Sunday, August 31, 2008

Challenges of Intercultural Dialogue in Performing Arts

From November 20 to 22, La Scena Club, situated in the old district of Bucharest, will be the place to be for cultural actors interested in exchanging experience and ideas about 'Challenges of Intercultural Dialogue in Performing Arts'. Click here for the program.

This 3-day international seminar focuses on intercultural dialogue with project presentations by invited cultural operators from all over Europe, artists’ talks, two round tables and evening performances aiming to create possibilities for developing new projects and co-productions.
The seminar is organised by United Experts and Project DCM Foundation with the financial support of the Swiss Cultural Programme Pro Helvetia/ SDC and the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Edinburgh Fringe Director Resigns

The director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has announced his resignation. Jon Morgan, who has been in the role just over a year, leaves the job only days after it was revealed ticket sales for the festival dropped 10% this year. The Fringe was hit by several problems, including the failure of a new computerized ticketing system. Mr. Morgan, 46, insisted he had been considering the move for "some time" and that his decision had nothing to do with this year's difficulties. He said he wanted to return to working more closely with the artists. He added that he had not wanted to disrupt this year's program by announcing his resignation before the festival began.

The director said: "I feel privileged to have worked for the Fringe. It is the greatest arts festival on the planet and plays an important role in developing and showcasing new performing talent on a world stage. However, the role of Fringe director has taken me away from my first love of producing and presenting exciting performances to audiences and my intention is to return to that more direct relationship with artists and audiences."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Performing Arts Training International Conference

October 24-27, 2008: Bovec, Slovenia

The conference is open to professional performers, performing arts educators and teachers from all over the world interested in the research of topical questions and processes in contemporary performing arts education and training. At the moment the Conference is accepting presentation proposals.

• workshop/master class
• work in progress
• performance fragment
• reading/lecture
• any other way of demonstration to the presenter's discretion

Submissions Guidelines and Registration: Click here.
Accommodations and Venue: Click here. (Bovec mountain resort)
Conference Info: Click here.

If you are unable to attend the conference there is opportunity to send your promotional materials: booklets or flyers about your company, announcements of workshops, courses, performances and other events. All materials will be displayed at the main information stand and will be available to the delegates during the entire period of the conference.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kennedy Center Development Programs

The US Department of State and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is offering professional development opportunities to 8 arts management professionals between the ages 25-35 from selected countries and to 44 emerging performing artists between the ages 19-30 from selected countries. The arts management program will be three weeks and will include one week of practical mentorship experience. The emerging artist program will be two weeks and will include visits to at least two U.S. cities. To read learn more about the arts management program, click here, and for the performing arts program, click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Edinburgh Ticket Sales Down

Ticket sales at this year's Edinburgh International Fringe Festival were down by almost 10% - the first fall in eight years. Bad weather, the poor global economy, competition from the Olympics and problems at the Fringe box office were all cited as factors in the downturn. The Fringe sold more than 1.5 million tickets for the third year running but that was down from 1.7 million in 2007.

Fringe director Jon Morgan said he was delighted with the overall figures in what he had been a "difficult year". He also pointed to the increasing number of free fringe events which are not included in the final tally. Now the Fringe is over, an inquiry will begin into the box office problems which left many shows overbooked or described as sold out when they were not.

Mr Morgan said: "At the start of the festival many were worried about the loss of venues, impact of the Olympics and the economy. In a difficult year, with record rainfall and problems with ticketing, fringe-goers have come out in force and enjoyed the festival." Fringe 2008 featured 31,320 performances of 2,088 shows in 247 venues. An estimated 18,792 performers took to the stage. A total of 350 shows were absolutely free, an increase of 46 on 2007.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

International Visegrad Fund

The International Visegrad Fund supports projects in the fields of cultural cooperation, scientific exchange and research, education, exchanges between young people, cross-border cooperation and promotion of tourism. It is open to projects thematically related to Visegrad cooperation (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic & Slovakia).

The maximum contribution of the Fund allocated to each Small Grant project is up to EUR 4,000. The financial contribution of the Fund cannot exceed 50% of the total project costs including the in-kind contribution of the applicant, or in-kind contributions of other co-financing subjects. The maximum time frame of the proposed budget is 6 months, even if the project is envisaged to last longer.

