Tuesday, August 17, 2010


From PRIMOZ JESENKO in Maribor, Slovenia

21–22 October 2010
Trstenjak Hall, University of Maribor, Slovenia

The Maribor Theatre Festival and the Association of Slovenian Theatre Critics and Researchers (a national section of the AICT/IATC) present an international conference on "Intercriticism," a re-contextualization and reorganization of critical writing about theatre and the performing arts.

In addition to their primary task, i.e. critical writing, contemporary critics have become interactively involved in parallel activities that pertain only indirectly to their area of work while, more importantly, engaging their field of vision as critical observers and judges. Usually, a freelance critic is also a member of various juries and panels, a dramaturge, a producer, a university teacher, a program adviser co-shaping a program, a selector of performances or a (co)creator of festival programs, a moderator of panel discussions, an editor of professional publications, a copy-editor, and sometimes even a performer. Critical writing has therefore become just one of the roles fulfilled by theatre and performing arts critics.

Over the past decades, the aesthetic, cultural, social, political and productional realities have placed the theatre critic into an area of intermediate interest, a location which has undermined the presence and the role of a critical position. "Theatre criticism" or "theatre journalism" has suffused virtually all segments of social life dealt with in the print and broadcast media. This raises the question of how much room is left for the critic's basic task within this network of interests, and how privileged this position is. How does this affect the analysis, description, evaluation and social position of the observer and his/her relation to the subject of observation? What happens when a critic no longer observes a performance from a privileged, detached position but becomes part of the performance itself as a result of these circumstances?

The inter-criticism debate will examine the current situation of critical writing from various viewpoints as well as its professional position within the context described above.

The deadline for sending completed contributions: 15 September 2010.

Monday, August 16, 2010

IATC-AICT NEWS: Minutes of Executive Committee Posted

Minutes of the Executive Committee meetings in Yerevan, Armenia, have been posted on the AICT-IATC website. The documents are in PDF format and may be accessed by clicking here.

Members with interest in international issues or upcoming meetings and seminars may peruse these minutes to see how the process evolves for developing international programs within the International Association of Theatre Critics.


Ian Hill
From IAN HERBERT, Honorary President of IATC

Ian Hill, a longstanding friend of IATC and for many years its Irish representative on ExCom, died suddenly at the age of 73. Ian trained in dentistry at Queen's University, Belfast, where he got a taste for journalism, becoming editor of student magazine The Gown. He went on to work for the Belfast Telegraph before turning freelance, where he built up a reputation for being one of Northern Ireland's leading arts writers and critics. As well as writing about the arts—theatre was his great love, and he also reviewed exhibitions—he was a presenter of arts programs on Radio Ulster. In recent years he contributed an arts gossip column to the Belfast Telegraph as "Man About Town," while continuing to review, for the British Theatre Guide among others.

He contributed a major essay on Arts Administration to Stepping Stones, the Arts in Ulster, 1971–2001 (Blackstaff Press, 2001), the third volume in the Arts in Ulster series, covering the development of Arts Council policy and practice.

He was also a travel writer and spent ten years working for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. He wrote or contributed to many books about Northern Ireland and also on his other love, fishing.

He was the theatre reviewer for the Belfast Telegraph for many years. His reviews showed a wide and deep knowledge and love of Irish theatre and he was always able to place the productions he reviewed in context. He was not afraid to be totally honest, so that praise from Ian was praise indeed and criticism was always constructive.

He died at home on Friday, 16 July 2010. He leaves a wife, Helena, and two daughters, to whom the Association extends its deepest sympathies.


Maria Helena Serôdio, editor of Critical Stages, informs us that her correct e-mail address for queries from prospective writers is m.h.serodio48@gmail.com. We have attempted to correct all uses of her incorrect address. Let us know if you find an error.