Teatru Malta have just published their first official update following the Covid-19 pandemic.
You may have noticed that the ever busy National Theatre Company has taken a natural step back over the past couple of months, but that’s what happens when one is forced to postpone all that was once programmed to take place throughout 2020 to safeguard the health and well being of their artists and audiences alike.
“That is not something we are used to,’’ says Artistic Director Sean Buhagiar, “In fact, playing safe has a subjective meaning here. Our ethos remains. Teatru Malta takes risks, and I don’t feel we’re playing safe with what we have in store, in terms of artistic content.’’
Teatru Malta insists that this is not the time “to gamble with public funds as we don’t want to gamble with artist’s schedules or pockets’’ so much so that when it came to programming the rest of 2020, they decided to go for projects that could happen whether the pandemic persisted or not, securing some much needed clarity during a time of considerable uncertainty.
That doesn’t quite mean that Teatru Malta didn’t have their hands full over the course of the pandemic, in fact they launched a number of initiatives and campaigns during this time to stay as active as they possibly could online with initiatives like TeleTeatru, Kwarta Kwarantina, Bezzjoni and Theatre Depozit through which 24 applying artists stood to benefit from this emergency pandemic fund, seeing a total of four productions get produced in the coming years, bringing work to over 110 artists and crew members in the industry, with a total of 20% of their annual production budget being invested in this initiative.
“We focused on supporting artists in a time of need while still being true to our production-led nature. The successful applicants are getting a much needed cash flow injection whilst guaranteeing them a job in the next two years. It would have been easier for us to come out strongly with surprise productions, with the premise of regenerating the economy or paving the way for live theatre. However, I feel that this is not what our ecosystem needs, nor what our primary role is,” Buhagiar added.
Shifting its focus to artists during these trying times for the arts and cultural sector the National Theatre Company now looks forward to programming the rest of 2020 starting from this August with the return of pop up show Xilallu in Valletta in collaboration with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and Studio 18. November will see an exciting collaboration with ŻiguŻajg Festival in the form of an innovative DIY Theatre production ‘Alice in a Wonderless Land’, a Maltese translation of the play by legendary Italian writer Franca Rame. December will then mark the return of the beloved A Panto in the Dark series in collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv. The panto called ‘Ġulbiena‘ will be transmitted to audiences through the radio, making this pantomime the first radio-play in Teatru Malta’s history.
There’s a lot more left in Teatru Malta’s pipeline. Curious? For more information visit teatrumalta.org.mt, call 21220255 or follow them on Facebook for all the latest updates from the National Theatre Company.
This content was supplied by Teatru Malta