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a time for everything

As I write these, our citizens have just witnessed the end of the first round of electoral campaigns that over the next eight months will precede the four rounds of elections that will take this year - the results of which undoubtedly bring changes that fundamentally affect our lives, while we hope more than ever that these changes will improve them. Some of these changes have already happened. To put it simply, we could say that some power is back in the hands of the left. A left with a more humanistic touch. And that is good news for culture. There is no doubt that as a result of the crisis, some people have taken advantage of the opportunity to try to anaesthetize the public's brain and therefore part of its soul and its body (if not, why are there so many articles in the press  - particularly the foreign press - about stress and the mental and physical consequences of the crisis?). But apparently, hope and even despair give us an unknown strength to use our vote to demand better living conditions for a majority of our citizens. Whatever happens, what is certain is that during these eight months in which we will suffer from the shift from the Gregorian to the electoral calendar, there will be noise, and a lot of it: in houses, on televisions, in the street… This will coincide with the final season in our mandate and the beginning of the next one - the first in the new four-year commission that this management team has received from the Teatre Lliure's Board of Trustees. Much of this 15/16 season also takes in the year in which we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Lliure. We therefore believe that in these times of so much noise, the time has come for us to engage in a silence leading to reflection and self-criticism, and to take a calm look at our past since 1976, and especially at the last four years since 2011, when our first mandate and what we all called the 'crisis' began.
In short, during these four seasons, the Lliure has tried more than ever to anticipate the desires of its audience, creating a programme which engages in a dialogue with the public and their concerns, facing it and confronting it with itself while accompanying it and comforting it in these difficult times. And at the same time, we have done everything possible to become a porous and elastic instrument in order to be able to walk at the same pace as society and its artists, and flexible enough to change the pace whenever necessary.
The economic realities we have experienced have led us adopt a dynamic based almost exclusively on production (otherwise who else was going to do it?) and the audience, as strong-willed as we are, has followed us and we have obtained positive artistic and audience results, which have also sometimes contributed to relieving the difficult circumstances of many professionals. But we have reached a ceiling: in the 14/15 season the Lliure will have given its audiences 526 performances. Perhaps it is true that it is always possible to remain on the same path in order to improve. I don't know. What I do know is that a theatre cannot ever stop growing because it stops. And a theatre that has stopped dies. And when I say grow, I'm not talking about quantity but instead about a deeper ethical and aesthetic role that a public theatre should play in the public and theatrical fabric of our community. The dynamic that we have used to date has been one of a 'war economy', but this has the danger of a building without foundations. It is true that the Lliure is starting to have firm enough foundations to keep the scaffolding upright, and this has been apparent in the results obtained. But this has been possible precisely because the Lliure has been redefined as a public theatre many times, and now it is time to do it again. We demand this of ourselves.
Throughout the next season, in addition to the programming and activities that accompany it, we aim to offer a series of forums for theoretical reflection and a series of workshops for practical reflection, acting as a forum between the Lliure and society with a wide cross-section of its members, from which new vectors and ideas for our future may arise that can redefine the role of a public theatre in our society today. The Bible says that there is "a time for everything”. For us, the time has come to think. Collectively and about the future.
Lluís Pasqual


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