Publikums plass i scenekunsten
I høst, nærmere bestemt 1. og 2. oktober, holder IATC – International Association of Theatre Critics – et interessant og høyst aktuelt seminar i Tbilisi. Seminaret skal ta opp publikums plass i teatret, og meningen er å få til en diskusjon mellom profesjonelle scenekunstnere, teaterkritikere og representanter for publikum.
Slik formulerer arrangørene temaet for debatten – kanskje et perspektiv vi også skulle drøfte her hjemme:
«Many theatre-makers and critics claim to work «on behalf of the audience». Others – a minority but no less vociferous – openly deride this idea: their criteria, they say, dwell in an area much higher than the level (i.e. taste) of the audience.
The audience is generally reduced to mere statistics: this mysterious, many-headed creature is very rarely invited to break out of its anonymous state of existence and become real faces and individual voices. The bulk of the awards are given by juries composed of theatre professionals only, at times with the explicit aim of counteracting the audiences’ preferences and verdicts at that. Don’t we, theatre professionals, tend to take the audience for granted, while effectively excluding it from the theatre equation when we start discussing it? Don’t we light-handedly dismiss respect for the audience as mere crowd-pleasing? How can we strive to improve the standards of the theatre without paying closer attention to the concrete needs, desires and verdicts of the people who fill in its halls? Are we ready to admit that at times the type of theatre we praise is exactly that which drives audiences away?
This symposium is an invitation for a discussion between theatre professionals, critics and audience members on what we all gain when the three sides of Theatre – Audience – Critics triangle are considered of equal importance and what we all lose when the balance is disrupted. The symposium is not only «open to the public». It will rely on its active participation.»