We are happy and proud to introduce ASSITEJ’s annual Magazine, against all odds
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A little over a year ago, in April 2019, the Executive Committee met in Montevideo, Uruguay and we started planning the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival in Japan, in May 2020. With the Japanese team, we discussed timelines, calls for performances, symposia, and workshops, and the call for the magazine. We discussed a working plan, and how the ASSITEJ General Assembly and the Artistic Encounter could fit into the MIRAI Festival. We started thinking about communication and promotion. How to feature the networks and the Next Generation. We looked at the amount of days, at registration tiers, ticket prices. The Japanese team started working on grant proposals, and booking venues and hotels.
All of the above, and more, continued at the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering in Kristiansand in September, and the ASSITEJ EC Meeting in Quimper, France, in December. In Quimper, the magazine articles were selected and edited, and prepared to be sent to Japan for translation. The final selection of performances, symposia, and workshops were discussed, and schedules were proposed.
In short, we were all excitedly gearing up to meet in May in Tokyo.
We needed one “mini” EC meeting at the end of February. In Bologna, Italy. A day before we were meeting there, the north of Italy was closed and the meeting was relocated to Frankfurt. Seven of us met in a house in the suburbs and spent five days together. Zoom and Skype calls were set up. Scenarios were discussed. Contingency plans were made: Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D. Our hopes were still high; surely this would pass, the funding would come through, life would return to normal.
A week after we all returned home, we had an EC Zoom meeting across six continents and sixteen time zones. And another one. And another one. And then it was clear, we had to postpone.
And so we will have our ASSITEJ World Festival and Congress in March 2021, in Japan, and we are working hard now, virtually, to adjust and adapt and make it happen.
But the magazine, the magazine was practically done! With articles all geared toward starting the journey, into the unknown. Pre Covid-2019. But still relevant in many ways, and if nothing else, a look back on how we imagined the future then.
So we offer you, our ASSITEJ Members, this magazine on-line, at this time, on the occasion of the ASSITEJ Festival and Congress that was to happen now and will happen at a later date. At that date, in Japan, a printed copy will be waiting for you. It will not be the same; we will address how our journey begins after Covid-19. We do not know how that will look then, and how the content of the ASSITEJ magazine will be adapted, altered, augmented—it is too early to know that.
But we do hope that you enjoy this version in the meantime, and we applaud and thank the contributors to this magazine and all the people who worked so hard to make it possible to publish this.
Manon van de Water,
Seok-hong Kim, François Fogel, Tatiana Bobrova