This year, Malta will also join the global celebrations under the banner of Viva t-Teatru, with a programme of events by Teatru Malta and Arts Council Malta.
The programme of events will open on Friday 24 March at noon at Teatru Metanoia in Luqa with the launch of Spazji Teatrali, a catalogue of 78 theatre spaces, as part of a study commissioned by Arts Council Malta with the Valletta 2018 Foundation and the University of Malta. The launch will be followed by the preview of Teatru Malta’s new brand and its first initiative.
A two-day informal forum on current issues in Maltese theatre, entitled Taħdita Teatru, will be organised as a platform for debate on the remit of Teatru Malta. This will take the form of informal discussions, held in various theatre spaces in Malta and Gozo as part of a bus trip, with these discussions actually continuing on the bus ride between the various venues, and the ferry ride when travelling to Gozo!
Taħdita Teatru will begin on Saturday 25 March at the Valletta Campus Theatre (formerly known as MITP) with a discussion on whether theatre can be both experimental and popular. The final session will be held on the way back from Gozo on Sunday 26 March.
The discussions will be moderated by various theatre practitioners coming from different schools of theatre, such as Dr Nicole Bugeja, Chris Dingli, Joseph Zammit, Philip Leone Ganado and others. Various spaces will be used in each of the five regions of Malta and Gozo, such as the Domus in Żejtun, Mount Carmel Community Theatre, Sala Dun Karm Lia in Rabat and others.
“This is the first time that Arts Council Malta is celebrating World Theatre Day with a programme of events. It is also an opportunity to bring together a number of public cultural organisations, theatre practitioners and the newly set-up Teatru Malta to celebrate theatre in Malta and debate the exciting road ahead for local theatre,” said Toni Attard, Arts Council Malta’s director of strategy.
Also part of the programme is Manoel, Iftaħli, a series of free one-hour tours of Teatru Manoel led by Malcolm Galea and Narcy Calamatta on the 26th of March, as well as two free Toi Toi shows for children attending schools in Valletta. A special tour for the Valletta elderly will be organised on the 27th of March. These tours are being organised in collaboration with Teatru Manoel.
“We wanted to take the opportunity to drink a toast to theatre in Malta and Gozo. There are varied events; some for audiences, others for our theatre practitioners. Little ones attending school in Valletta can sit in on Toi Toi shows, the general public can visit Teatru Manoel for free, whilst theatre friends can come debate over lunch, on a bus or on the ferry whilst visiting interesting theatre spaces. These discussions are then meant to create deliverables for us. Being national is a huge opportunity but also a huge responsibility,’’ concluded Sean Buhagiar, the newly appointed artistic director of Teatru Malta.
Click here for the full programme in English and in Maltese. Participation is free of charge. Registration for the Teatru Manoel tours, bus rides and lunches is on a first-come first-served basis. To book for Taħdita Teatru send an email on email@example.com or call on 2339 7020. To book for the Teatru Manoel tours send an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 2146 3389.
Photo credits (top): EKHO, School of Performing Arts, University of Malta 2017. Photo by Rafael Mielczarek
The 'Manoel, Iftaħli' photo shows Narcy Calamatta and Malcolm Galea. Photo by Chris Farrugia Studios