24 Sep Greetings IWTF 2020
I am more than happy to know that Barbara’s International Womyns’ Theatre Festival is happening and on behalf of The Magdalena Project, International Network of Women in Contemporary Theatre. I sincerely hope that everyone involved, artists, organisors, technicians and audiences have a truly rewarding experience.
In the strange and distanced time we are living we need to find ways to connect, to be together, to defy the isolation. The possibility to make live streams is one way to exercise that defiance. We can witness each other’s work and be present for each other. But we all know that live stream is not the living encounter that we all treasure in the theatre. Being present in the same room, exchanging energy and concentration. Sharing ideas in the live medium of performance. These times are asking us to think differently. To think NEW. How can we sustain liveness whist staying within the guidelines metered out by our confused, sometimes incompetent, governments – we are all trying to stay safe.
We need to step outside of the familiar structures that we call theatre and define the heart of what it really is – live exchange. This can be done in so many ways and now is the time for re invention. Theatre does not have to be on a stage in a theatre building with the audience in the dark silently watching those on the elevated stage with light on them – speaking their ideas and truths. Theatre people can invent encounters of myriad shapes and forms – we just have to think outside of the box – literally. A lot of experimentation may result in a lot of failures but from the piles of manure beautiful flowers can eventually blossom.
I am sure the encounters and discussions and performances that will be offered in these days will fuel these contemporary cross border and cross-cultural debates and thinking. And I hope that many will leave the comfort zone and risk these failures so we can find new ways in these strange, challenging and exciting times.
Founding Artistic Director – The Magdalena Project