When considering funding, the Fund will prefer those projects that will involve partners (co-organizers) from all V4 countries (with the exception of the Cross-border projects). The Fund will not support projects in which less than three of the V4 countries are involved, except for projects within the cross-border cooperation. (Within the cross-border cooperation, partners from 2 V4 countries are sufficient.) The Fund may also fund projects proposed by (or implemented in cooperation with) an entity outside of V4 countries, provided that such projects are in compliance with the objectives of the Fund. Applicants from non-Visegrad countries can apply for Small Grants under the same conditions, but the project must be thematically related to Visegrad cooperation.

Annual budget: EUR 512,000
Deadlines: 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December
Applications for the Small Grants must be submitted through the on-line application system here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Edinburgh Roundup

As the Olympics come to a close, so do the annual Edinburgh International and Fringe Festivals. Click here to read the NYTimes Charles Isherwood’s round-up of the youthful offerings. Here’s also a link to the ‘Total Fringe Award’ winners.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Streetcar Named Blanchett

Liv Ullman directs the Sydney Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, starring co-artistic director and Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett. The production will open in Sydney, Australia in September 1st, 2009 and will tour the U.S. starting on Oct. 29th at the Kennedy Center and Nov 27 at BAM. Blanchett made her U.S. stage debut at BAM in Hedda Gabler in 2006. Her acting credits at the Syndey Theatre Company include productions of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, Timothy Daly's Kafka Dances and David Mamet's Oleanna. For more information visit here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Visiting Arts, with the support of the British Arts Council, has launched a new artistic networking website called arts-planet. arts-planet enables visitors to engage with arts professionals with a track record of working with the UK through their cross-country programs and initiatives It is also a platform that brings the alumni of Visiting Arts Programs (both UK and overseas) together; allowing them to interact with each other and the wider UK and global arts market. As they say “This is a unique community of individuals that have taken part in our programs from around the world. And we would like you to engage with them, so please sign up, log on and start something new!”

Friday, August 22, 2008

Busk or Bust

‘The Toronto Star’, covering the annual Buskerfest, which aims to attract more than 500,000 spectators and presents more than 40 acts on eight stages representing Canada, the U.S., England, Australia, Hungary, Sweden, the Netherlands, Argentina and Japan has interviewed four street performers to determine the pros and cons of the business, training and where the best locations on earth are to entertain passers-by. Check out the article here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Conservatives Cut Arts Funding by $45 Million

The Canadian Tories are committed to cutting $44.8-million in spending on arts and culture by April of 2010. The Conservatives have earmarked 10 programs and parts of another to be eliminated and will reduce spending on two others, after a "strategic review" process that audited all Canadian Heritage programs for efficiency and effectiveness. All but one cut falls under the Heritage purview, the lone exception being the previously reported $4.7-million PromArt, a grant program for foreign travel administered by Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

The most expensive of five new cuts approved in February was the $11.7-million Canadian Memory Fund, which gives federal agencies money to digitize collections and mount them online. Also chopped were the $3.8-million Web portal; the $560,000 Canadian Cultural Observatory; the $5.64-million research and development component of Canadian Culture Online; and the $2.1-million Northern Distribution Program, which distributes the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network signal to 96 Northern communities.

The departments says a rarely advertised $500,000 annual fund - part of the Sustainability program designed to rescue arts organizations on the brink of extinction - has also been axed, after helping rescue four groups on the brink of disaster in the past six years: the Winnipeg Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic and Théâtre du Rideau Vert received $250,000; and the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal received $100,000.

Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay and Toronto Mayor David Miller's joint letter to Prime Minister Harper, which decried a perceived reversal in a generous Conservative approach to the arts, only added to the exasperation of the Prime Minister's communications director, Kory Teneycke. "To listen to some in the arts community and the opposition, you would think that there's blood in the streets…When we find examples of programs that are clearly not meeting their objectives, without apologies we will cancel them. That is the entire purpose of Strategic Review. We owe that to taxpayers," Mr. Teneycke added, calling PromArt "a boondoggle."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

David Beckham – The Musical

I just love it when the West End makes more of a fool out of itself than Broadway (and that’s hard to do with things like Legally Blonde and Xanadu still running). Luckily, news of the new UK musical, cheesily titled The Theatre of Dreams, has hit the press and it couldn’t be any more hilarious. British playwright/songwriter Mark Archer is in talks with West End producers to bring David Beckham's life story to the stage.

