Whose Stories Are We Telling?

Welcome Note ETC Journal 2019/2020

Heidi Wiley and Serge Rangoni

What responsibility does a public theatre have, as an artistic institution financed by taxpayers’ money, to represent an artistic view of society and humanity? Be it poetic, inspirational, disturbing or awakening – it must be relevant! Who are the protagonists of the performance, who tells the story, who plays on stage and who comes and watches? Theatre is not just one of the oldest art forms in Europe, but also the most interactive with its audiences.

In a nutshell: Whose stories are we telling? This is the main theme of the next ETC International Theatre Conference in November, hosted by the youth theatre company De Toneelmakerij in Amsterdam.

History, Presence, Utopia: Those three words will conclude our season at the June ETC International Theatre Conference at Schauspielhaus Graz (Austria), framed by two festivals: The Young Europe Festival, presenting new performative research productions for young Europeans with a focus on Identity; and the DramatikerInnen Festival, presenting latest trends of new dramaturgies. Which forms are the most appropriate for interacting in societal and geopolitical debates with our audiences? How do we tell stories?

ETC’s 2019/2020 season features diversity in theatre, making sure the art remains relevant for audiences. It features dramaturgies, making sure the art stays relevant for a wide range of artistic forms of expression. And it features artists’ programmes to ensure the new generation of talent has access to create and produce relevant theatre.

The manifold European theatre landscape has a great diversity to offer. Discover what makes each country’s theatre scene so special: from Portuguese dramaturgies and its 21st century revival of text based theatre; to the first impacts of the successful foundation of the “Bürgerbühne” in Austria empowering citizens on stage; onto the triumphing TalentLAB in Luxembourg enabling young artists to connect with local communities and the international co-production chain.

ETC and its Member Theatres stand for the desire to create modern, contemporary, world-class drama, to share practices that make our work more sustainable, and to bring it to the broadest audience possible. We also stand for a strong united theatre sector, needed for a strong European culture. Our work is carried out with partners at national and European institutions. We are proud and grateful to have gained the trust and recognition of the European Commission, to which our work and theatre as art form in Europe is vital, and, most important, to be supported and strengthened in partnership.


Heidi Wiley & Serge Rangoni

ETC Executive Director and ETC President

This ETC welcome note was published in the ETC Journal 2019/2020.

Top photo: Tranzyt, guest performance by Schenk&Cant in AirGogolfest, Vinnytsia (Ukraine), Theatre is Dialogue 2018. © Anastasia Mantach

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