Saturday, July 14, 2012

Critical Stages: Sixth Edition Online

Yun-Cheol Kim, president of the International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT-IATC), writes that the latest edition of Critical Stages is online and ready to stimulate discussion of numerous issues in theater criticism today.

"In particular," Kim writes, "the Special Topic section is abundant with moving articles on how the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami disaster has affected the theater scene in Japan. We all know how calmly and courageously the Japanese people have been as they have dealt with this natural disaster."

Kim goes on to note that the Special Topic articles remind us of the commitment of "our Japanese colleagues, critics and practitioners," who have shouldered many burdens as Japanese society has begun to rebuild.

Critical Stages also focuses on Kapila Vatsyayan, the respected Indian scholar and artist who received the Thalia Prize in Warsaw. In recognizing Vatsyayan, the international association has selected a woman and a non-Western honoree for the first time. Vatsyayan's acceptance speech, originally delivered on recorded video at the Warsaw Congress in March, Kim writes, "elegantly justified IATC’s decision" to honor her with the Thalia, which is given to those who have "significantly influenced our critical thinking with their writing."

In addition to the Special Topic essays and reportage on the Thalia Prize, the sixth edition of Critical Stages also features interviews with prominent directors, actors, and playwrights from Bulgaria, France, Italy, Romania, and the United States. The performance review section includes nine pieces on contemporary theater in Azerbaijan, the Baltic countries, Canada, France, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Korea, and Romania. Also included are two intercultural essays by French authors on Korean and Japanese performances. Three recent books are reviewed in this edition, including a French perspective on Mark Brown’s survey of interviews with Howard Barker across three decades.