“Beckham’s story is a modern-day fairytale of heroes, villains, love, Manchester United and what it means to lead your country,’’ explained Mark Archer. “His rise from obscurity to international stardom, his universally acknowledged gifts as a supreme sportsman, and his Hollywood lifestyle all have the elements of an aspirational fable. With football and celebrity now firmly established as new secular Western religions, The Theatre of Dreams is set within a cheering football stadium – the modern-day church. The music is powerful, gospel-like rock to establish clearly football and Manchester United as a religion.’’

Next Up: The Trainwreak That Is Britney Spears – The Musical

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Avril 'Too Sexy' For Malaysia

A Malaysian concert by Canadian rockstar Avril Lavigne was canceled on Tuesday, saying it may taint the Muslim-majority country's independence day celebrations. The decision came after the youth wing of a fundamentalist opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, called for the show's cancellation. The Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry said it had decided not to permit Lavigne's show because it was unsuitable to Malaysian culture and could not be held on Aug. 29, two days ahead of independence day.

"It is not timely. It's not in the good spirit of our National Day. If we go ahead with the concert, it is contrary to what we are preparing for," said Shukran Ibrahim, a senior official from the culture ministry's department that vets all foreign artists.

Kamarulzaman Mohamed, a party youth official, told The Associated Press on Monday that Lavigne's show was "considered too sexy for us" and would promote the wrong values just before independence day. "We don't want our people, our teenagers, influenced by their performance. We want clean artists, artists that are good role models," he said.

Last year, R&B singer Beyonce moved her show from Malaysia to Indonesia, and Christina Aguilera skipped the country on an Asian tour after a controversy erupted over a dress code for foreign artists. Malaysia requires all performers to wear clothes without obscene or drug-related images and be covered from the chest to the knees. They must also refrain from jumping, shouting, hugging and kissing on stage.

Monday, August 18, 2008

German Cultural Foundation’s Wanderlust

Wanderlust is the urge to travel and broaden one’s horizons. The German Federal Cultural Foundation is committed to fulfilling this dream for municipal and state theatres in Germany which would like to establish a partnership with a foreign theatre.

Wanderlust is an application-based fund that finances theatre partnership and exchange for two to three seasons. In the first year, the theatres could exchange artistic personnel. In the second, they might choose to host a guest production from their partner theatre. And in the third year, the theatres could organize a co-production to be performed at both locations. The partner theatres are free to organize the details of their working arrangement themselves according to their interests. The goal is to involve as many members of each theatre in the cooperative venture as possible. The fund also provides the option of continuing an existing partnership in the case that both partner theatres begin a new project.

The Federal Cultural Foundation can award a maximum of 150 000 EUR per partnership. The applying theatre or third-party sponsors must finance at least 25 % of the entire cost of the project. The fund runs for five years, within which time theatres have two opportunities to apply for funding. Application forms are available here and can be submitted online. The first submission deadline is 15 October 2008.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Spotlight: Vladimir Pankov

John Freedman, of The Moscow Times, writes about Russian theatre artist, Vladimir Pankov. Pankov is currently working on the second half of a diptych based on the prose of Nikolai Gogol. His "Gogol. Evenings. Part I," which premiered last September, was hailed as one of the most memorable shows of the season. Read the full text here.

Pankov, 33, began making his mark as the so-called ‘new drama’ movement got under way at the beginning of the decade…But Pankov has no desire to be pigeon-holed by any label, whether it's ‘new drama’ or not. "People are constantly trying to hang slogans and formats on you," he explains. ‘I don't want to live under any label.”

As paradoxical as it may appear on the surface, the freedom-loving Pankov most often tends to seek inspiration in the riches of age-old traditions. Perhaps this is his way of escaping fads and avoiding conformity. Or perhaps it is simply a way of life he has lived all along.

