Thursday, January 1, 2015

REPORT: Newsletter from Canada

Martin Morrow
OUR NEIGHBORS to the north have forwarded an interesting update on changes to the Canadian Theatre Critics Association. In the latest edition of Critically Speaking, the CTCA newsletter, new president Martin Morrow discusses some of the challenges that face the organization at this moment in which everything digital seems to overshadow conversations on art and aesthetics. Morrow acknowledges the accomplishments of his predecessor, longtime president of CTCA Don Rubin, who decided that four terms were enough and chose not to extend his tenure.

Editor of the influential six-volume World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, Rubin remains the international liaison for the Canadian organization to the International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT-IATC). Rubin shares some of his thoughts on the work of his time as president and points to a future, under Morrow's leadership, in which Canadian theatre criticism begins to work across certain cultural and lingustic barriers within the country as Canada continues to provide leadership among countries that prize multilinguistic approaches to arts and culture.
Don Rubin

Stephen Hunt from Calgary offers an interesting perspective on the Beijing World Congress of the IATC-AICT in this edition of the newsletter. The questions he raises about productions seen during the congress--largely limited to student productions at the Central Academy of Drama--will resonate with most congress attendees, as will his praise for the unfailingly patient and helpful organizers of the event. (His tongue-in-cheek call for something akin to a Clean Air Act to help reduce Beijing air pollution is amusing and exactly on point.) Hunt provides a clear, interesting overview on the conference presentations related to the topic of criticism in the Age of the Internet.

The newsletter also contains information on honorees of the Canadian association, which include the new president. The edition ends with a reprint of a well known essay by John Gassner on the "practicality of impractical criticism." You may access the entire newsletter here.

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