Editorial Note: We have a good reason to celebrate!

Savas Patsalidis*

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all Critical Stages/Scènes critiques (CS/Sc) readers from all over the world. Our journal is ten years old and we have good reason to celebrate. Not only have we survived, we have also managed to substantially increase the numbers and the global reach of our readership, which now covers 200 countries.

766 original contributions by 400 writers from 69 countries have helped CS/Sc to become one of the leading global theatre journals, providing vital space for widening critical debate in old, as well as new and emerging subjects in the area of theatre and the performing arts.

Building on the success of the last decade, we hope and intend to continue Critical Stages/Scènes critiques as a bilingual, Open Access and global theatre journal. Indeed, in the decade ahead, we hope to extend the reach of CS/Sc even further.

We live in difficult times. The world is changing, ethics and habits are altering rapidly. In such times, theatre must be ready to dislodge itself, and the gaze of its audience, in order to embrace the new social plurality and, thus, create “critical space” in which everyone engaged in the live dramatic arts, from audiences to practitioners, researchers, scholars and, of course, critics, can develop and thrive. This double issue of CS/Sc is an attempt to put such thinking into practice.

For the New Year we have given the journal a new look. We hope it offers a more colourful and user friendly presentation to its 42 cutting-edge and challenging contributions, by 45 authors from 24 countries, ranging from Argentina to England,  Japan, Spain, Martinique, Serbia, Greece, South Korea, France and Cyprus.

The special topic of this edition is Ageism and/in Theatre edited by Manabu Noda and Yun Cheol Kim. We chose this particular field of research and reflection because it carries a paradox within it: namely, that ageism is a prejudice perpetuated by a lack of awareness that it even exists. Although we are very sensitive towards all kinds of prejudices ranging from sexism to racism, we seem to bypass a fact of life which, if we all live long enough, we will experience: the negative stereotypes, associations and discriminatory traits related to or often directed against older people by individuals and institutions. This is a relatively new field of study, which makes our engagement with it even more exciting. The articles chosen for publication by our two guest editors (both of whom are university professors) are evidence of that.

Τhe  articles published in the “Εssay section” under the title Multilingual Performance and Migration, are a reflection on another subject that has been making headlines in the last few years: namely, mass migration. It is the first time since WWII that so many people are in search of a new homeland, and that explains the growing interest not only of sociologists, politicians, geographers and ethnologists, but also of theatre artists.

In 2018 the journal Modern Drama presented the first part of a research project on contemporary theatre and multilingualism (Migration and Multilingualism) sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at Ghent University. The following year Routledge published the second part of this project Dramaturgy of Migration: Staging Multilingual Encounters in Contemporary Theatre and now comes Critical Stages/Scènes critiques to contribute to the enrichment of international scholarship with seven articles which, in the words of the editor Yana Meerzon, “are the further proof of the importance and richness of this field, as we continue studying dramaturgical, political, artistic, ethical and economic challenges of doing experimental work in multilingual theatre today.”

As for the other articles in this double edition of CS/Sc. There are many things to read and think about. The National Reports Section carries five very revealing reports on the theatre life in contemporary Scotland, Italy, Malta, Georgia, and Germany. There are two very beautiful and rich interviews from Portugal and the US, as well as  interviews with two of the most important British critics of the second half of the 20th century (Michael Billington and Ian Herbert); a brief essay by Don Rubin and Robin Breon on criticism and festivals’ policy, and nine performance and four book reviews (selected and meticulously edited by Matti Linnavuori and Don Rubin respectively). Last but not least, the section with “Conference Papers”  is back after a short period of absence with three poignant essays that touch upon the thorny issue of tolerance, edited by Ivan Medenica. We hope and believe this array of articles will provide enough stimuli for readers’ critical reflection.

For all this and much more I would like to thank Don Rubin (managing editor) and Jeffrey Eric Jenkins (executive editor) for their generous support, the journal’s team, the language and section editors, the authors who help maintain the quality of the journal by entrusting us with their fresh and cutting-edge articles and, last but not least, the thousands of our readers who visit our site and help spread its contents and influence.

CS/Sc aims to be a dynamic, forward-looking journal. Needless to say, therefore, we are already preparing our next issue on the Theatricality of Music, the Musicality of Theatre (due June 2020. Guest editor: Octavian Saiu).

Our doors are open to all. Join us, to continue producing new ideas for the next generation. 

*Savas Patsalidis is Professor of theatre and performance history and theory in the School of English (Aristotle University, Thessaloniki), the Hellenic Open University and the Drama Academy of the National Theatre of Northern Greece. He is also a regular lecturer on the Graduate Programme of the Theatre Department at Aristotle University. He is the author of fourteen books on theatre and performance criticism/theory and co-editor of another thirteen. His two-volume study, Theatre, Society, Nation (2010), was awarded first prize for best theatre study of the year. His latest book-length study Theatre & Theory II: About Topoi, Utopias and Heterotopias was published in 2019 by University Studio Press. In addition to his academic activities, he works as a theatre reviewer for the ejournals lavartparallaxi, and thegreekplay project. He is currently the president of the Hellenic Association of Theatre and Performing Arts Critics, member of the curators’ team of Dimitria Festival and the editor-in-chief of Critical Stages/Scènes critiques, the journal of the International Association of Theatre Critics.

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