Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Georgia National Section Extends Invitation to Critics Symposium in Tbilisi

Irina Gogobéridzé, representative of the Georgia national section of critics, has extended an invitation to the member of the International Association of Theare Critics to attend the Tbilisi International Festival.

Gogobéridzé writes: "We are happy to inform you that the second edition of TBILISI INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THEATRE is going to be held in Tbilisi, 29 September through 16 October 2010.

"Together with the international program, we will present a Georgian showcase, with the new productions of well-known artists as well as young and emerging theaters. We will be happy if you become a showcase guest during the four days from 29 September to 2 October.

"The autumn in Tbilisi is warm. I hope very much that the theatre as well as the simultaneous translation will not disappoint you.

"Welcome to Tbilisi, one of the most theatrical cities in the world!"

Cultural Bridge
(Experienced Critics Symposium)

Theatres – Audience – Critics:
A ”Bermuda Triangle” or a “Holy Trinity”
Tbilisi (October 1 and 2)

Many theatre-makers and critics claim to work “on behalf of the audience.” Others – a minority but no less vociferous – openly deride this idea: their criteria, they say, dwell in an area much higher than the level (i.e. taste) of the audience.

The audience is generally reduced to mere statistics: this mysterious, many-headed creature is very rarely invited to break out of its anonymous state of existence and become real faces and individual voices. The bulk of the awards are given by juries composed of theatre professionals only, at times with the explicit aim of counteracting the audiences’ preferences and verdicts at that. Don’t we, theatre professionals, tend to take the audience for granted, while effectively excluding it from the theatre equation when we start discussing it? Don’t we light-handedly dismiss respect for the audience as mere crowd-pleasing? How can we strive to improve the standards of the theatre without paying closer attention to the concrete needs, desires and verdicts of the people who fill in its halls? Are we ready to admit that at times the type of theatre we praise is exactly that which drives audiences away?

This symposium is an invitation for a discussion between theatre professionals, critics and audience members on what we all gain when the three sides of Theatre – Audience – Critics triangle are considered of equal importance and what we all lose when the balance is disrupted. The symposium is not only “open to the public.” It will rely on its active participation.

Preliminary Program of the Symposium

The Symposium “Cultural Bridge” will be hosted by the Tbilisi International Festival during the Georgian Theatre Showcase on September 29–October 2, 2010:

September 29–October 1: Georgian Theatre Showcase

October 1 and 2: Cultural Bridge symposium

October 3: Departure of participants

The symposium will be held in sessions: morning session will last from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., followed by lunch. Afternoon session will last from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Afternoon session of the second day—Oct 2—will be dedicated to discussion on Georgian Theatre.

Term of presentations is 20 minutes.

Term of interventions (with prior notice) is 5 minutes.

Notification on participation and abstracts of presentations in English or French (no more than 200 words) should be mailed in advance (deadline for submission August 15) to Irina Gogoberidze (, Eka Mazmishvili ( and Kalina Stefanova (

The papers and the interventions will be published after the symposium.

Number of IATC participants: 10-12 critics.

Hotel, receptions, lunch, transportation in Tbilisi, excursions, tickets to the performances will be covered by the hosts.

Preliminary information about the Georgia Showcase is available at this website:

If you are planning to participate, please contact Irene at Note the performances you prefer to see during your stay in Tbilisi and return the form by 23 July 2010.

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