Savas Patsalidis[1]


The Wikipedia defines crisis as any event that is, or is expected to lead to, an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community or whole society. A crisis creates high levels of uncertainty and threat or perceived threat to an individual’s or organization’s high priority goals. A crisis has many faces. It could be flooding, polluted drinking water, deforestation, financial meltdown. We are surrounded by crises or potential crises of all sorts. At any moment, anything can degenerate into chaos or disrupt the various cultural activities people engage in, creating a rupture between the individual and the collective conception of the nation (and its arts).

The intention of “Theatre in Recession,” the CS No. 8 special topic, was from the start to bring together papers from theatre experts whose countries experienced or are experiencing (mainly) an economic and/or (to a lesser extend) political crisis. What the examination of crisis and theatre as interconnecting areas brought to light is the fact that, despite the hardships theatre faces, it is still doing relatively well. Theatre-goers, young and old, show with their attitude how important they consider it to be. Theatre seems to make their life more bearable and meaningful. And that is good news in the midst of catastrophic economic news.

[1] Savas Patsalidis Professor of theatre history and theory in the School of English and the Graduate Program of the Theatre Department of Aristotle University (Thessaloniki). He also teaches at the Drama School of the State Theatre of Northern Greece. He is the author of ten books on drama criticism/theory and co-editor of another thirteen. He is the theatre reviewer of the daily newspaper Aggelioforos and a regular theatre commentator for the newspaper Eleftherotypia. He is on the editorial team of Critical Stages and member of the City of Thessaloniki theatre council. His two-volume study Theatre, Society, Nation (Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, 2010), was awarded first prize by the Hellenic Association of Theatre Critics for best theatre study of the year.

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