TEATRU MALTA’S MANIFESTO
AFTER “THE THEATRE IS DEAD”
‘The Theatre is Dead’ by Frederick Kiesler was a one-page manifesto for the ‘International Theatre Exposition’ in New York, 1926. In the spirit of Frederick Kiesler, a Jewish refugee from what today is Chernivtsi, Ukraine and an artist who challenged the traditional boundaries of theatre and architecture. Inspired by this manifesto, Teatru Malta seeks to explore new possibilities for strategies and policies.
As a young organization, we have faced our fair share of trials and tribulations; from shifting political landscapes to administrative obstacles and limited resources. Yet, as we settle into our new offices we remain committed to our mission to create bold and innovative work that reflects the diversity and complexity of our society. We are excited about what’s coming and we thank everyone who made this future possible.
Our present reality is one that is fraught with constraints and insecurities which preclude us from promising an overarching strategy at this juncture. However, with this manifesto, we seek to challenge the status quo and push beyond the confines of traditional national theatre strategies. We created this manifesto in the context of discussions with our collaborators, associates and colleagues.
We recognize the need to address pressing local issues such as fair pay for actors and the lack of rehearsal spaces. At the same time, we also believe that there is a larger conversation to be had about the role of theatre in a rapidly changing world.
By rejecting the superficial trappings of the past and embracing alternative modalities, we hope to – again – give new life to local theatre and create a space where the voices of our theatre-makers can be heard, and resonate.
So, here is our first manifesto, after Kiesler…
OUR THEATRE IS GETTING A DIVORCE.
WE ARE NOT WORKING WITHIN A SYSTEM THAT UNDERSTANDS THE NATURE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE.
FWE ARE STILL USING TOO MUCH PAPER. WE ARE AMATEUR BUREAUCRATS, NOTARIES, ACCOUNTANTS.
WE ARE NOT PERFORMING FOR THE 98%. WE ARE PRODUCING FOR THE 2%. WE ARE NOT INCLUSIVE ENOUGH. WE ARE ACCESSIBLE.
WE ARE NOT PAYING ARTISTS CONSISTENTLY AND SECURELY ENOUGH
WE ARE PAYING OUR DIRECTORS LESS THAN OUR OUTSOURCED CARPENTERS AND TREATING ROOKIE TECHNICIANS BETTER THAN OUR FOREMOST ACTORS.
WE NEED TO SETTLE FOR THE QUALITY OF THE CHEAPEST TECHNICAL QUOTATION WHICH IS TOO EXPENSIVE BUT TOO CHEAP.
WE ARE NOT WORKING TO DEMAND THAT NEW NATIONAL STAGES AND ADEQUATE REHEARSALS BE BUILT.
WE ARE NOT GIVING OUR BEST NEW SCRIPTS ENOUGH OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME CLASSIC, IMPORTANT OR RELEVANT.
WE ARE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY A FLUENT MOTHER TONGUE IN THE SUNG AND SPOKEN MOUTHS OF OUR YOUTH.
WE NEGLECT OUR THEATER ELDERS WHILE NOT ENGAGING ENOUGH WITH OUR TEENAGERS.
WE ARE MARKETING MAVENS WITHOUT DATA LEGACY.
WE ARE STRIVING TO PRESERVE AND REVITALIZE OUR HISTORY – OUR MEDITERRANEAN THEATRICAL ROOTS.
WE ARE NO-ONE’S COMPETITORS. WE ARE ALL THE UNDERDOGS.
WE ARE CURRENT AND NOT COMPLACENT.
OUR THEATRE IS GETTING A DIVORCE
JOIN US IN SHAPING THE THEATRE OF THE FUTURE.
ADMISSION IS HOPEFULLY NOT FREE.