The World Festival of Amateur Theatre is back in town from the 21st to the 30th of August, welcoming amateur theatre groups from all over the world to show off their incredible talents for the 16th edition. This event has taken place every four years since 1957 and is organized by the Studio de Monaco, the Monegasque artistic association since 1939, under the High Patronage of the Prince of Monaco and with the support of the Princely Government.
The festival was born in 1957 through the collaboration of great amateur theatre enthusiasts, Guy and Max Brousse and René Cellario, and brought twelve European troupes to exhibit in the Principality for this first edition. Since 1997, through the organisation of the Studio de Monaco and the help of the Monegasque authorities, the festival grew to welcome 24 troupes and assumed it’s definitive title of “Mondial du Théâtre”. They continue to promote their key initiatives: confrontation, exchange and teaching.
This year, the public will have the chance to admire amateur troupes from 24 different countries and several different continents, each performing in their own languages and their own methods of acting. Incredibly all aspects of this ten-day event are free and open to everyone! Visitors will not only be able to discover the evening performances, but also take part in the morning colloquies, a place of exchange for critics, actors and visitors to discuss previous shows, and the afternoon workshops (from 2.30pm to 5pm at the Auditorium Rainier III), which offer teaching sessions with recognised specialists. These activities further allow theatre enthusiasts and curious individuals to discover a variety of artistic creativity and talents from other cultures.
Each country will have the opportunity to perform twice on two consecutive days, to ensure that visitors do not miss out on any of the impressive shows. At the end of the first performance, groups will be presented with the “Festival Homage”, specially made by Monegasque sculptor Marcel Sbirazzoli. It is important to note that the performances start at 6pm every evening, except for the 25th of August when actors get to enjoy a day off and the traditional friendship party at the Sporting d’Eté, the “Red and White Party”. Every evening three countries will perform, one after another with 30 minute intervals to allow for each shows’ set-up.
One of the most incredible aspects of the World Festival of Amateur Theatre and one of the many benefits of organizing the event in the Principality of Monaco is that the performances are held in some of the most beautiful buildings in the world. This includes the prestigious Salle Garnier, Théâtre des Variétés and ThéâtrePrincesse Grace. Beyond the elegant performance building, Monaco also creates “The Village” for the 24 troupes, organizes, voluntary workers and all participants in the Auditorium Rainier III. It is the true meeting point for hundreds of people from different nationalities and a convivial space to interact and share their passion for creativity, putting any differences aside and creating unlikely friendships.
The colourful and diverse programme begins on Monday the 21st of August, so head to the Théâtre des Variétés to admire this edition’s first amateur theatre groups of Great Britain, Chile and Hungary in action!