Yun-Cheol Kim (President, IATC)[1]


Can you believe this is the 10th issue of Critical Stages? I am very much moved by our own achievement, which is, quite honestly, beyond what I ever could have imagined. I vividly remember how difficult it was to launch this journal. In the beginning, we editors couldn’t quite reassure ourselves that—even with all of us volunteering our work—we would be able to bring our baby into the world with such a minimal budget for basic needs.

I believe in miracles and, as you know, the miracle did occur. Under the great leadership of our first editor-in-chief, Maria Helena Serôdio, the first issue of Critical Stages was launched at the end of 2009. She edited the first three issues and established the firm ground on which we have developed the current editorial approach. From the 4th issue on, I have taken on the role of editor-in-chief—and in that particular role, this 10th issue is my final contribution to our internet journal.

I give special thanks to our editors, especially section editors such as Patrice Pavis, Matti Linnavuori, Don Rubin, Ivan Medenica, Savas Patsaladis, Andrea Tompa, and Randy Gener, who have worked so passionately, and with such brilliant ideas and sincere commitment. I also deeply appreciate all the authors who have contributed their wonderful articles to the ten issues we have posted so far. These authors, from all around the world, have raised our journal to one of the best and most international theatre publications online. On average, we have had forty articles by twenty-five authors from twenty countries per issue.

I offer my very special thanks to Lissa Tyler Renaud, Michel Vaïs and Mark Brown, who have meticulously and ingenuously edited and checked the language in the articles submitted, and made Critical Stages a journal of both excellence and accessibility. Particularly Lissa, a second generation professional editor who has been with us from the very beginning, has helped Critical Stages take its current, professional form.

Despite all our desperate efforts, we haven’t been entirely able to reverse today’s anti-intellectual trend to reduce the space for professional criticism in the conventional media, whether print, aural or visual. One of the great reasons to create Critical Stages was to fight against this dangerous phenomenon by creating our own space. But I firmly believe we have succeeded in this to some extent—not spectacularly, but at least professionally. Critical Stages is visited so frequently—by both general and professional readers—that we editors feel our cause has been greatly justified.

At the same time, I still hunger for more practitioners to participate in our discourse. Their response to our reviews and other articles has been minimal. I firmly believe theatre criticism is as much for the practitioners as for general readers. They should be our most ardent readers. This is why we have interviewed so many practitioners for this 10th issue, asking for their opinions and suggestions concerning theatre criticism. We hope our judgment will have an impact on their work; likewise, we should at least listen to their ideas on criticism. Just as theatre practitioners are free not to accept our critical judgments, we are also free not to follow their suggestions. However, the critics should at least be ready to be criticized, too—something that is unusual and which some might find difficult. I offer my deepest gratitude to those artists who have accepted our call for interviews.

Finally, I don’t want to simply rejoin the editorial board without first offering warmest thanks to my former and current students, Yujin Kim, Yoonji Choi, and June Kim, for performing wonderfully the tasks of uploading, posting and managing the articles for the past ten issues. I give a special and enormous thank-you to Andrew Yim, our Webmaster, who designed the format for Critical Stages despite his hectic work schedule. Without his knowledge, skill and commitment, Critical Stages would not have been possible.

I have been blessed with good-natured and highly capable colleagues throughout my service as editor-in-chief for this valuable journal. I hope the same luck will accompany my successor, Savas Patsalidis, too. Thank you, colleagues. Thank you, readers.


[1] Yun-Cheol Kim is President of IATC; Artistic Director of National Theater Company of Korea; recipient of the Cultural Order of Korea; Professor at the School of Drama, Korea National University of Arts; editor-in-chief of Critical Stages. Two-time winner of the “Critic of the Year Award,” he has published ten books so far, two of which are anthologies of theatre reviews.

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