Is a national theatre relevant?
Earlier this week, in response to the forum Our National Theatre we will be holding at the Stables on 11 December, Griffin was denounced by a group called Panacea who claim that by only producing Australian theatre, we are progressing a narrow representation of culture. You can check out their video here.
Panacea has raised interesting questions about the type of work being made and presented in Australia right now. And so, we bring on the debate and invite them to join us at our forum on Thursday, 11 December.
There is space in our culture for all kinds of stories. Stories that talk to big, global ideas. Stories that speak to us individually, in a single humanitarian voice. And stories that represent our distinct vernacular, reflect the people who have come before us on this land, are journeying through it now, and those to whom we entrust its future care.
I think that we do all of things those at Griffin, and will continue to do so. And by doing all of those things, whether it’s representing specific ethnic, cultural or national identity, or exploring the local and the global, I don’t think that focusing on one in any way diminishes the other. But let’s have that conversation.
What does the idea of a “national theatre” mean and look like? Does national identity have a place in theatre, or do audiences expect our stories to reflect the increasingly globalised world we are living in? We will also talk about presenting classics and new work, and the opportunities and challenges presented by new digital platforms in determining what we create for our stages and the way audiences will engage with them.
We have invited a member of the Panacea group to attend and present their point of view.