We begin the seventeenth edition of the Girona International Festival of Amateur Theatre (FITAG) with a smile on our lips – a smile of satisfaction and gratitude. At the Girona Provincial Council, we are very pleased because there can be no doubt that this festival has become a benchmark among the best known amateur theatre competitions, both in our country and the rest of Europe. The FITAG is a festival full of vitality and energy. It fills various places around the city with spectacles and is growing and expanding to the surrounding towns under the “FITAG in the Municipalities” banner.
We are equally satisfied to see how the amateur companies of Girona province are not only becoming consolidated, but, in some cases, are actually transcending municipal and even regional boundaries. They have their set their sights on stages all over the country and we can often find the most fortunate and consistent of them on the list of companies competing in international competitions.
We are grateful to all the participants in these companies for their efforts in keeping the amateur theatre tradition alive, as well as modernising it. It is a tradition that forms part of the history of our culture and our way of being. From mediaeval mystery plays, the dramas of Guimerà and the parodies of Pitarra, to the transgression of the Fura dels Baus, there is a long road full of masterworks, playwrights whose legacy remains with us today, and companies and people (actors, actresses, directors, etc.) who have made Catalonia a beacon of theatre culture on a European scale; yesterday and today.
Continuing to be this benchmark for other cultures depends largely on us. As long as we maintain the indomitable spirit that characterises us; while we have the desire to experiment; while we still need to perform the dramas and joys of daily life onstage, we will not lose momentum. The FITAG is proof that we have a good quarry and much to offer; and what is more important, we want to be heard and recognised as representatives of a culture with multiple accents –the Catalan culture– wherever we go.
Pere Vila i Fulcarà
President de la Diputació de Girona
We are launching the seventeenth edition of FITAG at full steam ahead. We are now seeing that the work done in previous editions is starting to bear fruit; fruit we are harvesting in the form of recognition, requests to take part, collaboration proposals and, above all, the gratitude of the Girona Counties’ amateur theatre sector, which is by our side, accompanying us, throughout the whole year.
We believe that FITAG is much more than a showcase for talent. It is an unpredictable festival. We strive to ensure that it is present all year round at international events in the sector and that it always offers new formulas for participation and debate. It is a window to the world that we can look out of, and that we like to be seen from.
We are noticing that the atmosphere in our local amateur theatre and, indeed, in the rest of the world, is beginning to show signs of optimism and recovery. It will certainly not be the same as it was, but perhaps we don’t want it to be either. In the theatre, just as in life, we must always look ahead to the future, and never look back with regret to times past. We feel the power of the public, and FITAG takes this as a token and has turned it into a festival, an agora, a meeting of emotions and shared theatrical experiences. We will continue to provide the ship for as long as we have the daring and bold sailors to embark on new theatrical voyages in return for some moments of happiness...
At the moment, this edition is loaded with ideas and dreams... And, as this year’s song goes, “[...] this summer, Girona smiles at you, and brings you FITAG... and theatre once again [...]”. So, let’s go! Let’s begin our annual journey to the land of those who love the theatre and wear it like a badge of personal identity.
Martí Peraferrer i Vayreda
Director del FITAG