International Online Festival of Amateur Theatre 22 – 28.11.2020

International Online Festival of Amateur Theatre
”THEATRE IS MY LOVE”
22 – 28 November 2020

IntroductionIn this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Amateur Theatre Association (AITA/IATA) is concerned about the situation faced by amateur theatres across the world. Many festivals have been cancelled; amateur theatres cannot physically perform nor participate in International Festivals in other countries and are having to self-isolate. Many AITA/IATA Members and Associates have organised online theatre-related events by Zoom and otherinternet platforms. These include festivals, conferences, workshops, master classes and contests, and found these to be a very positive experience.

The AITA/IATA Council, therefore, are promoting: ”THEATRE IS MY LOVE”, an AITA/IATA International Online Festival of Amateur Theatre in partnership with CEC and NEATA.

Purpose of the Festival
This online festival is created to support amateur theatres in the current situation. It will enable amateur theatres to present a performance and see the work of other overseas theatre groups. We also hope it will show that theatre can respond artistically and innovatively to the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be an opportunity to listen and take part in discussions about the performances led by experienced theatre practitioners. Participants will meet international colleagues and discover what amateur theatre is today and how it works in a pandemic. There will also be an opportunity through a Forum for Theatre Directors to find out what amateur theatre needs in the current environment. Through the AITA/IATA network, we will discuss what can be done to avoid the loss of amateur theatre around the world and prevent a reduction in artistic quality.

This online festival ”Theatre Is My Love” is held under the aegis of AITA/IATA through the organisational and creative support of CEC (Central European Committee) and NEATA (North European Amateur Theatre Alliance).

Who can take part?
Up to 12 groups will be invited to take part. The groups should have a connection withAITA/IATA, either through a Member (National Centre), or be an Associate of AITA/IATA.The festival, subject to applications received, will include: streamed live performances; videos of live performances; and videos of performances staged without an audience. If a company wishes to take part in the festival with a live streamed performance, it will still need to submit a video of that performance to the selection committee. The festival is for actors over the age of 18. It is not a competitive festival, but all participants will receive a Diploma recording participation in the festival. We expect all performances to conform to appropriate local COVID-19 regulations regarding safety and social distancing.

Selection
A selection committee will consider all applications. The selection committee will consist of theatre practitioners from AITA/IATA, CEC and NEATA. Panel members will be announced after 7 October. Successful festival applicants will be informed between 5 and 7 November.

Selection Criteria
• Production to have been recorded on film after 1 January 2018
• A link to the video of the production, and supporting documents (see below), to be submitted to secretariat@aitaiata.net for circulation to the festival’s selection committee
• The performance should be a minimum of 45 minutes and no longer than 60 minutes
• Successful applicants will be informed between 5 and 7 November 2020.
• Styles of performance can include all or some elements of drama, physical theatre, mime, singing or music
• Preference will be given to performances that are visual, non-verbal, dynamic, and interesting in both form and direction
• It is hoped to include some productions that demonstrate innovation and / or innovative ways of dealing with the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic
• Theatre groups should perform in their native language
• The Selection Committee will decide the date and time of the performances according to the requirements of the programme.

Discussions of the performances
Discussions of all the performances will be in English and will take place on Zoom on the last day of the festival, 28 November. Discussion on each production will last between 5 and 7 minutes. The panel will be composed of three respected and experienced theatre directors whose names will be announced soon after 7 October. The discussions of the performances will be followed by the Forum.

Forum for Theatre Directors
A Forum for the directors of the groups taking part will take place on Zoom in English and be moderated by one or more experienced theatre practitioners, details to be announced soon after 7 October. This conversation about amateur theatre will follow the discussions (above) on 28 November, under the theme ”Amateur Theatre: Time for Change”.

Submission
Please complete the Application Form and return to secretariat@aitaiata.net together with:

• A brief history of the group and its experience of participation in international festivals no longer than half an A4 page
• A synopsis of the production in English, French or Spanish outlining the plot and artistic objectives
• 3 – 5 photos of the production, which may be used for marketing purposes during and after the festival.
• A link to a YouTube video recording of a full performance or rehearsal

Application deadline
All applications to reach secretariat@aitaiata.net between 12 October and midnight (GMT) 22 October 2020.

Performance schedule

• November 22 – opening, two performances
• November 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 – two performances each day
• November 28 – Discussion of the Performances and Forum for Theatre Directors.

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