The National Theater joins the EU project as the only Asian member


The 14-member project is to include performances in which the necessary electricity would be generated on stage

The National Theater and Concert Hall (NTCH) is the only theater organization in Asia to join a new EU-sponsored initiative that aims to promote sustainability and environmental protection in theater performances.

The Sustainable Theatrical Alliance for a Green Environmental Shift (STAGES), launched Friday at the Avignon Festival in France, has 14 theaters, including 13 in Europe. It is led by the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne in Switzerland and the Théâtre de Liège in Belgium.

The EU-funded €2 million ($2.02 million) project seeks to explore ways that theater productions don’t harm the environment and change the way people practice sustainability in the cultural sphere, the alliance said.

Photo: ANC

NTCH Deputy Artistic Director Shih Hsin-yuan (施馨媛) said at the launch event that through the project, her organization hopes to transform into a “sustainable theatre” that works in harmony with society and the environment.

A press release issued yesterday by the NTCH quoted her as saying that as the global performing arts industry gradually recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, her organization will continue to work with partners around the world. and would strive to connect Asia and Europe through cultural exchange.

As part of STAGES, the NTCH will host an annual forum in Taipei in 2025, seeking to bring together artists, scientists and the public to engage in dialogue on promoting a sustainable future, the organization said.

STAGES would see the 14 partner theaters “spend the next four years testing radical solutions to the greatest challenges posed by the climate crisis,” the alliance said in a press release on Friday.

This includes asking each theater to conduct a holistic analysis to identify key areas of change in terms of buildings, audience, staff, access to transport, food and services, and work balance. -personal life among staff, he said.

The 14 organizations would each perform two shows based on works about the climate crisis, using local actors, local sets and even electricity generated on stage, the alliance said.

The launch of STAGES came as theaters urgently needed new ways to become resilient and inclusive after two years of a global pandemic, he said.

“STAGES focuses on social and environmental sustainability, which is particularly relevant for theaters in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as institutions across the [European] continent are seeking new ways to be resilient and to re-establish a relationship with audiences who have experienced immense social challenges,” said the artistic director and general manager of the Théâtre de Liège, Serge Rangoni, quoted in the press release of Friday.

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