Catalonia is a land of actors and actresses. The theatre is part of the culture of our country. There is no municipality that does not have at least a small theatrical group. They are mostly made up of amateurs, who in many cases, stay in them for their whole lives. Casts in which the youngest make their acting debuts playing Lluquet and Rovelló in the Pastorets and end up playing Satan when their hair has already turned grey.
Some of these people aspire to success and social recognition. Others just want to have fun by immersing themselves in all kinds of characters that come to life on stage and disappear when the curtain comes down. In any case, personal aspiration is placed at the disposal of a common good: to entertain the audience.
At the Diputació de Girona we are in no doubt that we have to promote and protect this intangible asset. For this reason, every year, with the support of the Casa de Cultura, the Generalitat and the Girona City Council, we promote the International Amateur Theatre Festival (FITAG), which this year is celebrating its eighteenth edition. Between August 28 and September 1, Girona and its surrounding municipalities will host the performances of companies from Girona and all over the world, each with a story to tell, both on- and offstage.
FITAG is a multi-faceted tool and is not just for the actors and actresses to be able to perform before an audience that may be discovering them for the first time. We go farther. We promote the network created around FITAG in the municipalities, of which an increasing number is hosting performances, and we are committed to encouraging small collaborations with international companies during different parts of the festival. We also continue to support the Girona City Council in consolidating an initiative that began last year: FITAG in the neighbourhoods.
The most important thing for the Diputació is that FITAG is the catalyst for exchanges and projects between companies. As institutions, we provide the material and economic infrastructure and generate the environment in which to nurture the seed of cooperation, which benefits all the groups. We are achieving our objective.
Audiences, theatrical groups and companies, the curtain is rising. Enjoy the theatre, a mirror, sometimes funny, sometimes cruel, of life!
Pere Vila i Fulcarà
President of the Diputació de Girona
Girona, July 10, 2018
THE GIRONA INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR THEATRE FESTIVAL (FITAG)
The Girona International Amateur Theatre Festival (FITAG) enters its eighteenth edition at cruising speed. After eighteen years it has now come of age. All the work that has been done in the previous editions is beginning to bear fruit; fruit that comes in the form of recognitions, many more applications to participate, proposals for international collaborations, and performances by local amateur groups in festivals outside our region. But above all, FITAG feels the warmth and gratitude of the amateur theatre sector in our region, to which gives it support and accompanies throughout the year.
FITAG has now become a tool and an umbrella, and goes far beyond the tasks necessary to provide a showcase for the amateur theatre productions of the Girona region. It is not a predictable festival. It attempts to be present throughout the year in the international events in our sector and to contribute in each edition new formulas of participation and debate.
The festival has the vocation of a leader, a referee and an agora for the local and international amateur theatre sector. It is a window open to the world from which we can watch and be watched. In previous editions, we began to feel that the atmosphere in our homegrown amateur theatre – and indeed in the rest of the world – was beginning to show signs of optimism and recovery. It might not be like it was before the great crisis in the economy and cultural volunteering, but perhaps we should look at the future and not the past. Perhaps we need to reinvent ourselves.
In the theatre, as in life, you should always look ahead and never look back with regret at past experiences. Experiencing the five days of FITAG is to feel the strength of the people, of the audiences and of the artists, and FITAG itself takes it as a pledge and gives it the form of a festival, a meeting point, a congress of emotions, of new friendships forever and shared theatrical experiences. FITAG will continue to be the vessel, as long as it has sailors willing to undertake new scenic voyages in exchange for a few moments of happiness, accompanied by villages and towns, builders of ports, and coves in which to anchor. For the time being, this eighteenth edition already has the cabins and pantries filled with proposals and theatrical dreams born solely out of love for the art and free time… And, as the FITAG flagship song says, “and this summer, Girona will smile on you, and will once again bring you FITAG and theatre”.
Let’s go, then. We begin the annual journey towards the country of those who give themselves to the theatre and take it to their hearts as a sign of personal identity.
Martí Peraferrer i Vayreda
Director del FITAG