Research in TRIE:

Toward developing workshops and trainings in the area of the European Critic


TRIE is developing workshops and trainings in the area of the European Critic. This  relates to the acquisition of the international theatre magazine Plays International & Europe in January 2016 shifted TRIE from a local Luxembourgish production-and expressive arts -based research unit (which included my private practice as an Arts Therapist) to a theatre Think Tank which addresses the concept of the European Critic in addition to providing traditional training workshops.

To revitalise the role of the arts critic, specifically but not exclusively the theatre critic, is the main goal of the European Critic platform. It is a project that intends to encourage changes in how critics are educated and how they find employment. It is a reality-based and comparative approach that teaches how varying national economic and cultural systems foster certain kinds of dramatic expression and certain kinds of theatre. The comparative approach requires a critic who is versed in several European languages and has an excellent working knowledge of other European cultures and arts economies. The critic trained as a European critic can then offer an in-depth analysis of cultural productions of all sorts (specifically theatre) which is dependent neither on the sharp pen or flowery praise of newspaper arts journalism of former times nor on the alarming superficiality of online arts journalism of the present time. Instead, the new critic, the European critic, can offer insight into theatrical production not immediately accessible to entertained audience members. The opportunity for interaction between critic and performance group is thus positively enhanced, and the benefit lies in an increase in awareness of motivating forces behind the creation of works of (theatrical/performance) art.

Naturally, the concept of the European Critic can easily be converted into that of the International Critic. Always, such an individual would have an education tailored to include advanced linguistic skills in at least two non-native languages and a concomitant knowledge of the cultures in which these languages are spoken – culture defined as not simply faith-bound and ethics-bound but also as economic and political.

The most recent activities include a workshop for post-graduate students at the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education of the University of Luxembourg  I held on 7 October 2019 entitled "Writing Theatre Reviews", and a presentation at a session in honour of University of California at Irvine Professor Emeritus Robert Cohen at the Cluj-Napoca Theatre Festival in Romania  which took place from 9 to 13 October 2019, and is reported on the Winter 2019 issue of Plays International & Europe.

Planned activites include a two-day workshop for postgraduate students at the University of Edinburgh scheduled for 8-9 October 2020. Developing out of this new approach, TRIE will expand its activities aiming to upgrade and enhance the quality of  European and international theatre criticism with special emphasis on cross-cultural themes.

           DrPhil Dana Rufolo, director of TRIE  

            Editor of Plays International & Europe