We had our annual World Theatre Day celebration yesterday. It was toned down from the usual blow-out, we did a panel discussion at lunch time. Four companies shared their experience working for the most part on European plays, mostly in translation and their experiences of touring and exchanges in Europe. It was a great and wide ranging discussion ranging from how artists are so much better supported in Europe to how sometimes a British translation just doesn’t work for an American audience. The companies represented were Bergen Anderson from Akvavit, Jackie Stone from TUTA, Patrizia Acerra from International Voices Project and Beata Pilch from Trap Door. All intelligent, funny and engaging women. The panel was moderated by Kris Vire from Time Out Chicago, who is also a pretty smart cookie and asked great questions.
I always get inspired when I listen to conversations like this and afterward I had a little extra spring in my step, thinking about not only what great work Chicago companies are doing but how perhaps this conversation might open up the door for more touring and collaboration with companies from around the world. The artistic directors were actually very forthcoming in how they raise the money (or not) and who they partner with to get the work done. There were lots of intense conversations going on afterward. So…just another example of how extraordinary Chicago is.