"At some point, I realized what a great thing theater is," Pankov explains. "Everybody comes into a hall and sits silently, but the actor has the opportunity to speak. Someone from above granted him that right. If you're an actor you can speak out. Only you'd better do it sincerely, because it's instantly obvious when you lie."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It’s Only A Premiere If You Say So

Chris Jones of the 'Chicago Tribune' writes about the validity (or lack thereof) of theaters being able to claim the status ‘Premiere’ of a new play, and how, for some, calling them ‘development productions’ might give plays-in-process a second change for a first impression. In particular, is there a different between Steppenwolf’s 'First Look Repertory of New Work' and their evolution with 'August: Osage County'? Read the article here and join the debate.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Japan's National Theatre Crisis

The Japanese theater world is currently in crisis over the question of to whom public theaters belong, since the decision by the New National Theatre Tokyo (NNTT) to appoint new artistic directors for each of its three divisions. The disquiet has been caused by revelations following a June 30 announcement by NNTT that was signed off by its president, former culture ministry official Atsuko Toyama, that appoints as replacement artistic directors from 2010 Tadaaki Otaka (opera), David Bintley (dance) and Keiko Miyata (theater).

The appointment of British-based Bintley to replace Asami Maki, the current artistic director of dance, is less controversial, considering Maki has already been in the job for nine years. More questionable are the circumstances of the other two artistic directors' appointments.

The Asahi Shimbun reported on July 9 that Tadaaki Otaka, the new artistic director of opera, who is slated to succeed Hiroshi Wakasugi, first learned of his appointment when he read about it in a newspaper. Otaka himself had never officially accepted the job.

More perplexing is the replacement of Hitoshi Uyama, the current artistic director of theater, who was appointed only last autumn. Uyama's productions of "Yakiniku Dragon" and "A Japanese Named Otto" (which he also directed), were both well received by critics and the public.

"According to Ai Nagai, an NNTT director who attended the selection meeting, the meeting was first told by an NNTT official that Uyama didn't want to continue in his post," Yoji Sakate, president of the Japan Playwrights Association (JPA), recently explained to The Japan Times. "However, as some directors were anxious for him to stay, Nagai sought confirmation (that Uyama didn't want to continue) from NNTT officials present at the meeting. She only received an ambiguous answer."

Though some NNTT directors at the selection meeting apparently tried to have it adjourned, it was eventually decided to leave the decision to NNTT President Toyama. According to theater Web sites and blogs, at a news conference on July 28, Uyama insisted he'd never been asked whether or not he wanted to continue as the NNTT's artistic director. He also suggested that a smooth and peaceful exit — with a public statement saying he had wanted to leave after all — would be likely to encourage the NNTT to help him in his work as a director afterward.

Speaking to The Japan Times on the phone, JPA's Sakate protested, saying: "I am not afraid to say quite clearly that this situation is wrong — and I would like to win back our public theater from bureaucrats and hand it back to artists."

Sakate is far from being alone in expressing such views. Three national theatrical associations and 14 leading figures in the Japanese theater world — including Sakate and Nagai, Hisashi Inoue and Yukio Ninagawa — have sent a letter of protest to the NNTT demanding clear reasons for its decisions concerning the selections of artistic directors.

by Nobuko Tanaka of The Japan Times

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Frugal Traveler Ends in Edinburgh

This summer, the NYT’s Frugal Traveler embarked on a ‘Grand Tour’, reimagining the classic European journey as a budget-minded, modern-day jaunt. Over 13 weeks, 16 countries and on less than 100 Euros a day, Matt Gross circled the continent in search of cool hotels, memorable meals and contemporary culture. He ends his trip in Edinburgh at 'the Festival’. Check out his final article here and to see the rest of the trip.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Traverse's New Leader

I’ve had the chance to hit the Edinburgh Fringe twice in my life, and, consistently, the Traverse Theater has stood above the other venues for producing quality work. I was lucky to see the premieres of Sarah Kane’s Crave, David Harrower’s Kill The Old, Torture Their Young, and Theatergroep Hollandia's monologues derived from the work of the radical Italian writer Pier Paolo Pasolini. Since January, a new artistic director has taken over the reins named Dominic Hill. Read the NYTimes article about him and his vision for the future.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

10 Best National Anthems

It took a month to track down every one of the 205 national anthems that might be heard at this year's Olympic games, but Alex Marshall of ‘The Guardian’ managed to sit through all four and a half hours of them. “What did I learn from all this? That there are only a dozen anthems that are musically worth listening to - and that most of the countries these belong to do not have a hope of winning a gold in Beijing.” Check out this amusing article and find out why Uruguay tops the list.

