2nd AITA/IATA International Online Festival of Amateur Theatre
‘Theatre Is My Love’
19 – 28 November, 2021
in cooperation with the Russian National Centre of AITA/IATA, the Central European Committee (CEC) and Northern European Amateur Theatre Alliance (NЕАТА).

Dear Friends and Colleagues!

We have experienced the great challenges of 2020 and 2021 – years of trials for all of humanity. These were years of struggle for survival, years of searching for effective means to combat the pandemic that has affected all countries of the world.

The aim of the International Association of Amateur Theatres (AITA/IATA) is to bring people together through international amateur theatre. To continue this work, we were looking for new ways to connect countries using online technologies. With so many cancelled festivals and international educational programmes, what we have done may seem insignificant, but we have implemented big projects: an international programme of online master classes in English, French and Spanish, and the first International Online Festival of Amateur Theatre “Theatre-My Love”, which unites amateur theatre troupes on all continents. It was, as the famous French writer Francoise Sagan said:  ‘ A little sun in cold water.’

This first festival, held in November 2020, was a prime example of how an international online festival can have a powerful charge of positive energy aimed at preserving the international theatre space and the creativity of people on different continents, while maintaining the artistic level of performances and supporting international theatre cooperation.

Since November 2020, many countries have accumulated experience on the Internet. This gives amateur theatre companies hope and faith in returning to their former lives: the opportunity to perform in front of the audience without the restrictions of COVID; hope for the revival of the festival movement; for conducting educational programmes and international theatre projects. We believe that this will happen!

But while concerns about COVID persist, the AITA/IATA Council has agreed to host the 2nd AITA/IATA International Online Amateur Theatre Festival: Theatre is My Love.

Alla Zorina – April 2021

Programme

Children + Youth

Adults

EXPERT COUNCIL ON CHILD PERFORMANCES

Karel
Tomas

Czech Republic

Theater worker, organizer or co-organizer of theater festivals and seminars in the Czech
Republic, specialist in international contacts of amateur art in NIPOS, Prague. He received a
master’s degree in philosophy and history from the Charles University, and studied theater arts
at the same university. Currently, the General Secretary of the Czech AITA/IATA Center. For
several years until 2017, he was the General Secretary of the CEC.
Together with his colleague, he directs several groups of children’s and youth theater using the
method of creative drama. These groups never work on ready-made texts, they create
dramatizations of prose for children and create their own texts. These groups often participate
in national festivals.

Sofia
Wegelius

Finland

Producer specializing in amateur theater. She is the Vice President of AITA/IATA asbl., President of the Finnish AITA Center, and is involved in supporting Finnish amateur theater and international cooperation. Sofia began her theatrical career as the head of the theater department at the school for young theater enthusiasts and has since continued to contribute to the development of youth theater. She currently works for the Finlands Svenska Ungdomsförbund, which is a youth association dedicated to cultural youth work. There, she works as a theater coordinator and organizes events, training, and international collaborations for theater groups

Kevin
Dowsett

Great Britain

Artistic Director, theater teacher. He taught drama and acting at various levels. He was the President of the International Project Drama in Education. In 1992, he founded Theatretrain, a company offering performing arts training for children and young people, which always results in large-scale international theater projects involving young actors from different countries at the most prestigious theater venues in London. This year, his book “100 days of developing the mind of the performer ” is published.

EXPERT COUNCIL ON ADULT PERFORMANCES

Thorgeir
Tryggvason (Toggi)

Iceland

Icelandic theatre critic, playwright, director and musician. He writes theatre criticism for Iceland’s leading newspaper, Morgunbladid, and is also an active member of Hugleikur, an amateur theatre company with a long history of innovative work and participation in international festivals. Toggi has written and directed several shows for Hugleikur, as well as for other amateur groups and professional theatres. When not otherwise occupied he plays the bassoon and drums with folk-punk band Ljótu hálfvitarnir.

Tjaša
Črnigoj

Slovenia

She is a philosopher, literary comparativist (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts) and a theatre director (University of Ljubljana, Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television). To her, theatre and art in general are a secular form of spiritual exercise and therefore a tool for self-care and the care of the community.  She explores possibilities of devised theatre method – collective creation with co-creators deriving from the canon of world drama as well as non-dramatic literature, fairy tales and, finally, documentary material. Her creative expression is marked by physicality, carnivalism and humor, and she often flirts with the art of performance in her work. As a theater director she works with both independent theatres  and institutional theatres in Slovenia. Her performances have been hosted at festivals in Slovenia and abroad. She also works as a festival selector for amateur theatres in Slovenia and as a mentor of theatre workshops.

Merja
Laaksovirta

Finland

Master of Arts.Secretary General of the Foundation for Finnish Amateur Theater. Theater critic in various theater festivals in Finland and abroad. Former Executive Director of The Amateur Theater Association of Finland. Former President of International Association Theater Amateur

PROJECT ORGANIZERS AND COORDINATORS

Aled
Rhys-Jones

Great Britain

President of AITA/IATA asbl. Aled trained and worked as an actor, mainly in Welsh language television. He was the Director of the amateur theatre organisation for Wales for 15 years. Aled was President of AMATEO – the European Network for the Amateur Arts from 2012 to 2017. He has edited 70+ plays for publication, directed 15 theatre Summer Schools and co-directed the Unusual Stage School for disabled actors in Wales. He has served as a critic at festivals in Monaco, Ukraine, Norway, Japan, Finland, and Russia and on the selection panels for the Mondial du Théâtre, Monaco 2001, 2017 and 2021.

Аnne
Gilmour

Great Britain

Secretariat of AITA/IATA. She has been involved in amateur theatre through membership of AITA/IATA Associate, The Questors Theatre in Ealing London since the 1980s and the LTG – Little Theatre Guild since the early 1990s and has been Chairman of both organisations. Through the LTG, she joined the board of the GB Member (National Centre) ITE – International Theatre Exchange – in 1999 and her first experience of an AITA/IATA Festival was Halifax, Canada in 2003. She was elected to the AITA/AITA Executive Board as the English-Speaking Secretary in 2007. Anne Gilmour has been the Secretariat of AITA/IATA since 2013 following her retirement from the Civil Service.

Alla
Zorina

Moscow, Russia

Head of the Departament of Amateur Theaters of the Union of Theatre Union of the Russian Federation, Secretary General of the Russian AITA Centre, art director. Alla Zorina has been running the Nash Dom amateur theater in Odintsovo, Moscow Region, for many years. During this time, she staged about 50 performances, and also staged three performances with professional actors in Denmark and one in Estonia. Often works as a member of the jury of festivals in Russia and abroad.

Kristiina
Oomer

Estonia

Executive Director of The Estonian Amateur Theatre Association, President of NEATA. Kristiina Oomer organizes different theatre festivals and theatre training courses in Estonia. She is a theatre teacher for primary school students at Tallinna Ühisgümnaasium. She is also involved with amateur theatre in Tallinn as a co-director and stage/sound designer. Kristiina has been on the juries of various theatre festivals locally and internationally

TECHNICAL SUPPORT OF THE FESTIVAL AND THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE FESTIVAL WEBSITE

Artem
Sergeev

Director, head of the children’s clowning theater “Tochka”, Udmurt Republic, Russia