The Show Must Go On/OFFline: We said NO.

The Show Must Go On/OFFline: We said NO. Students of Theatre Academies Resist the Misuse of Power

October 25, 2021

In many Theatre Academies across Europe, students become the initiators of change through pointing out different forms of misuse of power at their institutions. The backlash is sometimes enormously strong, sometimes huge silence prevails, sometimes other stakeholders appear and support the process of change. But in the end the institutions react and transform. How do the students experience the whole process? What preparatory work and strategies they used before they acted out? How they cared of themselves during the heaviest turmoils? What are the social, emotional, relational and institutional traps and dangers they noticed? Do they share good practices? What content carry the following words with respect to their experience: trust, safety, care, risk, experiment, freedom, effort, vulnerability, responsibility. How can creativity enroll in a trustworthy environment? (Former) students of Theatre Academies in Ljubljana, Warsaw, Prague and Reykjavik discuss together.

The moderator of the discussion is Alice Koubová, Associate Professor affiliated at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Vice-Dean for Research at the Theatre Faculty, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Her guests are (former) students of theatre academies from Prague (Marie-Luisa PurkrábkováKateřina Císařová), Ljubljana (Mia Skrbinac), Warsaw (Agata KoszulińskaPamela Leończyk) and Reykjavík (Salvör Gullbrá).

The Show Must Go On/OFFline online discussion series, featuring guests drawn from the ranks of theatre and dance artists, curators, cultural managers and theorists from the Czech Republic and abroad, addresses the performing arts’ sensitivity and responsiveness to contemporary social issues. Key themes include the adaptation of theatre, dance and contemporary circus to the virtual environment as a result of the anti-pandemic measures and questions related to the sustainability of our current quality of life and of the performing arts themselves. While it seems that the critical need for social change discussed in the fields of ecology, economics, politics and culture has been overshadowed in recent months by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, concerns about the sustainability of the field itself are gaining ground in the performing arts. Does a hybrid existence in real and virtual space amount to a dead-end for disciplines that rely on audience contact, or might it open up new worlds and possibilities? Will spectators stay at home forever? How are artists, organisers of cultural events, public funding bodies and arts education institutions responding to this crisis? How are they orientating themselves? What do they believe in and where are they headed? How do they communicate? In dialogue with our guests, we will try to map the performing arts’ emerging strategies and first responses to this global paradigm shift.

This series is produced by ATI’s International Cooperation Department as part of the Promotion of Czech Performing Arts Abroad program and in collaboration with the European project Create to Connect -> Create to Impact and the Performing Arts Central Europe (PACE.V4) network, with support from the International Visegrad Fund.

Webinars take place on the Zoom platform every month and are held in English. Viewers have the chance to ask guests questions during the discussions and recordings of the webinars are made available on the jsmeIDU Youtube channel.

Alice Koubová (CZ) / Associate Professor affiliated at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Vice-Dean for Research at the Theatre Faculty, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague
Marie-Luisa Purkrábková – Kateřina Císařová (CZ) / The Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague
Mia Skrbinac (SI) / Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, Ljubljana
Agata Koszulińska – Pamela Leończyk (PL) / National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw
Salvör Gullbrá (IS) / Iceland University of the Arts, Reykjavík

Practical information
• The meeting will take place on ZOOM; it is not necessary to download the application in advance.
• After filling out the registration form, you will receive an e-mail with a link to access the webinar.
• If possible, please register 15 minutes before the start of the event to allow time to complete the registration process.
• The webinar will be held in English.