CANADIAN THEATRE CRITICS LAUNCH NEW SITE
Congratulations to our northern neighbors on their sleek, new website. Click here to see more.
The International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT-IATC) extends its deepest sympathies to the victims of the January 7 terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. This act of senseless violence is a chilling assault on freedom of expression. For those who practice the profession of criticism, free expression is the air that sustains our life's work. Vicious attacks such as these threaten not only our daily work but also demand that we stand firm in the face of those who would shake civilization to its very core. We are all Charlie Hebdo.
Margareta Sörenson, President of IATCMichel Vaïs, Secretary General
L'Association internationale des critiques de théâtre (AICT-IATC) adresse ses condoléances les plus vives aux proches des victimes de l'attentat terroriste qui a eu lieu à Paris le 7 janvier contre Charlie Hebdo. Cette attaque violente constitue une atteinte à la liberté d'expression, condition vitale pour tous ceux qui exercent la profession de critique. Un pareil attentat constitue non seulement une menace pour nous tous dans notre travail quotidien, mais exige une position ferme contre ceux qui tentent de viser le cœur même de notre civilisation. Nous sommes tous Charlie Hebdo.
Margareta Sörenson, Présidente de l'AICTMichel Vaïs, Secrétaire général
Our organization, IATC, is growing. More than ever before, we are reaching out to continents beyond the Western world—a very positive direction. We are also organizing successful conferences and important seminars for young critics. And another source of pride for IATC is Critical Stages, our web journal.
Today, the media world is changing at full speed: print media and the mainstream press are both diminishing platforms for our work, so that many theatre critics around the world are urgently seeking ways to publish. As we saw at our recent Beijing conference on criticism and the internet, many of us are finding that new technologies can provide support for the work of the critic.
In this context, our own web journal, Critical Stages, is essential to us all. A journal committed to excellence, it offers readers an overview of the performing arts internationally and, at the same time, gives us a platform of our own on the web, for nurturing our profession and inviting the world to share in the excitement and challenges of theatre criticism.
We need to secure the future of Critical Stages, by giving it a stable financial life. Since before its first issue in 2009, the journal has been produced on a shoestring budget and by volunteers. Once again we thank Yun-Cheol Kim for his initative and team-building work in creating Critical Stages, and now we thank Savas Patsalidis for taking over as an editor working with a highly qualified group of editors. The plans and some funds are already in place for 2015, and a proper bank account is now reserved for Critical Stages and its costs. But for CS’s future: any kind of sponsors or donations are more than welcome!
Now we ask all national associations to help by making an extra contribution. We know that each country’s economic situation is very different, and as a suggestion we propose contributions between 100 EU and 500 EU. Any amount, smaller or bigger, is of course welcome. Contributions must be sent to our treasurer:
or electronically, as a transfer, to this account:
AICT – Critical Stages CIC
Iban FR76 3006 6106 8100 0200 4170 347
Our dream, naturally, is that Critical Stages will become an independent web journal, standing on its own feet, able to compensate contributors in some way and to finance the editorial work. To make the dream come true, we are developing a clear strategy for building a sound foundation, which will lead to long-term stability.
Thank you in advance for your solidarity and help!
is the forum for co-operation and information within Swedish performing arts and the center for contact and exchange across borders. We are a member organization for Swedish institutions and organizations within Swedish performing arts and arrange the Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts, which is the largest Swedish national festival and meeting.
Teaterunionen also handles various national and international theatre projects such as improving the international knowledge of Swedish plays, showcase Swedish performing arts for the international market and co-operations across borders. We also arrange national and international seminars and conferences.
|Moving: The Emigrants, directed by Mats Ek, Swedstage 2014.|
Photo: Sören Vilks
|Our Contemporary: Jan Kott|
|Sweet Smell: Rose Theatre, Kingston-Upon-Thames|
1. Jan Kott as academic critic. How has Shakespeare Our Contemporary shaped the development of Shakespeare criticism and theatre studies?
2. Kott and the art of the essay. What made Kott’s essays influential; and do we still need them?
3. Kott and ancient Greek drama. How has the critic influenced classical studies?
4. Kott and Existentialism. What was the importance of Kott’s work as a translator of Sartre?
5. Kott and the theatre of the absurd: the critic’s response to Beckett, Ionesco, and Gombrowicz.
6. Kott and global theatre. What was the importance of the critic’s interest in Kabuki and Noh?
7. Kott’s and the anthropology of theatre. What was the extent of Kott’s interaction with Jerzy Grotowski, Tadeusz Kantor, and Peter Brook?
