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Power of Theatre / Theatre of Power

Moc divadla / Divadlo moci

Panel Discussion

Organized by the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC/AITC)
and its journal Critical Stages/Scènes critiques (www.critical-stages.org)
in collaboration with
Arts and Theatre Institute in Prague

Brno, The National Theatre, Reduta
June 11th, 2023  14:30 – 16:30


Savas Patsalidis is professor of theatre and performance history and theory, the editor-in-chief of Critical Stages/Scènes critiques, the journal of the International Association of Theatre Critics.


Marina Davydova is a theatre-maker, journalist, playwright and producer. She was named a curator of the Salzburg drama festival since next season. (participating on-line)

Tamás Jászay is a theatre critic, editor, curator, senior lecturer at the University of Szeged, co-curator of the Hungarian Showcases including duna Part6 (2023).

Ivan Medenica is Professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belegrad, who was between 2015 and 2022 the Artistic Director of Bitef Festival in Belegrad.

Jakub Škorpil is a theatre critic and editor.  Since 2001 he has edited the Czech theatre journal “Svět a divadlo” (“World and Theatre”) that he is an editor in chief.

Any repertory theatre, any institution, even a smallest of associations requires stable financial support either from the public sources or private bodies. Can an institution with such a high financial demand – as theatre usually is – be truly independent? Or it needs to be conformist, loyal to any party in power, big corporate donors, a majority taste of the audience just to survive?

Flirting with power can be done out of naivety or viciously, sometimes with the best intentions, in the name of theatre art itself. Ex communist countries has a long tradition of accommodating culture to changing political atmosphere ranging from dissident culture, “the power of powerless” in the Havel´s terms, to stars of political “normalisation” in arts.

Free speech is central to development of any art form, that is even more important to theatre criticism. But what price are theatre makers and critics willing to pay for their article or even a social media post questioning those in power in countries where any opponents are jailed for life? Can a polemic theatre survive an oppressive regime or a war time, can it resist the luring of power, remain resilient in the time of constantly changing values? Will theatre makers remain true to their missions in the complex societies of future?

What are the strategies of coping with totalitarian tendencies in our countries and in ourselves? Does theatre still have the power to change the society, or will has is already become a glossy stage for the powerful and rich?