Taipei, July 16 (CNA) Taiwan’s National Theater & Concert Hall (NTCH) has become the only Asian theater organization to join a new initiative supported by the European Union that seeks to promote sustainability and environmental protection in the theater-making process.
The Sustainable Theatre Alliance for a Green Environmental Shift (STAGES), launched on Friday at the Avignon Festival in the southeastern city of France, is led by the Vidy-Lausanne Theatre in Switzerland and Théâtre de Liège in Belgium and participated by a total of 14 theater organizations in Europe and Taiwan.
The project, which has received 2 million euros in funding from the European Union, will explore the possibility of making theatrical shows without further increasing the burden on the earth and changing the way people interact with the concept of sustainability with a cultural approach, according to the alliance.
NTCH Deputy Artistic Director Shih Hsin-yuan (施馨媛) said at the launch event that under the STAGES project, the NTCH hoped to transform itself into a “sustainable theater” that operates in harmony with both the society and the environment, according to a press statement issued by the NTCH on Saturday.
She added that as the global performing art industry gradually recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the NTCH will continue collaborating with its partners worldwide while working to connect Asia and Europe through cultural exchanges.
As part of the project, the NTCH will host an annual forum in Taipei in 2025, bringing together artists, scientists and audiences to engage in dialogue about promoting a sustainable future, according to the NTCH.
In a press statement released on Friday, the alliance said STAGES will see the 14 partner organizations “spend the next four years testing radical solutions to the biggest challenges posed by the climate crisis.”
These include having each organization conduct a holistic analysis to identify key areas for change in terms of its theater buildings, audience and staff travel to the theater, food and services, and work-life balance among staff, the statement said.
In addition, the 14 organizations will each put on two shows based on two plays about the climate crisis, using local casts, local sets, and even electricity generated on-stage, according to the statement.
The launch of STAGES came at a time when theaters urgently need new ways to become resilient and inclusive after two years of the global pandemic, the statement noted.
“STAGES has a focus on social and environmental sustainability which is especially relevant for theatres in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as institutions across the [European] continent seek new ways to be resilient and to re-establish a relationship with audiences that have lived through immense social challenges,” Serge Rangoni, artistic director and general manager of Theatre de Liège, said in the press statement.
(By Teng Pei-ju)


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