International Association of Theatre Leaders

IATL gathers leaders in the field of theatre and performing arts from all over the world, around the shared values of international dialogue and cooperation.

Upcoming events


Beyond the general definition of leadership applied to the particular field of performing arts, the qualities of a theatre leader relate to three key aspects: vision, inspiration, and legacy. A true leader in theatre is someone who has a clear vision for and about this art form, someone who inspires others to believe in that vision, and is thus likely to leave an enduring legacy through her or his work.

The current circumstances for theatre are still difficult, as the post-pandemic world is defined by a general sense of uncertainty. The long-awaited, highly anticipated and much needed explosion of joy is coupled with the sad realisation that an entire field of human creativity has been devastated by lack of economic resources, changes in cultural policy, and not least a series of deep anthropological changes.

Now, more than in the entire period after WWII, local and global leadership is essential in theatre! Vision and inspiration are the prerequisites for theatre’s survival, as well as for the survival of its artists. The legacy of all true theatre leaders of our troubled times will be the thriving theatre of the next generations.


Vision ** Vision ** Vision **


Mission ** Mission ** Mission **


Goals ** Goals ** Goals **

IATL aims to strengthen and enrich leadership in the world of theatre by:

  • promoting dialogue and exchanges between leaders across disciplines, from programming and curating to criticism, creative writing and academic research
  • facilitating community development through cultural connectivity and universal leadership values, towards a lasting cultural legacy
  • initiating new leadership programmes with the intention of raising awareness about theatre and enhancing theatrical literacy
  • stimulating the interest of various public and private agencies in supporting and funding theatre projects
  • bringing together leaders of institutions and leaders of opinion, for a shared perspective on theatre’s vital role in the society at large
  • ensuring equal opportunity for theatre leaders of all races, genders and backgrounds
  • empowering new generations of theatre leaders around the world

The mission of IATL is to encourage, support and promote cultural leadership in the field of theatre and performing arts. Regardless of their gender, religion, ethnicity, age or political orientation, the members of the association gather in the spirit of shared values and the belief that theatre is not a commodity, but a cultural necessity of humankind.

Beyond their respective professional engagements in various capacities and geographic regions, the association provides its members with a platform for constant connectivity, global dialogue and cross-cultural exchange of ideas and resources.

An important dimension of the mission of IATL is to nourish young leadership in theatre and performing arts, particularly in disadvantaged communities, through mentoring, networking and empowerment.

The main purpose of the association is to facilitate global networking, worldwide projects and transnational exchanges between theatre and performing arts leaders. In order to achieve this, IATL will:

  • initiate programmes and events that will bring together theatre leaders from different parts of the world
  • sustain the visibility of regional sections and their respective portfolio of activities
  • establish a good practice of fair, open, and accessible communication between its members
  • promote and defend freedom of artistic expression in the world of theatre
  • cooperate with other global, regional or national theatre and cultural organisations in a concerted effort to consolidate faith in the meaning and the benefits of performing arts for individuals and communities
  • offer know-how support and management advice to emerging leaders and start-up independent theatre projects


