Long Live Theatre, Long Live Theatre Criticism!
In these times of uncertainty for all, and of utter devastation for some, in these times that seem so dark and gloomy, in these times when we are forced to hide behind a curtain of fear and even despair, we need to believe in the beauty and the strength of human nature, as reflected in the amazing art of theatre.
Indeed, since its very beginning, theatre has never ceased to be a celebration of humanity through its unique ability to bring us together. Although we are now isolated and perhaps lonely, although so many theatrical institutions are closed, or maybe precisely for these reasons, now is the time to value theatre and theatre criticism more than ever before. Therefore, World Theatre Day 2020 is an occasion to smile and rediscover love, to have faith in our own humanity, to applaud the courage and determination of both artists and critics, to stay strong in the face of all adversity. Long live theatre, long live theatre criticism! That is to say, long live hope and the power of the human spirit!
Theatre Has a Role
The World Theatre Day 2020 has special importance, due to the difficult situation generated by the Coronavirus pandemic. The theatre critics of the world are proud and happy to share the message of the ITI, the World Organization for the Performing Arts, written by Shahid Nadeem, a playwright from Pakistan:
“In today’s world where bigotry, hate and violence is on the rise, […] our planet is plunging deeper and deeper into a climatic catastrophe and […] we need to fight apathy, lethargy, pessimism, greed and disregard for the world we live in, the Planet we live on. Theatre has a role, a noble role, in energizing and mobilizing humanity to lift itself from its descent into the abyss.”
During the Coronavirus pandemic, when theatres and other venues are locked down, we critics stand with theatre artists, as we always do. This is a time for support and compassion with thousands of actors, dancers, singers and stage directors – and critics – whose professional future is suddenly unsafe.
While longing for normality to return, we note that creativity and new initiatives are flourishing. So we dedicate our time and energy in this period to observing, reporting, and analyzing the many lives of the performing arts, as well as discussing how they communicate with various audiences and with us.
For the full version of Shahid Nadeem’s text:
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