Monday, August 11, 2008

International Physical Theatre Laboratory

International Physical Theatre Laboratory under the direction of Sergei Ostrenko (Russia) from 1 - 7 November 2008 in Ystad, Sweden

The Lab is open to performers from different creative genres and techniques inspired by Physical Theatre as a bold, vibrant and multidimensional approach to contemporary theater performance. Participants will explore Physicality as the principal creative instrument. Theatre, dance, circus or any other kind of performance, performer’s trained body is inspiring, astonishing and surprising spectator’s feelings.

Sergey Ostrenko is a Russian director and teacher working in professional theatre over twenty-eight years. His creative way has passed through the Cold War of the 1980s, collapse of the USSR in the 1990s, creative ordeals in the period of the interethnic tension in the Baltic and joining the New Europe. His creative work is the synthesis of the Russian Theatre School and the newest experiments in various performing arts.

To apply for participation, candidates should send a CV (resume) and a brief letter of motivation to stating the title, dates and place of the event. The Lab will take place in Ystad, a historical Swedish town situated at the southern point of Sweden on the Baltic Sea. During the Lab accommodation and meals are provided for participants. Click here for more info.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dubai Owns 20% of Cirque du Soleil

In follow up to our June 19th post, it has been confirmed that Dubai property developer Nakheel and investment company Istithmar World Capital have purchased 20% of Cirque du Soleil. Nakheel and Istithmar are part of Dubai World, a diversified holding company owned by the government of Dubai. The agreement keeps control of the company in the hands of founder Guy Laliberte, putting to rest for now speculation that the troupe would be sold outright.

"This partnership is the best of both worlds for me and my management team," Laliberte said in a joint statement with Nakheel and Istithmar. "We can keep control of our creative challenges and operations while accelerating our growth doing projects all over the world."

Nakheel, one of Dubai's biggest developers, and Cirque du Soleil agreed in May to build a theatre on Palm Jumeirah, a massive palm-shaped island housing development Nakheel is building in the Persian Gulf. The 1,800 seat facility is expected to house a permanent Cirque du Soleil show beginning in summer 2011. More than 100,000 visitors attended a monthlong run of a Cirque du Soleil performance in Dubai last year, the companies said.

In June, Cirque du Soleil denied media reports that it was for sale. A spokeswoman at the time said the company is approached regularly about possible deals, but that a report that it had received takeover bids from Dubai worth close to $2 billion was false.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

U.S. Denies Visas to International Folk Art Festival

In May, He Guan Gyu was pinned under heaps of rubble for more than 24 hours after a massive earthquake struck China's Sichuan Province. It killed her parents and destroyed the factory where she worked. Despite her suffering, she hoped to be in Bountiful, Utah next week to sing the traditional songs of her Qiang culture at the International Organization of Folk Art's first youth conference. She is one of just 80,000 people who speak her native language. Her dream was dashed when the U.S. State Department refused to give her a visa to travel to the United States - she didn't have the family ties and job to convince officials she would return to China.

