Prince Claus Fund Awards

Teater Garasi Profile

Yogyakarta ~ Indonesia

Teater Garasi (1993, Yogyakarta) is a laboratory of performing arts created and run by a multi-disciplinary collective of artists who have been conscious modernisers of Indonesian theatre for over 20 years. Conceiving theatre as a continuous creative learning process for both practitioners and audience, they engage the public in reflection on social, political, economic and cultural issues.

            Constantly experimenting with new forms and ideas while remaining relevant to their context, the collective draws on diverse elements of local culture, such as ancient legends, contemporary poetry, television, folk traditions, rock music, historical events and street life, to explore Indonesian society today. Teater Garasi work together as a group to create a performance by researching a chosen subject with all participants – lighting and scenery designers, choreographers, actors, musicians, authors – collaborating in its development.

            Productions cover a wide range of forms and subjects, from a play on female guest workers performed for village audiences to spectacular visual theatre, from interactive audience pieces to a children’s musical. Their epic three-part, four-year project Waktu Batu (Time Stone, 2001-05) examines transitions from mythology and history to modernity. (The Street, 2008) investigates everyday urban tactics, and Tubuh Ketiga (The Third Body) (2010) is a dance-drama celebrating cultural fusion.

            Intercultural CitySoundScape (2012) was an etnographic mapping of Indonesian society involving composers, musicians, artists and curators from different areas of the country. Welcoming such collaborations and often hosting regional and international practitioners, their space in Yogyakarta offers public workshops, intergenerational discussions, archive, library and publications, and a mentoring scheme for aspiring actors.

            Teater Garasi is honoured for their adventurous spirit and groundbreaking work in stimulating performance arts in South East Asia; for their vibrant and diverse body of innovative productions offering immersive experience and challenging ideas; for breaking the barriers of theatre as high art, fusing the modern and the traditional, and engaging a wide public in the power of performance; and for highlighting and celebrating the complex heterogeneous nature of Indonesian society.