Esther Bartomeu AADPC Interview

Esther Bartomeu AADPC Interview

It is celebrated today, March 27th World Theater Day. To commemorate that,Association of Professional Actors and Directors of Catalonia The AADPC, which brings together nearly one thousand five hundred professionals in the sector, organized a meeting in Plaça del Sol in the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona – from five-fifteen to seven in the afternoon. The slogan chosen is “There is no empty chair“After I saw that campaign”“There's no empty seat.” The number of spectators exceeded 55,000 throughout Catalonia on March 16. “We now call it 'chair' because the activity will take place outside, but we also want a lot of people to come, so that no one is left empty,” he explains. Esther Bartomeu, Vice President of AADPC. We interviewed him to explain to us what they claim in such a distinguished history in the sector and to evaluate the situation of theater in the Principality, especially theater in the Catalan language.

How does the association celebrate World Theater Day?
– We organize a theatrical party. We want everyone to celebrate theater and for everyone to be able to experience a theatrical event. Everyone can attend: professionals, amateur, people singing in the bathroom… We will set up a stage with microphones, a sound technician, materials for making monologues, etc. We want people to be able to participate by getting on stage and doing whatever they want. That's why we call it “No Empty Chair,” because we want the chairs we put in the arena to always be full.

Talk about “no empty chair”What is your assessment of the initiative? How important is it to fill theaters, if it only happens once a year?
-There were more than 55,000 seats filled. That's a lot of seats. It is a pleasure to achieve this, but also a little sad, because we would like to do it every day. Reflections can be drawn from it, such as defending theatrical consumption policies that encourage society to have a need for culture. Also theatre, but culture in general. Of any artistic expression. We should make the media cover this, and education should also give importance to artistic creativity, etc. Cultural consumption should start from a very early age.

Today you will read two statements: one signed by playwright and writer John Fosse. The other is from actress Maria Fontana. What will be required in this data?
– John Foss International Manifesto talks about art and peace. Since we are in such a warlike process of life, he claims that art is peace. If we all got into art, the world would be a better place. Oriol Guinness will read this statement. The Catalan statement issued by the association was prepared by Maria Fontana, an actress who has a lot to say and who makes some interesting claims.

Claims such as the country's different accents and dialects, or the rejection of censorship in art. In this regard, do you think that accents are becoming more and more natural on stage?
-Yes. I fully support what Maria has to say in this statement, because that is wealth. In other words, trying to abolish a language or dialect is, to me, a reactionary idea. The more dialects, the more languages, the more ways we have to express ourselves, the richer we will be, the more possibilities, more language, more vocabulary… We should bet on this, and I think it is already being done, also in In the field of media communication, more and more artists are demanding and defending their tone. We should be able to express ourselves the way we want. And it must be respected.

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In theatre, for many years, accents have been used to caricature characters…and that's changing now.
– Yes you are right. It may have been used as an exaggeration for a very specific character. Anyway, I have to say I don't mind it either, because it's a resource, in the same way you can highlight a physical flaw in someone. In the same way that it can be used in a natural way, it can also be used as a mask, for example. If there is respect, nothing will happen. This is my opinion. Now, you have to be respectful. With everyone. If we normalize it, it will ultimately no longer be an exaggeration, but rather embedded in our language.

What do you think about the situation of theater and, in particular, theater in Catalan?
-We are unstable. Looking at, He is working on a report entitled Why is everything going to Madrid? I don't know if the title will be this, but they are working with this idea: why don't we create theater and cinema in the Catalan language, as well as support them? Why do we do things here directly in Spanish? Why do acts and artists go to Madrid? What is wrong with us who say that language or language is a problem because people do not go to the theater very often, I would say that people need to be educated so that they get used to going to the theater and reading subtitles. I go to Germany to see a musical, and I don't mind not understanding anything, because they put up a translation for me. We need to get people used to consuming culture in any language. If we are Catalan here, we practice culture in Catalan. We should bet on this; Administrations must bet on this. So we can be creative in our own way, not in the way they dictate to us.

What consequences could the fact that there is less theater and culture in Catalan have?
– I think this is directly related to the way society will end up talking. If we are not accustomed to hearing our language, if we are not accustomed to finding it in a restaurant, in a museum, in a library, in a supermarket… it will not become natural, but rather it will triumph. It's not in our DNA. It is a setback in terms of defending our language. The Catalan language should be part of our culture and creativity. The public should look for it, too.

However, Barcelona's major theaters continue to select performances in Spanish.
– Well, I can speak from the point of view of the artist, the audience and the community, but here we need the voice of a production company, from the business side. Why would an entrepreneur who works at a theater with multiple locations think it would be best to program and produce in Spanish? There are some reasons…but, I repeat, nothing happens to seeing a work in another language! I went to Milan to see a play in Italian and I was passionate about it too, because there was translation. We have to normalize it. Well, when we go to London we go to see musicals in English, right? Why isn't he here? Why is it Catalan?

