In the summer of 1998 Girona held its first International Amateur Theatre Festival, under the name of “El Pati” in honour of the space that hosted it, the courtyard of the Cultural Centre of the Girona Provincial Council.
As a brand-new experience, that initiative required a great effort of organisation. The reward, though, was the success it achieved: groups from all over the world took part with high-quality productions, the audience response was more than satisfactory, and most important, the city of Girona was converted into a meeting point for the world of amateur theatre, offering groups the possibility of exchanging experiences and getting to know theatrical techniques and creative proposals from countries with different cultures.
With such a positive balance, the Provincial Council decided to give continuity, on a biennial basis, to the International Amateur Theatre Festival of Girona, and a second edition was announced for the summer of 2000. On this occasion, the courtyard of the Cultural Centre continued to be the main stage, with the La Planeta theatre as a complementary venue for certain performances. Under the artistic and technical direction of Jep Sánchez, a more plural, better-balanced and higher-quality selection of participating companies was achieved.
The third edition of the Festival, held in September 2002, involved a change of venue and therefore a change of name, from “El Pati” to “International Amateur Theatre Festival of Girona (FITAG),” as it is now known. The main venue became the Sant Domènec Theatre, although the courtyard of the Cultural Centre and La Planeta were still used. The novelty of this edition was the premiere of a show produced by the Girona Region Theatre Association with the support of the Provincial Council, and performed entirely by amateur actors from Girona and its surrounding area. The show, Mowgli. L’altre llibre de les terresverges, was very well received by both audience and critics.
In 2004, the Teatre de Guerrilla group took over the artistic direction of FITAG, which was incorporated as an extra feature of the Supermercat de Teatre de Catalunya. The Festival also became an annual event.
In the fifth edition of FITAG, a new era began, with the actor and theatrical director Martí Peraferrer as the new artistic manager. It returned to functioning independently and regained the “Casa de Cultura” of the County Council of Girona (Diputació de Girona) as its principal stage and meeting place for the participating theatrical groups. The principal aim of this new team has been, since the first day, to open this area of theatrical exchange to the visiting public, with the intention that FITAG synchronises increasingly with the city. To encourage the participation of Gironas amateur groups is one of the greatest challenges that Martí Peraferrer has implemented. The increase in international applications to participate, the increasing presence of groups from Girona and the multifarious support from the public shown by their attendance at performances certifies the growing reputation and consolidation of this summer festival of Girona as a theatrical and cultural event, all the time producing stronger roots here.