International news round-up: August 11
Hungry Caterpillar tour
CANADA/WINDSOR Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia has embarked on a 10-week tour of China with its production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites. The tour from the Canadian children’s theatre will visit Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Centre, and cities including Xi’an, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Nanning. With direction by Jim Morrow and music by Steven Naylor, performances are in English, French and Mandarin. The show has already played to 2.5 million people. mermaidtheatre.ca
INDIA/CHANDIGARH Reaching across the borders of India and Pakistan, the second Hamsaya Theatre Festival this July built on last year’s debut in September. Organised by India’s Routes 2 Roots and Pakistan’s Ajoka Theatre, the five-day event was a showcase for Pakistani plays in India. Shows ran at the 900-seat Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh, with a programme featuring five plays from Lahore-based Ajoka. As an effort to promote peace between the countries, which have a tense relationship, all the plays are based on themes shared on both sides of the border.
Theatre facing closure
PAPUA NEW GUINEA/GOROKA Two of the Pacific’s major cultural centres are being threatened with closure. Based in Goroka, Papua New Guinea, the Raun Raun Theatre, a centre for traditional and contemporary performing arts, and the National Film Institute have had their existing buildings condemned by inspectors. Built in the 1980s, the Raun Raun needs a new thatched roof and to rebuild staff offices in a derelict container next door, but the theatre has no funds. Meanwhile, the National Film Institute has had construction issues with it’s proposed new building.
LEBANON/NABATIYEH The Lebanon International Theatre Festival has announced its 2016 programme. The event takes place in Nabatiyeh and features productions from Iran, Algeria, Argentina, Slovenia, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon. The launch of the new edition coincides with the reopening after 27 years of Nabatiyeh’s Stars Cinema, renovated by Tiro Association for the Arts. For the past two years, festival director Kassem Istanbouli has developed cultural activities at the similarly reopened Al-Hamra Cinema in Tyre. The festival runs from August 20-26, details at facebook.com/Istanbouli.Theatree
NETHERLANDS/AMSTERDAM The Holland Festival reports an impressive 69th edition that took place in June – its second year under artistic director Ruth Mackenzie. The programme featured 45 productions and 105 performances over 23 days, selling more than 86,000 tickets, with a record-breaking 85% of total capacity. Its 12 world premieres and 41 Dutch premieres included work by Meg Stuart, Neil Bartlett, Simon McBurney, Akram Khan, Tania El Khoury, Joel Pommerat, Christiane Jatahy, Simon Stone and Harrison Birtwistle, while there were 10,000 participants in Rikrit Tiravanija’s Museumplein installation Tomorrow Is the Question.
SOUTH AFRICA/CAPE TOWN The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (Assitej) has a call out for participants for its Next Generation Residency Programme as part of its world congress to be held in 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. The programme is a residency for 25 participants to support artistic and cultural exchange between international artists, aged 36 years or below at Assitej events. The Cradle of Creativity 19th Assitej World Congress and Performing Arts Festival runs from May 17-27, 2017. Deadline is September 30, details at bit.ly/assitej
New York season
CANADA/TORONTO Soulpepper, Toronto’s largest theatre company, will launch a four-week Canadian season next summer in New York at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Entitled Soulpepper on 42nd Street: Canada Crosses the Border, it will see a full company of artists showcase original adaptations of Spoon River, Of Human Bondage and (Re)Birth: EE Cummings in Song, as well as Ins Choi’s hit comedy Kim’s Convenience. The event also marks Canada’s 150th anniversary as a nation and will run from June 29 to July 29, 2017. soulpepper.ca
The International section is co-edited by Ian Herbert and Nick Awde. Contact email: email@example.com