Founder & President

Octavian Saiu

Professor, Cultural and Academic Consultant

Professor Octavian Saiu is a scholar and a global facilitator of cultural exchanges. He holds a PhD in Theatre Studies from National University of Theatre and Film (NUTF) in Romania, with a thesis about theatrical space, and another PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Otago in New Zealand, with a thesis about Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco. He completed his Post-Doc in Modern Literature at the University of Otago, and has been awarded his Habilitation in Theatre and Performing Arts. He teaches constantly in the Postgraduate Programme of NUTF and the Doctoral School of Sibiu University. He was Visiting Fellow at the University of London, School of Advanced Study, and is Visiting Professor at universities in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing and Lisbon. He has offered master classes at other universities in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as the Grotowski Institute. He has been actively involved, as Conference Chair and Invited Speaker, in several major theatre and academic events around the world, including the Theatre Olympics, Wuzhen Theatre Festival, as well as Edinburgh International Festival, where he was Chair of the Samuel Beckett Conference in 2013. Since 2004 he has been Chair of the Conferences of Sibiu International Theatre Festival. Throughout the years, he has hosted dialogues and conferences with hundreds of major theatre artists, from Ohad Naharin, Akram Khan and Sasha Waltz to Robert Wilson, Robert Lepage, Thomas Ostermeier and Ivo van Hove. He has published academic articles in several international journals, as well as fourteen books on theatre. His most recent book publication is ”Phèdre. D’Euripide à Racine, de Sénèque à Sarah Kane” (Lansman Editeur, Bruxelles, 2022). He received the Critics’ Award in 2010 and the Award of the Union of Theatre Artists (UNITER) in 2013. In 2020, on the National Day of Culture, the President of Romania awarded him the Order of Cultural Merit.

Advisory Board

IATL Advisory Board includes well-known international leaders, who are consulted exclusively for advice and final approvals regarding the projects.

Constantin Chiriac

Constantin Chiriac

President of Sibiu International Theatre Festival

Constantin Chiriac is President of Sibiu International Theatre Festival – FITS and General Manager of the Radu Stanca National Theatre in Sibiu. As a distinguished cultural leader, Constantin Chiriac is also Director of the Sibiu Performing Arts Market and founder of the Sibiu Walk of Fame, of the School of Theatre and Cultural Management at the “Lucian Blaga” University in Sibiu, of the International Doctoral Research Platform in Performing Arts and Cultural Management at the same university and of the Association Sibiu European Cultural Capital 2007. He is a professor at the “Lucian Blaga” University in Sibiu, he has lectured around the globe, and has received honorary doctorates from important universities worldwide. In 2019, the French Minister of Culture, Mr. Franck Riester, decorated him with the rank of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2020, he was awarded the rank of Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and received the Cultural Distinction of the Romanian Academy. Recognized as an Officer of the Order of the Belgian Crown (2011), he is an Honorary Tourism Ambassador and has received the National Order of Merit (2000) and Officer of the Order of Cultural Merit from the Grand Duke of Luxembourg (2017). He received the 2024 Angel Award at the International Society for the Performing Arts - ISPA's 75th Anniversary Awards for his visionary leadership in creating and developing FITS. As a theatre and film actor, Constantin Chiriac has played in over 40 performances and movies, collaborated with important international theatre directors and performed one-man shows and poetry recitals in over 50 countries.

Yvette Hardie

Honorary President of ASSITEJ

Yvette Hardie is a theatre producer, director, educator, and writer active in the world of theatre and performance, with a particular focus on theatre for young audiences. She initiated the launch of ASSITEJ SA (the national centre of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) in 2007, and leads the organisation in the capacity of National Director. She served as elected President of the international ASSITEJ from 2011-2021. She has now stepped down from this position and is an Honorary President of the association. She serves as Deputy Chairperson for the STAND Foundation and for Im4theArts. In all these capacities, she creates opportunities for artistic exchange, mentorship, skills development and cross-cultural collaboration across the world, while working to invigorate the South African theatrical landscape with work of the highest quality and widest accessibility. She writes and speaks extensively on issues relating to arts for young audiences, arts education and arts for reconciliation and conflict resolution at events around the world. In 2019, she was awarded the Mickey Miner Award for Lifetime Achievement from IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth), based in Philadelphia, USA, for her contribution to theatre for young audiences locally and globally.