Almost 80% of 300 foreign artists invited to attend the international youth conference in Bountiful, Utah have been denied travel visas. Officials from the International Organization of Folk Art say despite their repeated tries - including letters from Utah's Republican U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch - just 65 of the 300 invited artists have obtained visas. The first-ever youth conference is being held in conjunction with this week's 20th Annual Bountiful-Davis Summerfest International. The International Organization of Folk Art was created to preserve native cultures and languages, forming ties over time with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

David Donahue, spokesman for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department, says the department recognizes the importance of cultural exchange. However, Donahue says U.S. law presumes a visa applicant won't return to his or her home country. "We know the benefit to America when they come to share their culture with us, and we issue visas to thousands of folk artists, musicians, people coming here to share little bits of their culture with us every year," Donahue said. "But, in the end, the office is going to have to make the decision, from the information each applicant provides them: 'Will this particular applicant, at the end of the conference or cultural event, return to their home country?' "

Visa Denial Breakdown

Below are the 2007 U.S. State Department visa-refusal rates for all applicants from selected countries:

Afghanistan: 38.4 percent
Armenia: 61.4 percent
China: 20.7 percent
Cuba: 53.1 percent
Guyana: 62.3 percent
Iraq: 44.9 percent
Iran: 44.6 percent
Laos: 72.9 percent
North Korea: 14.3 percent

Friday, August 8, 2008

More Artists than Athletes at Olympics

Once every four years, the world’s athletes come together to compete in the global Olympics. As much media coverage is reserved for ‘the Games’, one piece of information is often neglected. This year, in Beijing, there will be two artists performing or showing work for every one athlete competing. According to the Chinese Ministry of Culture, the country has invited some 20,000 artists from more than 80 countries to put on 300 shows as part of the international spectacle. Performing arts highlights are the "Divas in Beijing" performance at the sleek new $438 million National Center for the Performing Arts, featuring renowned sopranos Renee Fleming, Sumi Jo, and Angela Gheorghiu; a performance by the Royal Danish Ballet, and a collaboration between the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and a Beijing children's choir. "The Games is the perfect opportunity to showcase China's rich history and culture," said Lu Bin, a director at the Beijing's cultural bureau. "Having overseas artists perform in China represents our integration with the global community."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Shakespeare's First Theatre Unearthed

The theater where The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet likely debuted and where William Shakespeare himself may have trodden the boards has likely been discovered in east London, archaeologists at the Museum of London said Wednesday. The possible foundations of what is known as simply, The Theatre, were unearthed by builders excavating the site (a vacant garage) for another structure. Museum archaeologists were called to the location to make sure nothing was destroyed, and had a eureka moment.

"We were there, scratching our heads, looking into the trenches, thinking, 'this could be it,'" said Jo Lyon, a senior archaeologist at the museum. "So we did some more research, and then we found the angled walls. And we all went, 'Oh my gosh, this should be it.' "

Other theaters of similar vintage also have angled walls, so the discovery was significant. Archaeologists also had known for a long time there was a high probability for The Theatre to be on this particular site. But there are no maps that show its location, no images to show what it might have looked like, and only a vague description of it.

The possible discovery of The Theatre, built in 1576 and where Shakespeare's troupe performed in the 1590s, could complete the set of open-air theaters where the Bard's plays were staged. The Rose theater's location was discovered in 1989 in Bankside, just south of the River Thames in central London, and the Globe theater is nearby. A replica of the Globe was built on a site close to the original and opened in 1997. Shakespeare's company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, only moved into The Theatre in the 1590s. Until then, they had been performing at the Rose, but a shake up in the London theater scene necessitated the move, said Martin Wiggins, a fellow at the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham.

And in 1597, a dispute with the landlord forced the company to move again, Wiggins said. They didn't own the ground The Theatre was built on, but the company did own the material it was built with, so they simply dismantled the entire theater and moved it south across the River Thames, where it was rebuilt and renamed the Globe. But The Theatre's foundations remained in east London, and that's what archaeologists believe they have found. Other works that would have been performed during the period Shakespeare's company were at The Theatre would have included Henry IV,Richard II, King John, and The Merry Wives of Windsor," Wiggins said. Lyon said it's unlikely The Theatre's complete foundations will ever be fully excavated, but her team intends to examine them further. Fittingly, a new theater is being built on the site, ensuring the foundations below are protected.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Scotland's Arches Award For Stage Directors 2009

In association with National Theatre of Scotland Workshop & Traverse Theatre, this award offers two emergent stage directors, who can demonstrate a commitment to working in Scotland, the opportunity to stage a funded theatre production at the Arches, Glasgow and Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in Spring 2009. The winners will each receive a budget of £6,000 as well as full production and marketing support. Deadline: Wednesday 17th September 2008. Click here for the application.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Salzburg Festival's Young Directors Project

Since 2002, the Young Directors Project, initiated by Jürgen Flimm, has taken place annually at the Salzburg Festival – a competition for young, international theater directors and their ensembles. The goal of the project is to introduce audiences to young artists whose works are considered to be seminal for the future of theater; directors whose international breakthrough is imminent. Now in its seventh year, the project is becoming even more international. As well as German-language productions, there are now for the first time ones from Japan, Norway and the USA.

