FITEI at Premiere: a step towards accessibility

Jan 27, 2023 | Articles |

Written by Rute Marques da Silva / FITEI

FITEI is a cultural institution whose ambition is to promote theatre and the performing arts, as well as to encourage artistic creation, through the organization of an annual festival with an outstanding vision in the Iberian
As an institution whose leading mission is to hold Theatre Festivals, FITEI has been producing documentation since its opening. Holding its first International Festival of Theatre of Iberian Expression in 1978, it is the bearer of a crucial archive: an organic set of documents, regardless of their data, form, and support, produced or received by a legal entity, individual or collective or by a public or private entity, in the exercise of its activity and preserved as evidence, information and historical memory. In this regard, FITEI has in its custody a set of information/documentation that includes, among others: graphic material, press clippings, photographs, correspondence, and dossiers of shows by national and international companies. In general terms, the treatment, description, classification, conservation and scanning of its archive will certainly make it possible for the institution itself and researchers to consult this valuable material: students, artists from different areas, especially in the field of performing arts, giving rise to publications in their most diverse formats.

The role of FITEI in PREMIERE is to contribute with artistic material from its archive that will serve as a basis for the global dissemination of theatrical works and, at the same time, provide every piece of information that complements the visual material. In this way, we promote the artistic production of theatre companies and enrich the viewer experience.

In this project, we see an opportunity in the exceptional use of the internet and technological development as a powerful tool to fight against diverse challenges that theatrical art faces nowadays. The strongest and main characteristics that set theatre apart from other arts may eventually be its greatest vulnerabilities for today’s society: intangibility, inseparability, and ephemerality. However, a new digital artistic expression could demystify these characteristics, since it will offer a tangible product, bring the viewer closer to the product through technology and safeguard ephemeral content. This can help both performers and spectators. Firstly, we support the content creator with visibility and expandability, with an opportunity to take their show to other corners of the world. Furthermore, we could be part of an interactive platform with informative content that will expand the knowledge of the spectator and can take him to other artists or other shows and will broaden his perspective towards new cultures and new artistic forms.

We are talking about a new experience. An experience that cannot compare to that of watching a show in a playhouse, but which can eventually captivate new audiences and incite their curiosity for a live experience. The intelligent use of new technologies and 2 new platforms in favour of the performing arts will not only bring theatre to generations that are enthusiastic about technological development, but also approach audiences that cannot attend live performances, whether due to health motives, physical distance, or even economic reasons.

It is FITEI’s greatest interest to encourage the creation and formation of new audiences, disseminate new artistic languages within the scope of performing arts and contemporary art, stimulate artistic creativity and innovation and, mainly, develop partnerships that encourage theatrical practice and dissemination in its different components. Therefore, the work matured together with Premiere allows all these objectives to come alive and shows there is an open door for never-explored performative shapes.

© Ptoto by Pedro Sardinha