Jonathan Mills

Sir Jonathan Mills

Director of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit

Sir Jonathan Mills AO is a prominent Australian-born composer and festival director, who resides in the UK. In the 1990s he worked in the Architecture Faculty of RMIT University in Melbourne, leading courses in acoustic design. He is the composer of several award-winning operas and works for chamber ensemble and orchestra. His opera Eternity Man was recognised by a Genesis Foundation commission in 2003 and his oratorio Sandakan Threnody won the Prix Italia in 2005. He has been director of various music and multi-arts festivals in Australia and also in the UK, where he was the director of the Edinburgh International Festival between 2007 and 2014. He is currently Director of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, a UNESCO-recognised biennial meeting held in conjunction with Edinburgh’s summer festivals and is the current President of the EFFE International Jury. EFFE (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) was initiated by the European Festivals Association. Jonathan is visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh and Vice Chancellor’s (Professorial) Fellow at the University of Melbourne. His work has been recognised by awards from the governments of Australia, Britain, France, Poland and South Korea.

Stan Lai

Stan Lai

Playwright, Director, Founder of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival

Stan Lai is considered "the best Chinese language playwright and director in the world" (BBC), "Asia's top theatre director" (Asiaweek), and "Asia's flagship playwright" (China Daily). Lai's plays, starting from the 1980s in Taiwan, have greatly influenced theatre in the Chinese-speaking world, including those regarded as masterpieces of the modern Chinese-language theatre such as Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, The Village and his epic 7-hour A Dream Like A Dream, called by China Daily "possibly the greatest Chinese-language play since time immemorial." In the Foreword to Lai's 3-volume, 12-play collection Selected Plays of Stan Lai (University of Michigan Press, 2022), Robert Brustein calls Lai "The major contemporary Asian playwright of his time, perhaps of all time." Lai is a two time recipient of Taiwan's National Arts Award, among numerous other awards, and he received a star on the Walk of Fame at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in 2019. Lai is also an award-winning filmmaker as well as an acclaimed opera and event director. He is an acclaimed author on creativity, and has taught extensively at Taipei National University of the Arts, as well as at Stanford, Berkeley, CalArts and the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Lai is currently Artistic Director of Performance Workshop, Taiwan; and Theatre Above, Shanghai, a venue dedicated to the performance of his works. He is Co-founder, Festival Director and Jury Head of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, which has become the most influential theatre festival in China. Lai is married to Nai-chu Ding, who over the years has produced most of his work.

Alicia Adams

Alicia Adams

Vice President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Alicia B. Adams is the Vice President of International Programming and Dance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She joined the Kennedy Center in the 90s, first serving as Special Assistant to the Chairman, James Wolfensohn. She worked with the Chairman to augment, articulate, coordinate and oversee implementation of the Center’s programs and policies. Adams now curates major international festivals as well as contemporary theatre and dance programs. For more than two decades, Adams’ role at the Center has been producing and presenting work from the national and international arenas. Over the past years she has produced international theatre series, Spotlight on Directors and Celebrating Bergman at 100 including directors Liv Ullmann and Ivo van Hove. Most recently she launched ARTES DE CUBA: From the Island to the World, an unprecedented festival that brought together 400 Cuban and Cuban American artists. She also curated and produced Ireland 100 (2016), celebrating the Centennial of the Easter Rising, the Center’s IBERIAN SUITE: global arts remix (2015), WORLD STAGES: International Theater Festival 2014, as well as the Nordic Cool 2013, maximumINDIA (2011) and ARABESQUE: Arts of the Arab World (2009) festivals, celebration of the arts and culture of the Nordic region, India and the Arab world respectively. She also planned and programmed China: The Art of a Nation (2011), ON THE FRINGE: Eye on Edinburgh (2010), JAPAN! culture + hyperculture (2008) and the month-long Festival of China (2005), the largest celebration Chinese arts and culture in American history. She also curated the Center’s four-year initiative on Africa, African Odyssey (1997-2000) and the Latin American festival AmericArtes (2001-2004). In addition to major international festivals, Adams also curates the Center’s Contemporary Dance and the World Stages series. She has worked in the field of arts management in New York City for institutions including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Belafonte Enterprises, Inc., City Center Theater, Harlem School of the Arts and International Production Associates. She serves as Chair of the Trustees of International Society for the Performing Arts(ISPA), as a Trustees of the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts, Trustee and Founding Council member of the Caine Prize for African Writing( UK), Africa 95 Trustee, Trustee for Chinese Cultural Institute founded by Shirley Young, Former Advisory Board member for the All Roads Film Project of National Geographic, Advisory Board member for Harlem School of the Arts, Trustee of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), and six years on the National Dance Panel of the New England Foundation on the Arts. Adams is a member of the Advisory Council for Georgetown University's Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics. She is also an elected member of the Cosmos Club. In 2011 she received the APAP Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award for exemplary service to the field of presenting. She was honoured by The Center for Democracy in the Americas as the 2018 Champion of U.S. -Cuba Engagement. In 2013, Adams was awarded the Insignia of Member First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by the Swedish government. In 2014, Adams was awarded Insignia of Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland by the Finnish government. In 2022, she was elected as a member to the Council on Foreign Relations. Adams has a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University. She holds a certificate in arts administration from Harvard University’s School of Business Administration.

