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


It is very obvious that we theatre critics have long been preoccupied with the idea of how to survive this new cyber-media environment. At so many IATC-related conferences and symposia we are asked to talk about the crisis—or even the death—of conventional criticism, about absorbing the culture of blogging into our profession. I have been participating in numerous discussions on this topic, most recently in Melbourne and Bucharest, in October and November respectively. And quite often I find that senior critics are worried about the low quality and style of writing on blogs, and that young critics are more welcoming of the new technological challenges. This very 9thissue of Critical Stages/Scènes critiques features, in its Special Topics section, nine papers on the alternative criticism found on blogs. Thanks to section editor Andrea Tompa’s brilliant editorship, this Special Topics section is by far the most consummate effort to tackle and provide an overview of this new phenomenon. It is very true that many of our colleagues are losing their theatre reviewing jobs in the print media, but they are striving to find a new form of theatre criticism that will accommodate today’s technology without compromising their standards. Others are already finding ways to make the best and most of this new media, such as the critics who created nachtkritik, a German language blog, and developed into a significant success story, attracting a great number of readers and advertisements, and making money—not enough, but still, quite impressive. I firmly believe that this section is the most positive and aggressive culmination to this challenge of the moment.

The Conference Papers section broadcasts our symposia in Jonkoping, Sweden and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I am particularly glad that we have included this South American conference. Likewise we have Performance Reviews from around the world, Asia, South America, and Europe. Our internationality is our greatest asset and we will continue to develop this tradition. We have two essays from our European colleagues: Patrice Pavis’s article on “Dramaturgy and Post-dramaturgy” is both insightful and inspiring and Maria Shevtsova’s essay review of Oskaras Korsunovas’s The Seagull is magnificent, both journalistically and academically. One special contribution is added to this issue, which is the text of the speech Georges Banu gave at the event held in his honor in Cluj, Romania. He has been producing numerous books on creative and fascinating topics and made theatrical discourse enticingly interesting and relevant. He is honorary president of IATC, and I am very proud of his achievements. We also have very interesting Interviews, this time mostly of American artists, and Book Reviews which you should not miss.

Critical Stages/Scènes critiques makes it its first and foremost goal to deliver international critical discourse on theatre and criticism. We are already preparing interviews of theatre artists on criticism for the 10th issue, which will no doubt attract a lot of attention from critics around the world. Look forward to it, while you enjoy this current issue.


[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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