European Theatre Convention marks 25 years at General Assembly in Tirana, Albania

26 March 2013

Members of the European Theatre Convention (ETC), Europe’s leading network of public theatres, will meet in Tirana, Albania, from 21 – 24 March 2013 for their first General Assembly of the year. Hosted by the National Theatre of Albania, this spring meeting is particularly notable as it is the first gathering of ETC members in the year the organisation celebrates its 25th anniversary. To mark this momentous occasion guests from other leading European performing arts networks have been invited to participate in discussions around the conference theme, which is ‘European Theatre – A Chance to be Different!’ The conference itself will be officially opened at a reception on Thursday 21 March by the artistic director of the National Theatre, Mr. Kristaq Skrami, in the presence of the Cultural Minister of Albania, Mr. Aldo Bumçi. Following this there will be two intensive days of meetings and debates addressing the challenges for theatre in Europe while also highlighting the opportunities that each theatre has to continue to develop and be different. The open panel discussion on Friday 22 March, which explores the future paths of European theatre networks, features an impressive line-up of speakers - Manfred Beilharz from the International Theatre Institute, Staffan Valdemar Holm from mitos21, Hugo de Greef from the European Festivals Association and Christa Müller representing the ETC. This valuable opportunity to hear these expert opinions is open to the general public and students from the performing arts university in Tirana. On Saturday 23 March the keynote address on ‘Theatre in a Liberal Democratic Society’ has been prepared by one of Albania’s leading theatre academics and critics, Përparim Kabo, and will be delivered by Sokol Angjeli, well-known artist and actor with the National Theater Tirana. During the General Assembly delegates will also meet in special steering committees to discuss a number of ETC collaborative artistic projects. These include the up-and-coming ETC Spring Theatre Tour (18-24 April 2013) and the Young Europe 2 Festival (13-18 May 2013), as well as the Art of Ageing (2013 -2015), a major intercultural research and new play creation project which engages with the realities and challenges of Europe’s ageing societies and a pioneering audience development study and strategy based on best practices which will be the first study of its kind to come out of Europe. These projects are indicative of the ETC’s ambitions to continue the legacy it has created over the last 25 years of promoting and contributing to the progress of European theatre while always taking the chance to show that theatre can be different and make a difference in contemporary European society. Download the conference brochure here. Notes to Editors –The European Theatre Convention (ETC) founded in 1988, is a non-profit-making membership organization representing the publicly funded theatre sector in over 20 countries. Its aims are to create, protect and promote the art of theatre and its linguistic diversity in Europe and beyond; to act as a transnational theatre network to foster cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue; to act as a platform for professional exchange, development and capacity building of theatre-makers in an international context and to advocate for the public theatre sector at EU, member state and local levels. Further information – For more information, please visit the ETC website or contact Heidi Wiley, ETC, Email:, Tel: + 49 30 28 441 207,