Michael Dobson

Director of The Shakespeare Institute

Michael Dobson is Director of The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, Professor of Shakespeare Studies, University of Birmingham, a trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and an honorary governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His previous employers include Oxford, Harvard, the University of Illinois and the University of London, and he has held fellowships and visiting appointments in California, France, Sweden, Italy and China, in between giving visiting lectures and seminars in some 30 other countries. He holds honorary degrees from Lund and Craiova, is a past winner of the Charles Oldham Shakespeare Prize, and was awarded the Craiova International Shakespeare Festival Prize in 2020. His publications include "The Making of the National Poet" (1992), "The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare" (with Stanley Wells, 2001, and often revised since), "England's Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy" (with Nicola Watson, 2002), "Performing Shakespeare's Tragedies Today" (2006), and "Shakespeare and Amateur Performance" (2011). With Sir Simon Russell Beale and Abigail Rokison-Woodall, he co-edits the "Arden Performance Editions of Shakespeare" series, and with Dympna Callaghan he co-edits the Palgrave Shakespeare Studies series. He has published numerous chapters and essays, serves on the editorial board of the Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive, and writes regularly for "The London Review of Books".

Tisa Ho

Executive Director, Hong Kong Arts Festival

Tisa Ho is Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival. In addition to ticketed performances by local and international artists and ensembles in established venues, she has extended its scope to include large scale, site specific, free performances and started a No Limits Series to showcase and embrace differently abled artists and audiences. She has managed the Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Victoria Concert Hall, and helped set up the Alliance of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras and Singapore International Piano Festival. She has served on the Boards of the Substation Arts Centre, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, the LaSalle SIA College of Arts, the Necessary Stage Theatre Company, the Association of Asia Pacific Arts Festivals, and the Hong Kong International Literary Festival. She was Board Chair of the International Society for the Performing Arts through the pandemic years, and chair of the Hong Kong Arts Administrators’ Association which she helped to professionalise and where she established the annual Cultural Leadership Summit. NGO work includes reporting to the United Nations on the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women, Presidency of the International Women’s Forum (HK), the Singapore National Council of Women’s Organisations, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), and the Women’s Initiative for Aging Successfully (WINGS) in both Singapore and Hong Kong. She is an Honorary Citizen of Tong Yeong in recognition of her contributions to development of music activities in that city. She was named one of 10 Women of Our Time by the South China Morning Post in 2013, in 2019 received the Degree of Doctor of the University from Griffith in Australia, in 2020 voted Master of Arts by the American Chambers, and in 2022 elected to the Literary and Arts Association of China.

