Friday, August 24, 2018

REPORT: News on International Theatre Criticism

Barry Gaines
American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) member Barry Gaines attended the 16th Europe Theatre Prize festivities in Rome last December and wrote about the experience for Critical Stages/Scènes Critiques, the journal of the International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT-IATC).

The 2018 prize festivities will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, to coincide with the 29th World Congress of the International Association of Theatre Critics, November 13–18, 2018. During the World Congress, IATC will present the 7th Thalia Prize, which is given, according to IATC President Margareta Sörenson, to someone who has been "responsible for a body of work in criticism and theatre studies" that has also been "particularly important to us, the international critics, in our profession."

Hans-Thies Lehman
Hans-Thies Lehmann, the 2018 Thalia laureate, wrote the groundbreaking book Postdramatic Theatre (Routledge English edition, 2006), in addition to other influential texts. According to authoritative sources, Lehmann's work summarizes "a number of tendencies and stylistic traits occurring in avant-garde theatre since the end of the 1960s." What he refers to as "postdramatic" is not "focused on the drama in itself, but evolves a performative aesthetic in which the text of the performance" engages with the "material situation of the performance and the stage." Lehmann's codification of the field has been highly influential for artists and scholars alike since it was published in German in 1999. Past Thalia Prize laureates are Eric Bentley (USA, 2006), Jean-Pierre Sarrazac (France, 2008), Richard Schechner (USA, 2010), Kapila Vatsyayan (India, 2012), Eugenio Barba (Denmark, 2014), and Femi Osofisan (Nigeria, 2016).

For the World Congress,conference on “Performing Arts: Freedom and (In)Tolerance” has been announced and paper proposals are currently being adjudicated. Given rising levels of nationalism and autocracy throughout the globe, this World Congress and its conference promise to richly engage participants on issues that are of great importance in this political and cultural moment. American delegates to the congress are IATC Vice President Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, and ATCA members Ellen Foreman and Brad Hathaway. Members of the editorial board of Critical Stages/Scènes Critiques will also gather in Russia to set the course for the journal's next two years.

1 comment:

  1. I will also be there as Secretary General of the IATC, and happy to welcome all US delegates and other US participants.