8. Kott and Modernism. Can the critic be read as a Modernist writer?
9. Kott and religion. What were the critic’s views on Catholic doctrine on morality and sexuality, particularly in light of his writings on androgyny in Renaissance art and literature?
10. Kott’s politics. What were the critic’s reactions to Marxist and post-Marxist political theory, and to their impact on Polish theatre, international theatre, and theatre theory?
11. Kott and Jewish ethnicity. What is the significance of the Shoah on Polish and world theatre?
12. Kott, Polish emigration, and émigré culture. How do exiled artists and intellectuals like the critic shape the societies in which they work?
|En avant: Global participants of the IATC-AICT World Congress in Beijing|
The India Section of IATC convened a Critics' Symposium as part of the Sixth International Theatre Festival of Kerala in Thrissur, India from January 30 to February 1. Moderated by the section's founder, Deepa Punjani of Mumbai, the symposium examined what it means to be a critic in the 21st century. Presentations from Indian critics included Punjani's "The Transforming Force of Theatre Criticism in the Age of Digital and Satellite Technology," observations on three examples of theater arts as a tool for social change by Ajay Joshi of Pune, Vikram Phukan of Mumbai's "Getting Theatre the Coverage It Deserves: Beyond Press Releases and Hype" and two presentations by Kerala-based critics, Renu Ramnath and CS Venkiteswaran. Participants from around the world included Romania's Alice Georgescu, who spoke on "Critics in Transition: With Special Reference to the Work of Two Romanian Directors," Poland's Konrad Szczebiot who discussed "Polish Theatre of Form – Between Puppetry and Visual Art," and Sweden's Margareta Sörenson, recently elected IATC-AICT President at the Beijing World Congress, who discussed the stages of transition in the arts.PATRICK DYER, a new member from Chicago, attended a Young Critics Seminar in Debrecen, Hungary, and WENDY ROSENFIELD attended the spring 2014 International Executive Committee in Caen, France, as the delegate for the committee chair. (While in France, Rosenfield saw JEAN LAMBERT-WILD's production of Waiting for Godot, which you may read about here.) Delegating is a practice that the current chair has employed regularly for the past two years: JAY HANDELMAN attended the spring 2013 International Executive Committee in Jönköping, Sweden, that May. Of his attendance at the Performing Arts Biennial (Biennalen Scenkonst), Handelman wrote for the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota:
Attending one of these festivals as an American accustomed to a certain style of performance is like walking into a different world, as I've discovered over the years at other festivals in Rotterdam and Warsaw.
Theaters around the world have their own way of creating performances that is nothing like what the vast majority of Americans think of as theater. [. . .] What is exciting for an outsider is seeing how collaborators try to break down the traditional walls that separate performers from audiences, and how stories or ideas are shared.
The most "traditional" piece I saw was From Sammy with Love, a two-man tribute to the life and career of Sammy Davis Jr., and to his eight-year marriage to Swedish beauty May Britt. In America, it might easily become a standard biographical look at the singer, but it becomes a pointed and entertaining story that deals with racism faced by Davis, Britt and the two talented Swedish song-and-dance stars — Karl Dyall and Rennie Mirro — who recall his dynamic style.
|Hey, Babe: Karl Dyall, left, and Rennie Mirro, frame a photo of|
Sammy Davis, Jr., in From Sammy with Love, at the Performing Arts
Biennial in Jönköping, Sweden. PHOTO: Biennelan Scenkonst
[. . .]
At each performance and with each post-show conversation, I wondered what it would be like if theaters across the United States could send productions to a central location every couple of years, not for prizes and awards, but to celebrate our own national culture, and see what’s happening elsewhere.
There are lots of obstacles, beginning with money, because it's costly to send shows and sets to other cities, or to resurrect appropriate plays a year or two after they were first presented. How would theater companies be chosen, and where would it be held? Lots of questions to be answered, but everything has to start with an idea.
|Quiet Americans? Jay Handelman, Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, and Jonathan|
Abarbanel just before the General Assembly of the Beijing World Congress