Theodoros Terzopoulos

President of the Theatre Olympics

World-acclaimed Greek theatre director and leader of the Theatre Olympics, Theodoros Terzopoulos was born in Makrygialos village of Pieria, northern Greece. He was trained at Kostis Michailidis School of Dramatic Art in Athens (1965-67), completing his studies at the Berliner Ensemble, Germany (1972-76). Between 1981 and 1983 he served as Director of the Dramatic Arts School at the State Theatre of Northern Greece in Thessaloniki. Creator of Attis Theatre in Delphi, in 1985, Theodoros Terzopoulos has gained global recognition by staging ancient tragedies as well as major contemporary Greek and European plays. His company has presented more than 2100 performances worldwide, over the past 35 years. As Founder and President of the International Committee of the Theatre Olympics, Terzopoulos has been leading the organisation since it was established in 1993 by prestigious artists such as Nuria Espert, Yuri Lyubimov, Robert Wilson, and Tadashi Suzuki. The ten editions of this unparalleled festival have showcased the works of some of the world’s foremost theatre makers. In Heiner Müller’s words, the theatre of Terzopoulos is “a search for the lost keys of unity between body and speech”. This search is illustrated by his preeminent method, which cultivates the fundamentals of the acting practice and reconstructs the unity between the word and the body. Since 2013, he has directed the Summer School “The Return of Dionysus – The Method of Theodoros Terzopoulos” for the young generations of theatre professionals. Books on his method have been published and translated all over the globe. He was the Artistic Director of the International Meetings of Ancient Drama in Delphi and is a founding member of the International Institute of Mediterranean Theatre and President of its Greek Department.

Jean-Guy Lecat

Scenographer, Theatre architecture consultant

Jean-Guy Lecat was the technical director, decorator and scenographer for Peter Brook at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord for over twenty five years. Today he continues his practice of as a freelance scenographer and theatre architecture consultant. Since the beginning of his career, he has always kept one foot in theatre and the other foot in architecture. In 2007, Lecat created his innovative Cardboard Box Theatre at PQ, his interpretation of a temporary theatre space using fiberglass filled boxes for their acoustical qualities. Because of Lecat’s 40-year experience in making over dilapidated warehouses, abandoned factories and monasteries into viable performance spaces—because of his immense body of knowledge in the uses of scenography, the history of design, the importance of good acoustics and, most significant, the relationship of actor to audience — Lecat is considered a world leader in the field of theatre and design.

Christine Schmalor

Christine Schmalor

Programme Director of World Theatre Training Institute/ITI

Christine Schmalor is a theatre teacher and creator of international training programmes in classical singing, acting and directing, light design (USA); German literature and theatre science. In 1989 she graduated (M.A.) from the Free University of Berlin and started as a freelance director with productions in Germany. She became master student of Dr Jurij Alschitz and was co-founder of AKT-ZENT international theatre centre Berlin (1995), today the World Theatre Training Institute/ITI. She is programme director of all international projects and editor of the institute’s teaching handbooks. From 2000-2011, first vice- then president of the ITI Theatre Education and Training Committee; today board member of the ITI/UNESCO Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts. After the experimental run at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), she created a curriculum for an M.A. programme Teaching Professional Theatre. Her ongoing artistic research is about new teaching methods for acting including hybrid and online training.

Stanley Gontarski

Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor

Stanley E. Gontarski, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English, Ph.D., Ohio State (1974): writer, director and filmmaker who specializes in twentieth-century Irish Studies, in British, U.S., and European Modernism, performance theory, History of Text Technologies and Modern(ist) book history. He has been a resident Fellow at the Djerassi Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the Bogliasco Foundation and a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome. He has been awarded four National Endowment for the Humanities research grants, has twice been awarded Fulbright Professorships, has been Guest Editor of the following: "American Book Review", "The Review of Contemporary Fiction", and "Modern Fiction Studies" and most recently "Drammaturgia". He is also General Editor of four book series: "Crosscurrents: Comparative Studies in European Literature and Philosophy" with the University Press of Florida; "Anthem Studies in Theatre and Performance" with Anthem Press, London; "Understanding Philosophy / Understanding Modernism" (with Paul Ardoin and Laci Mattison) from Bloomsbury; "Other Becketts" from Edinburgh University Press. He edited the "Journal of Beckett Studies" from 1989-2008, and currently serves as Co-Editor with its publication by Edinburgh University Press.

