and competitions. In addition to coordinating and leading inclusive theatre projects for children and teens, she has conducted research at the Arts Research Institute of Georgia and authored many publications. She has also helped organise tours of Lithuanian, Iranian and Georgian theatre companies throughout the country. 

Kateryna Lukіanenko, Ukraine

is a Ukrainian puppet theatre director and playwright. She teaches acting techniques in the department of puppet theatre at the Kyiv National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television, named after I.K. Karpenko-Kary. She is currently studying for an arts PhD and is researching development possibilities for inclusive children’s theatre, namely the adaptation of performances for blind and partially sighted spectators. Kateryna has worked as an author on several projects, such as the inclusive project “Sixth Sense. Performance of the Theatre of Sensations” and the online theatre project “The Guards of Fairy Tales”.

Mostafa Mohamed, Egypt

is the executive director and programmer of AFCA Arts Center and Hakawy International Arts Festival for Children, which is the only festival of its kind in Egypt. He is a theatre director and arts manager from the El-Minya governorate in Upper Egypt. He studied arts management online at DeVos Institute, University of Maryland. He joined Hakawy Festival as a volunteer in 2013, assuming various positions until he ultimately became executive director of the organisation. Recently, he became an alumnus of Goethe-Institut’s Global Cultural Relations Programme (GCRP 2021) and a global fellow of the International Society for Performing Arts (ISPA 2022) from New York.

Adjjima Na Patalung, Thailand

is a curator and producer with a background in theatre directing. Formerly based in London, where she acquired her artistic and professional skills, she now applies her intercultural experience and interdisciplinary knowledge to her work in Thailand.

She founded Bangkok International Children’s Theatre Festival (BICTFest) in 2016 to foster the development of theatre for young audiences in Thailand. Since 2009, she has also headed Arts on Location, a service which facilitates international exchange through performing arts practices. Her other curatorial works include being a member of the curating team at STEP International Dance Festival for Young Audiences 2020/2022 (Sweden) and a curator of children’s and family programming for Hotel X (Thailand).




Sannidhi Surop , India

is a Bengaluru-based freelance theatre artist who is passionate about all things therapeutic, cathartic and expressive. Their enthusiasm for connecting with young people led them to become a drama facilitator and workshop programmer – always making sure children have fun while learning about themselves and the world through theatre. As an experienced Playback Theatre practitioner, they bring empathy and deep listening to everything they do in addition to being a co-founder of citylamps Playback Theatre.

While Sannidhi has performed in plays such as “Just Think About It” and “The Importance of Failing Fabulously”, the virtual object theatre play “The Hunt” marks their directorial debut for children.

Additionally, Sannidhi is currently studying to become a counselling psychologist.



Iman Zaki, Egypt

is a cultural manager, researcher, consultant and theatre performer. She co-founded Reflection, an artistic training and development NGO based in Alexandria, Egypt, which provides space and support to visual and performing artists and promotes the role of the arts in community development. Her work experience ranges from cultural management and facilitation to curating and producing art that explores oppression and social issues, focuses on personal transformations and uses theatre and other arts as a tool for social change. She studied theatre at Alexandria University, Egypt and she holds a master’s degree in theatre for development from the University of East Anglia, UK. She has also received fellowships in advanced studies for social change from the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowship Programme (IFP), in cultural management from Goethe-Institut in Berlin, Germany and in arts management from CEC Artslink International Fellowship, USA.