The foundation of Teatru Malta was announced in the Government 2016 Budget and will initially be led by Arts Council Malta.
Sean Buhagiar (1986) is a professional artistic director, creative producer and theatre-maker based in Malta. He is best-known as the artistic director of Notte Bianca as well as for his work in theatre and film.
His most recent work includes B’Tal-Linja Jaqbillek Żgur, a large-scale street theatre production which toured community spaces in the five regions of the Maltese islands on a Maltese Bus as part of the Malta International Arts Festival.
Between 2015 and 2016, he held the post of Deputy Artistic Director of the Valletta 2018 Foundation, European Capital of Culture where he was responsible for assisting in the development of the five flagship projects of the Valletta 2018 Foundation. In 2015 he was appointed as one of the experts responsible for collecting data as part of the Theatres Audit for the Cultural Mapping project commissioned by Arts Council Malta and the Valletta 2018 Foundation, a project he is still currently working on.
In his first comments about his appointment Sean said that he “feels honoured and privileged to be able to champion such a significant project as Teatru Malta. I thank Arts Council Malta and the selection board for their confidence in my work, and for trusting me to lead what is possibly the most exciting national theatrical project in Malta’s history.”
The announcement was made by Arts Council Malta executive chair Albert Marshall during a press conference held at Teatru Salesjan in Sliema, following an international public call.
Working with creative professionals from Malta and abroad as well as new and current theatre companies and the various communities in Malta and Gozo, Teatru Malta will create exciting, relevant and engaging work for various audiences across Malta and Gozo.
The project will not be linked to a specific building or theatre but will operate within diverse spaces and venues.
Teatru Malta will be deeply rooted in communities and will aspire to bridge the cultural difference between Maltese mainstream theatre and the vibrant theatrical activity happening on the periphery.
The project is also one of the actions of the Arts Council Malta’s Create2020 Strategy and a deliverable of the Government’s Electoral Manifesto for Culture. The first artistic programme for Teatru Malta will be launched in 2018 as part of Valletta European Capital of Culture.
“It is extremely intriguing to have a national theatre company without walls,” said the new artistic director. “Teatru Malta should have a duty to produce for everyone. We need to cultivate local creativity by inspiring our different artists to engage with different audiences. Together we can produce generous work, offering memorable experiences through shared imagination. We need to be alert, audacious and ground-breaking.”
Photo credit: Chris Farrugia Studios