Yun-Cheol Kim[1] (President, IATC)


Since the European financial crisis began with the situation in Greece, theatre around the world has been suffering from budget cuts, less severe in some fortunate cases, but radical in most cases. I assumed that these budget cuts would influence greatly the making and consumption of theatre, and felt it very urgent for theatre people—critics and makers alike—to study the state of affairs more systematically and to develop efficient ways of fighting against and surviving the financial crisis, both economically and aesthetically. This is why we have “Theatre in Recession” as the topic for the Special Topics section of this 8th issue of Critical Stages. To my surprise, and to the surprise of this issue’s Special Topics section editor, Savas Patsaladis, most of the articles submitted report how courageously and victoriously theatre people have been fighting against this tough situation around the world, in South Africa, Argentina, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Iceland, Scotland and England. I am assured once more of the resilience of people in the theatre. They seem to grow even stronger when they face a crisis. Let us celebrate ourselves for being so. At our annual editorial board meeting in Jönköping, Sweden, in late May, the editors decided to focus on the subject of criticism itself for the Special Topics section of the coming 9th and 10th issues. The 9th issue, due out in December of 2013, will investigate alternative criticism, such as blogging and tweeting. For the 10th issue, we will combine the Interviews and Special Topics sections and focus on what kind of criticism we may need for 21st century theatre. We will invite theatre artists, readers and critics, established and emerging, prominent or promising, for an interview by our editors or to otherwise give us their comments on the subject. Hopefully, through this project, we may find some ways out of our anti-intellectual, criticism-unfriendly times.

In the Performance Reviews section, we have 13 reviews of theatre performances, most of which took place in Europe and North America. We also have one review from South Africa, and another from Sri Lanka—views onto theatre rarely available even in international theatre journals. Along with Patrice Pavis’s extended review of a South Korean show, in the Essays section, we are serving well as the window onto today’s world theatre, just as we have been doing since we launched this journal in 2009. We have also interviewed several prominent and interesting theatre artists: a playwright-philosopher, directors, an actor, and designers. Two books by eminent authors Patrice Pavis and Benedict Nightingale are also reviewed, along with Jan Fabre’s Journal de nuit (1978 – 1984). Last but not least, we present speeches given at the Tbilisi conference with regard to “the faces of 21st century theatre,” with the focus on Caucasian and Eastern European theatre. I hope you will enjoy reading this, another rich issue of Critical Stages.


[1] Yun-Cheol Kim is President of IATC; 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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