Tobias Biancone

Tobias Biancone (Honorary Member)

Director General of ITI UNESCO

Tobias Biancone was born in Bern, Switzerland, and is of Swiss and Italian heritage. A Poet and writer, he studied in French and German literature and language, as well as the arts history, at the University of Bern/Switzerland. His works have been published in German, English, Bangla (Bengali) Ilonggo, Tagalog, Spanish, Arabic and Russian. His collaboration with the Swiss painter Claude Sandoz was shown in the art museums of Thun and Bern (both Switzerland) and in art galleries. His dramatic work has been shown in Germany (Exhibition Opera in Bremen) and in Switzerland. He has a long history of working for the arts, lending his expertise across varied fields, including but not limited to: attaining publication for visual artists and writers, 14 volumes; and organizing a culture festivals which celebrate poetry, prose, music, cinema & theatre. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work. He is an Honorary Professor of the Central Academy of Drama. He served on the board of the Swiss Centre of ITI, spent six years as president of the ITI International Playwrights´ Forum, and was part of the ITI Executive Council for six years. He has been the leader of the General Secretariat since 2008 and President of the Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts since 2014.

Executive Board

IATL Executive Board consists of accomplished leaders, whose role in the association is to provide direction and know-how.

Jaroslaw Fret

Jarosław Fret

Founder and leader of Teatr ZAR, theatre director and actor

Jarosław Fret is a founder and leader of Teatr ZAR, theatre director and actor. He is Director of the Grotowski Institute, lecturer at the PWST National Academy of Theatre Arts in Kraków (Branch in Wrocław) and President of the Board of Curators of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 and Curator of its Theatre Programme. In 1999–2002 he organized a series of expeditions to Georgia, Armenia and Iran, conducting research into the oldest forms of religious music of Eastern Christianity. In the following years, together with members of Teatr ZAR, he led expeditions to Mount Athos in Greece, Sardinia, Corsica, Armenia, Turkey and Israel. He has directed four performance pieces with Teatr ZAR. Teatr ZAR’s Gospels of Childhood triptych has been seen in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Athens, Belgrade, Edinburgh, Florence, Madrid, Paris, Sibiu, Cairo, New Delhi and Seoul. In November 2013 he completed work on Armine, Sister, for which he developed an original musical dramaturgy and special stage architecture. He lectures and leads work sessions in Poland and abroad. His awards and honours include: Best New Music Theater for Teatr ZAR from Los Angeles Times (2009); Wrocław Theatre Prize for the Gospels of Childhood triptych (2010); the prestigious Total Theatre Award for Physical/Visual Theatre and the Herald Angel at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2012). He has originated and coordinated numerous Polish and international projects of the Grotowski Institute, including the Grotowski Year 2009, Masters in Residence, the International Theatre Festival The World as a Place of Truth and the Theatre Olympics 2016 in Wrocław.

Bernice Chan

Examiner for the Hong Kong Arts Development Council

Chan Kwok Wai Bernice is currently the General Manager of the International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong), and an Examiner for the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (Drama Committee). She is also a Panel Member of the Hong Kong Drama Awards, the Hong Kong Theatre Libre, and the IATC(HK) Critics Awards, as well as the Vice President of the International Association of Libraries, Museums, Archives and Documentation Centres of the Performing Arts (SIBMAS). She received the Hong Kong Arts Development Council-University of Leeds-Chevening Scholarships in 2005 and obtained her Master of Arts in Theatre Studies from the University of Leeds (UK). She was also an Art Form Panel Member (Festivals) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (2011–2016), an Advisory Committee Member of School of Drama, the Hong Kong of Academy for Performing Arts (2017–2018), as well as a guest host of Artscritique (2007–2018) and a Radio and Television Hong Kong radio programme. Chan has curated and edited over 50 publishing projects about performing arts. Her recent editorial projects have included Ten Years of A City: Selected Hong Kong Plays (2003–2012), which was awarded the 11th Hong Kong Book Prize in 2018, and "A Snap beyond Borders: An Online Archive and Education Project of Hong Kong Theatre and Performance Photography", which was awarded the Arts Promotion and Education Award at the 16th Hong Kong Arts Development Awards.

