I consider myself a very lucky person to have been able to attend the 11th World Festival of Children’s Theatre in Lingen (Ems) in Germany in June of 2010. I attended in my capacity as President of AITA/IATA which was a great honour for me. As this must be a brief article, I will refer to what were a number of high lights for me.
The opening ceremony emphasised again the community spirit of this festival with what seemed like the participation of the whole population of Lingen. For the first time in Lingen, European groups were slightly outnumbered by non-European groups, which is a very healthy sign for the organisation that is AITA/IATA. A significant number of groups came from South America, including Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil.
As I was not able to attend all productions, I can only refer to a number of them that touched me deeply. These included Slovakia, Venezuela, Bangladesh, and Japan among others. The atmosphere created in the Park of Dreams was fantastic and provided a happy and safe base for the children throughout the festival. A symposium was held alongside the festival, organised by the European Centre of AITA/IATA on the theme “Theatre as an Art of Survival”. This was a most stimulating event and I look forward to the publication of its findings.
Another wonderful feature of the festival was the Directors’ Forum and although I could not attend I heard many positive reports about it.
In our lives, I believe that we will have but a few peak experiences. I saw enough eveidence to convince me that for many of the children present in Lingen, if not all, this was one of those very special occasions.
Thank you Lingen