The Autumn without Theatre: about the Present and the Future of Performing Arts

Nov 5, 2020

Tobias Biancone (Director General of ITI-UNESCO), Yvette Hardie (President of ASSITEJ),
Bert Determann (President of OISTAT), and Dadi Pudumjee (President of UNIMA)
in Dialogue with Octavian Saiu
Premiere on www.facebook.com/teatrelli/
November 12, starting 7 PM (EET)
“What is happening with theatre? What will happen with the entire field of performing arts when the current disaster passes, eventually? How much longer are we able to withstand – individually and collectively – a crisis that has disrupted not only our work schedule and plans for a show, a season or a festival, but our very way of life? Such urgent questions have no answer or perhaps they have too many answers. All of us, those who are related to the universe of the stage one way or another, are haunted by them. We need these queries and, moreover, we are morally compelled to keep reflecting on them, in a period of time when our core values and the actual existence of the theatre that we love are threatened from all directions.
Such thoughts are imperative arguments for a special edition of The Seasons of Theatre Dialogue. My guests for this edition will try to answer the questions above and many more about the present and the future of performing arts. Who are these guests? The leaders of the oldest and most prestigious organisations of theatre practitioners: the International Theatre Institute (ITI – UNESCO), the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ), the International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT), and the International Puppetry Association (UNIMA). Therefore, you are all invited to a debate on some very important and urgent issues with Tobias Biancone (Director General of ITI-UNESCO), Yvette Hardie (President of ASSITEJ), Bert Determann (President of OISTAT), and Dadi Pudumjee (President of UNIMA). 
The survival and the mission of theatre, the current situation of those who believe in it, the condition of artists from all over the world and the mindset of spectators of all ages: these are the themes of a timely autumn edition of our seasonal Dialogues.”– Octavian Saiu
Professor Octavian Saiu is a scholar and professional theatre critic. He holds a PhD in Theatre Studies from National University of Theatre and Film (NUTF) in Romania, with a thesis about theatrical space, and another PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Otago in New Zealand, with a thesis about Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco. He completed his Post-Doc in Modern Literature at the University of Otago and has been awarded his Habilitation in Theatre and Performing Arts. He teaches in the Postgraduate Programme of NUTF, the Doctoral School of Sibiu University and the Centre of Excellence in Visual Studies of the University of Bucharest. He was Visiting Fellow at the University of London, School of Advanced Study, and has taught courses and offered master classes as Visiting Professor at various universities in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as the Grotowski Institute.
He has been actively involved, as Conference Chair and Invited Speaker, in several major theatre and academic events around the world, including the Theatre Olympics, Wuzhen Theatre Festival, as well as Edinburgh International Festival, where he was Chair of the Samuel Beckett Conference in 2013. Since 2004 he has been Chair of the Conferences of Sibiu International Theatre Festival. He is the Chair of the Shakespeare Studies Conference, organized by Craiova International Shakespeare festival in partnership with the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC).
He is Adjunct Secretary General of IATC and President of the Romanian Section – Theatre Studies of IATC. He has published academic articles in several international journals, as well as eleven books on theatre. He received the Critics’ Award in 2010, the Award of the Union of Theatre Artists (UNITER) in 2013, and the Order of Cultural Merit from the President of Romania in 2020.