Vladislava Fekete

Vladislava Fekete

Director of the Theatre Institute in Bratislava

Vladislava Fekete (ArtD) studied dramaturgy in the Department of Theatre Directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. In 2009, she completed her Doctoral Studies there and in 2022 she received the title of Associate Professor in the field of Theatre Studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, where she teaches Drama Theory, History of Theatre, Drama Theory, and Theatre Research. Her professional interests are: cultural management, directing, dramaturgy, literary translation, theory and criticism of contemporary theatre and drama. Since 6 July 2006, she has been the Director of the Theatre Institute in Bratislava, as well as the Director of the Nová dráma/New Drama festival of Slovak and international drama. She has founded the Centre for Theatre Research, where she has initiated several research projects focusing on the history of Slovak theatre and drama. She established a new theatre journal called kød – concretely øn theatre and numerous projects supporting new Slovak drama for children and adults. She is constantly involved in the promotion of Slovak theatre in the country and abroad, and participates in nationwide events such as Theatre Night and the Biennale of Theatre Photography. She has written several dramatic texts for theatre and radio, as well as television screenplays. As a director and a dramaturg, she has been focusing on new European drama. She has coordinated many presentations and showcases of Slovak theatre abroad (Korea, USA, Japan, India, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Russia, Spain, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, etc.). She has been collaborating with many theatre festivals in Slovakia and abroad.

Taiwo Afolabi

Taiwo Afolabi

Director of the Centre for Socially Engaged Theatre

Taiwo Afolabi, P.hD. holds the Canada Research Chair in Socially Engaged Theatre; is the Director of the Centre for Socially Engaged Theatre (C-SET), and an Assistant Professor at the University of Regina. He is an artist, qualitative researcher, theatre manager, applied theatre practitioner, and educator with a decade of experience working across a variety of creative and community contexts in over dozen countries across four continents. He conducts research, creates works, performs, and teaches at the intersection of performance and human ecology. His research interests lie in the areas of applied theatre and policing, social justice, decolonization, art leadership and management, migration, the ethics of conducting arts-based research, and recently theatre on the prairies. Dr. Afolabi co-directs Future Prairie Theatre and he is the Vice-President of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR). He co-coordinates the UNESCO's International Theatre Institute's Network of Emerging Arts Professionals (NEAP). He has co-edited three books and published articles in various books and reputable journals. He is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) and the founding artistic director of Theatre Emissary International.

Narine Sargsyan

Vice-Rector, Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema

Professor Narine Sargsyan is a specialist in the field of the history of theatre and theatre criticism. She graduated from Yerevan State Art-theatrical Institute with honors in the specialty “director of drama” in 1981. In 1984 she became a post-graduated Moscow State Institute of Theatre Art after A.V. Lunacharsky and was awarded the degree of Candidate of Art /PhD/. For 37 years, Narine Sargsyan has been delivering theoretical courses on theater history and criticism at Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography. From 2004 to 2014 she served as Dean of the faculty of “History, Theory and Management of Art”. Since 2014, she has been Vice-rector on research and study affairs in Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography. Narine Sargsyan is an author of many scientific-methodological research articles as well as textbooks on history of theatre. She has participated in a number of International forums, conferences and seminars in the sphere of theatre, in Armenia and abroad. Professor Sargsyan was honored in 2004 by the Prime-Minister of the Republic of Armenia with a gratitude award, for her pedagogical, scientific, managerial contributions. In 2014 she was awarded the highest cultural distinction of the Republic of Armenia, namely the “Movses Khorenatsi” medal.

