The Festival Mater Terra (lat. Mother Earth) opens a space for encounter and presentation of drama groups, with the possibility for expert advice for all the teachers, artists and drama teachers who believe, just like we do, that drama education and theatre itself can influence positively personal development, and the development of our society and the world we live in.

We analyze the presented performances in two ways: the first discussion happens after every block of performances and includes young performers, their drama teachers, the audience and experts who openly talk about the work and where the processes behind the performances are revealed. The second reflection is between the members of the expert team, when a written evaluation is sent to the drama teachers.

Theatre has the power to publicly confront important subjects, to initiate and empower the spectator. The performances of Mater Terra deal with the themes of ecology and “ecology of the soul”. “Ecology of the soul” is a new expression, that for us implies healthy and developed human relationships, openness and acceptance of the other or different, development of empathy and activation of solidarity and support.

With our Festival we want to confront the contemporary tendency of growing competition, comparisons and superficiality. We believe that competition should be left for sports, and that performance art should nourish solidarity, and the possibility and inclination to constantly learn and grow, developing ourselves on the way.

The concept of the “ecology of the soul” and the concept of the Mater Terra Festival were presented for the first time on the International Conference “Elte Workshop for Art Education” in June this year. The Conference took place in the Scientific Department of the ELTE University in Budapest, where Sanja Krsmanović Tasić presented her paper “Ecology of the Soul: The Necessity of Art Education in the XXI Century”. The paper will be published in the magazine Journal of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, “Magyar Tudomány”.