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Barcelona's large theaters are showing more Spanish-language shows than Catalan ones until the end of the season

Outside of Barcelona, ​​what is the situation like on the theater circuit? It still seems that if the work doesn't pass through Barcelona first, it's difficult to fill the spots…
– Look, I'll tell you two things and maybe one of them isn't true. The first is that Catalonia has a very good theater network. We have theaters in many municipalities and they are staffed by people who know how to manage them well. There is very good programming. It's an advantage. This does not happen in Spain, for example. In addition, there are also a lot of efforts to start a business. Now, it is true that there are a lot of people in Barcelona, ​​and therefore, it is natural that there will be more people who go to the theater. If I was going to release something, I might as well release it in Barcelona because it would be more successful. That's right: there are more people. People move to Barcelona, ​​but Barcelona people never move.

It premiered this weekend The first side, By Susie Miller, with Vicky Luengo, at Teatre de Bescanó after receiving great reviews in Madrid. The echo was minimal. In May, you land in Barcelona, ​​and it's sure to be very different.
– There were many attempts to present premieres and first shows outside Barcelona and they were not completely successful. Should there be municipal policies to let people out? Yes. There really is, but reality is reality. But I insist that here in Catalonia we have a great network. In Spain, for example, everything is in Madrid. We have many theaters here that offer great programmes. Now, it's true that they are things from Barcelona that then go there, or products that are produced directly outside Barcelona.

Theaters live a lot of premieres, but acts that run immediately either tour or stop playing because they are scheduled for too short a run. Travi s Firefly It's an example of a great success that has finally been rescheduled after a long time. because? Has the concept of “having a season” been lost in theatre?
-Yes. This is the paradigm that has changed. Previously, works were scheduled for several months. And if they never stop being successful, the programmers have managed to hold on. Now, timelines have become more ephemeral. There are even theaters that set three or four plays. This is very difficult to endure and creates extreme instability for performers, because it means you only have one act a week. It is as if the fear of keeping a play for many weeks in the same theater has set in, because as soon as the audience declines, the company leaves or goes on tour. This multiple programming by many theaters creates more instability and more uncertainty for the audience. It's a mistake. I remember I was in the theater for nine months. Now you are there for two days and you are leaving. All this is more ephemeral and therefore less stable.

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Anyway, how did this happen?
-I don't know. It has changed over time. Because many things from here also go to Madrid and never come back… I don't know. When a work is running, like Calorica, for example, it is always full. So why don't we dare to show it in the theater for a long time? It's a paradigm shift I don't agree with and don't know how to reverse. Maybe the big solvent production companies should come back here and produce complete products again, safely and without fear of falling out.

Wrinkle sales?
– No, I don't think that's the reason. It's always good that theaters are open and theaters don't die, right? But that's not the reason. We need to provide more support to creators, production companies who take risks to make new products, etc. I don't know, they are cultural policies that we have to try to find and work cross-functionally with other departments such as tourism. Culture should be a tourist attraction for our country. With this, for example, we will already have a guaranteed audience. It would give stability.

Is it difficult to get around outside Barcelona?
—It depends on the show: on the people who make it, on the subject, on the cost of the show… There are many factors to take into account. But overall, yeah, it's hard to tour. It costs production companies a lot. For example, if you have a show that includes live music and more than six performers, it costs a lot. A monologue delivered by a famous person who has appeared on television costs less. It really depends on the type of offer.

Guan Yago, which premiered Short interviews with exceptional women He said in the National Transitional Council Interview: “A show in a public theater ends up being a reward for enduring it for ten years in alternative theatres.” Is it very difficult to end up programming at a public theatre? because?
—You have to prove a lot so they won't trust you. In my experience, you have to constantly prove a lot. You can be at TNC and the next day have to knock on doors again. That's it, this world. You are not united. It costs a lot to standardize. Instability is something that happens to everyone, and there is always uncertainty. If a public theater hires you, it means that the agreement will be fulfilled, everyone will be registered, you will be paid for rehearsals, etc. It is absolute safety. On the other hand, in the alternative room, there is a will to do things very well, but we cannot ask for the impossible.

Specifically, the association works to achieve all this.
-exactly. We are a union. We work in two lines: the first, union, which is the agreement as God commanded and negotiating with the employer to obtain better conditions, providing support, and conducting follow-ups, so that there is no sex. Abuse of power in training, performances, etc. On the other hand, a cultural line through which we try to generate a lot of cultural activity within the sector.

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