AICT-IATC reflections and hopes on World Theatre Day 2022
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins issued a heartfelt, resonant statement entitled “Building Bridges in a Time of Trial” in his role as President of the International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT-IATC) for World Theatre Day 2022. The statement, posted on the IACT website on March 25, 2022, reflects on the conflict in Ukraine, how numerous theater professionals have been directly affected, the hope offered by a refugee Ukrainian girl captured on video in a basement shelter in her homeland and a stadium full of cheers in her safe refuge in Poland, and then offers hopes for peace in the world.
The statement begins with the actions in Ukraine. “One month ago, the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) joined with members of its Russia national section to denounce the aggression of the Russian government against the sovereign state of Ukraine. The IATC is an organization of critics and scholars dedicated to advocacy for freedom of expression, building cultural bridges through global discourse and the celebration of theatre, the most human of art forms.”
The statement continues with references to the invited World Theatre Day Message 2022 from opera and theater director Peter Sellars on the events of this time and hopes provided by theater.
Jenkins concludes his remarks with a call to action and reflections on the healing power of the theater arts.
“It is time for freedom-loving people, including governments throughout the planet to take action that can make our world safer for free expression, for artistic freedom, and to heed Peter Sellars’ warning and his clarion call, “This work cannot be done by isolated people working alone. This is work that we need to do together.” He concludes, “On this World Theatre Day, let governments and people across the globe pull together and lift us to a higher plane of peace among sovereign nations, a place where we may again safely explore the nature of our humanity.”