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5 Pillars of ENGAGE

ENGAGE

The 5 Pillars of ENGAGE:

  • Critical thinking through theatre
  • Participatory theatre
  • Theatre in the digital age
  • ETC’s professional development programme for theatre makers
  • Empowering ETC’s Networkfor growth and sustainability

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The world around us is undergoing a sea-change:

Cultural diversity and digitization challenge and shape the way we live as a society in Europe, in urban and rural areas alike. At the same time, questions of belonging and identity are now more crucial and fundamental than ever before: at stake are core democratic values for the continent, as they are under threat from international terrorism as well as bourgeoning nationalist, isolationist, and right- wing movements, while unprecedented numbers of people are seeking refuge from war, risking their lives for a new life in Europe.

In light of these charged circumstances,as representatives of European culture we must ask ourselves:

What do today’s challenges mean for European theatrical traditions? How can we assert our voice in society as defenders of European cultural heritage, dedicated to preserving and transforming this heritage for today’s and tomorrow’s audiences?

The role of theatre:

The stories of our people are as diverse as we are. Theatre is not only a place where those stories are told, but also a place where society can congregate to explore questions of belonging and identity in a meaningful, sometimes even difficult, way. It is these stories that form the essential backbone of the intangible cultural heritage that nourishes intercultural dialogue between communities, with the goal of passing on traditions and live forms of artistic expression that we inherited from our ancestors and will pass down to our descendants.

In order to renew, strengthen, diversify and ensure the bright future of this tradition, we have developed “ENGAGE”, a comprehensive, ground-breaking four-year project intended to champion, foster and develop theatre suitable for our fast-changing world and shifting audience needs. This includes both how we create stories in the digital age for live performing arts in Europe and beyond, how we can empower artists and creative professionals, audiences and communities and, finally, empower theatres and the wider creative sector. ENGAGE sets out to create theatre for European audiences to enlighten and entertain, enrich our lives and inspire us, and help us break down stereotypes and barrier – whether linguistic, cultural or economic. This way, we can nd common ground through, in and because of theatre, and create a stronger European theatre suitable for today’s exciting, tumultuous and globalised world.

Our programme was especially created to allow the theatrical profession to thrive at the very highest level, creating art that is diverse and reflects society, and that springs from and can speak to a fast-changing society, so that we can bring the gift of theatre to the largest possible audience.

Five project pillars were chosen to produce a power cumulative effect. The effects will be ampli ed at a cross-sectoral level via two strong strategic partnerships formed to strengthen cooperation between Europe’s theatre sector and the leading performing art organisations Opera Europa and PEARLE*- Live Performance Europe. To kick off the cooperation, we will initiate a joint campaign
to launch in 2018 as part of the EU Year of Cultural Heritage. The campaign will celebrate the perform-ing arts in Europe and promote access to European cultural heritage through performing arts on the new digital platform, onstage2018.eu.

As a result of our artistic collaborations and professional international activities, we will in partnership with the European performing arts organisation on-the-move offer policy recommendations to allow maximizing the impact of European theatres in the wider creative sector with a focus in the areas audience development, digital technologies and performing arts to promote access to intangible cultural heritage.

We are excited to start ENGAGE, ETC’s new 4 year international programme for theatres. We are delighted to be selected by the Creative Europe Programme, Europe’s unique funding programme for culture, to bring our work and the joy of theatre closer to Europe’s people. We invite you to join in our projects and activities bringing together the theatre community, the creative sector and today’s audiences.

Heidi Wiley

ETC General Secretary