Pawit Mahasarinand

Independent scholar, arts critic and producer

Pawit Mahasarinand currently teaches in the graduate programs in cultural management and transdisciplinary approaches in performing arts at Chulalongkorn University. Previously, he was the director of Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts and Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), the hub of Bangkok Theatre Festival and Bangkok Art Biennale, among others. Pawit has read his academic papers at many International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) and Performance Studies International (PSi) conferences and given lectures at University of Essex, Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA), National Taiwan University (NTU) and LaSalle College of the Arts. A dance and theatre critic for The Nation, Thailand's English-language daily, since 2001, Pawit was a critic-in-residence at the Festival/Tokyo 2011, Asia Pacific Dance Festival 2015 (Honolulu) and City Contemporary Dance Festival 2017 (Hong Kong). His articles can also be found in Greenwood Press’ ”Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre” and ”Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre”, among others. Awarded chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres by France’s Ministry of Culture and Communication, he served in Thailand's National Artist selection committee and is a member of the Southeast Asia Advisory Committee (SEAAC) for Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture.

Magda Romanska

Magda Romanska

Executive Director of The Theatre Times, Principal at metaLAB

Magda Romanska is an Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of, the largest global digital theatre portal. She is also a Principal at metaLAB (at) Harvard, the Chair of Transmedia Arts seminar at Harvard University Mahindra Humanities Center, where she curates a series of lectures on transmediality, and Professor of Theatre at Emerson College. In 2019, she also launched – an interactive digital map of theatre festivals, funded through Yale Digital Humanities Lab and LMDA Innovation Grant; and IOTF: International Online Theatre Festival – a year streaming global theatre event. In 2021, the IOTF won a second-place Culture Online International Award for “Best Online Project,” chosen among 452 projects from 20 countries. Romanska is a recipient of 2018 Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy. She is also recipient of Aquila Polonica Prize from Polish Studies Association, Gerald Kahan Scholar’s Prize from American Society for Theatre Research, and Creative Arts Prize from Polish American Historical Association. She is the author or editor of five critically acclaimed theatre books, including The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor (2012); TheaterMachine: Tadeusz Kantor in Context (2020, co-edited with Kathleen Cioffi); Reader in Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism (2016, co-edited with Alan Ackerman); and The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy, a leading and best-selling handbook of dramaturgy. She is also the sole editor of a series Focus on Dramaturgy from Routledge. She’s a graduate of Stanford, and of Cornell’s doctoral program. She has taught theatre, dramaturgy, and transmedia at Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Cornell University, and Emerson College.

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Membership is granted upon the decision of the Executive Board, based on CV and professional recognition.

Apply for membership by filling in this FORM.


Fellowship is granted upon the decision of both the Executive Board and the Advisory Board.

Trainee Membership

Trainee Membership is granted exclusively to young, emerging leaders with a promising portfolio of professional activities.

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Fernando Arrabal

Portrait of a leader

The first IATL Honorary Fellowship is awarded to Fernando Arrabal, the legendary man of the theatre whose oeuvre and biography seem to have defied the laws of time and history. At 91, the Spanish-born writer remains a beacon of creativity and originality for the world of performing arts. Included by Martin Esslin in the gallery of figures that shaped the “theatre of the absurd” in the 1950s, he has been constantly reinventing himself through bold and imaginative experiments, authoring 100 plays, 14 novels and over 800 poetry collections.

The famed New York Times critic Mel Gussow once said: “Any play by Arrabal is an event [. . .]”, naming him the last survivor among the “three avatars of modernism”, a short list that included Antonin Artaud and Bertolt Brecht as the only other names. Today, to be able to celebrate Arrabal and his legacy is indeed an event for all of us.

The IATL Community from more than 70 different countries welcomes this auspicious occasion to pay tribute to a theatre leader who has been a guiding light for generations of artists around the globe.

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