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European Theatre Convention
European Theatre Convention (ETC)

ETC-CTE c/o Deutsches Theater
Schumannstr. 13A, 10117 Berlin, Germany

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Arts Organization of the Month Arts Organization of the Month
Dec. 27, 2013
European Theatre Convention 
European Theatre Convention (ETC) The European Theatre Convention (ETC) is a network for public theaters of Europe. It was founded on statutes laid down in November of 1987 based on a proposal by Daniel Benoin (present director of Théâtre de Nice) as a network that aims to promote exchange and discussion between artistic, technical and administrative personnel involved in theaters and theater-making, to provide support to encourage the exchange of performances among different countries and to bridge the language gap that exists in the spoken theatre. Currently operating out of offices in the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, the ETC has grown to become Europe’s largest-scale network of its kind, representing some 11,000 employees at 47 public theaters in 25 countries around Europe, thousands of artists in over 20 countries and 16,000 performances and public events per year.
As a European theater collaboration network, the ETC introduces outstanding new ideas being attempted and examples of best practices in use at theaters around Europe. ETC supports the development of international collaboration and artistic mobility projects with a focus on multilingualism, artistic education and European citizens in theatre. It also serves as a professional platform for theater makers that encourages intercultural dialogue, organizes meetings, invests in education and training opportunities and initiates research and publications in the fields of translation.
The ETC is also active as an influential advocacy network representing the European public theatre sector on the political decision-making level. Amid the increased competition for the shrinking arts and cultural budgets, due to severe cuts at national levels in recent years, the ETC is working to build long-term, structured relationships with European political institutions for the important purpose of strengthening the position of the European public theaters in ways that will ensure operational stability.
The ETC network engages in programs that support the development of European theaters and theater making from a variety of perspectives. The Mobility program supports the mobility of people by providing travel expenses for exchange projects within the network; the Public of European Theatres program allows any subscriber to the ETC member theaters outside of their own country free access to the performances of all the other theaters of the network; the Festival Fast Forward is the first European festival for young stage directors in the German-speaking area; the Young Europe program creates plays for young people in schools and theaters showing a genuine cross-border cooperation; and the Audience Development Study conducts research to providing knowledge about audiences for European theaters. Other programs organize numerous conferences and workshops. There is also a collaborative project dealing with the issues of the ageing societies named The Art of Ageing, in which eight theaters from the four countries of Germany, Romania, Croatia and Slovakia participated. Four theater works were created in this project dealing with the issues of ageing from the standpoints of sociology, ecology, physiology, philosophy, history and politics. In connection with this project the creative team has created lifetime learning programs for their respective regions.
ETC also has a publishing arm producing publications that promote the development of new theater in Europe. The biennial publication European Theatre Today in English and French editions introduces outstanding new plays primarily by young European playwrights. There is also a project in collaboration with the French theater review UBU. Information about these publications in PDF form can be downloaded from the two websites shown below. Among the other books published is Young Europe: A European Drama Repertoire for young audiences.