Report from President Merja Laaksovirta
This was a magnificent event, held on behalf of aita/iata and Vice President Roger Ellis, French Speaking Secretary Jacques Lemaire and myself would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving us the opportunity to see and experience this event and for the opportunity to meet theatre groups from all over the world.
New contacts are so important for our movement and I am pleased to say that the organizers in Toyama are devoted to the promotion and celebration of amateur theatre.
aita/iata believes in the rights of children and young people to develop and to express themselves through theatre. And so, Children and youth are an important and indispensable part of the aita/iata theatre movement.
This principle has been highly respected in Japan for many years and the work there has always supported our mutual aims in the world. After this experience in Japan my views have been reinforced and I am even more committed to objectives and policies which recognise children and youth as central to aita/iata which is such an effective organization in this area of work.
We had such uplifting and joyful days of performance. Especially touching was to see the performances from the area where such terrible disasters happened last year; Tohoku district; IWATE prefecture; Miyagi prefecture; and Fukushima prefecture. From here we saw young people presenting their experiences and feelings through theatre. This was a starting point for the healing process, which we all completely support.
I will not mention any particular performance but please accept my sincerity when I say that my heart is overflowing with joy and happiness and above all with love.
A famous poet John Keats once said “A thing of Beauty is a joy forever” and we have seen so many wonderful moments of such beauty during this festival that the joy will last forever and ever. All who attended took away so many joyous images and positive thoughts of our time in Toyama.
My final thoughts must congratulate and honour the wonderful, brave, resilient and generous people of Japan.