The whole theatre project is completely financed by Montblanc, as in every year. In addition, Montblanc donates the prize for the best piece of direction. The winner of the Montblanc Young Directors Award 2008 will receive prize money amounting to €10,000 and the Montblanc Max Reinhardt fountain-pen, which was specially designed for this project. All performances are new productions and will be shown in the original language with English or German super-titles.

This summer, the topic of memory, the reconstruction of human experience, characterizes the four productions presented as part of the program: the New York-based company Nature Theater of Oklahoma goes in search of our memories of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In his new work, Marius von Mayenburg examines the process by which memories are corrected and deleted within a family, so that people can continue living with a past thus rewritten. From Bergen in Norway, a form of “musicalized theater” has been invited: in Brecht’s Die Maßnahme (The Measures Taken), four people are judged for shooting a comrade; they justify this with the course of events, recreating them. And the Japanese company chelfitsch tells of five history-making days in March of 2003; the perspectives of the figures dreaming of the future and letting the present pass them by is just as fleeting as the memory of those days. More here.

Monday, August 4, 2008

National Theatre Wales: Coming or Already Here?

Other than the U.S., most nations have a national theatre, and Wales is well on its way to becoming the next. John E McGrath, currently the director and chief executive of Contact in Manchester, will become the artistic Director of the new NTW starting in January 2009. Of course, all of this may come as a shock to some Welsh who already think they have one, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, which was founded in 2003. Read more from Alfred Hickling’s post here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Art and Upheaval: Artists on the World's Frontlines

William Cleveland, director of the Center for the Study of Art & Community, recently had his book, Art and Upheaval: Artists on the World's Frontlines, published by New Village Press. Cleveland spent eight years traveling the globe gathering stories about artists working in communities facing political, social and environmental upheaval. He found that when the forces of creativity and destruction meet surprising things happen. Art and Upheaval presents a striking picture of artists in the proverbial trenches struggling for freedom & peace in six global hot spots. Click here to read more.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

TCG's Theatre Facts 2007

Based on TCG's annual fiscal survey, 'Theatre Facts 2007' provides three lenses through which to view the not-for-profit theatre field’s attendance, performance and fiscal health. The report shows that although the field suffered some set-backs, it also made progress, with the majority of theatres ending the year in the black. Theatres continue to make tremendous contributions to the nation’s artistic legacy, to their communities and to the economy while facing both ongoing challenges and an environment of increasing uncertainty. Theatre Facts is the only document analyzing the U.S. not-for-profit theatre field and is a vital advocacy and policy tool for trustees, foundation and corporate executives, policy makers and the national press. Here’s the full pdf.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cultural Policy Research Conference in Istanbul

The Fifth International Conference on Cultural Policy Research (ICCPR)
Istanbul, Turkey

Dates: August 20 - 24, 2008
Location: Yeditepe University, Istanbul

The fifth International Conference on Cultural Policy Research (ICCPR 2008) aims to provide an outlet for an interdisciplinary exploration of the meaning, function, and impact of cultural policies. Cultural policy is understood as the promotion or prohibition of cultural practices and values by governments, corporations, other institutions and individuals. While considering a broad view of culture, encompassing a wide range of signifying practices that include the products of the media, the arts and various forms of government or religious display, ICCPR 2008 will attempt to maintain a focus on policies relating to culture as symbolic communication rather than culture in the anthropological sense as 'a whole way of life'. The historical range is not limited to any given period, but the ICCPR is primarily concerned with material that is relevant to the contemporary world.

Registration is open until August 23.
For more information, click here.