The Ghent Manifesto
Upon his appointment in 2018, Milo Rau, outgoing artistic director of NTGent and artistic responsible for the 23-24 season, wrote a manifesto with then rules that the city theatre of the future should meet.
One: It's not just about portraying the world anymore. It's about changing it. The aim is not to depict the real, but to make the representation itself real.
Two: Theatre is not a product, it is a production process. Research, castings, rehearsals and related debates must be publicly accessible.
Three: The authorship is entirely up to those involved in the rehearsals and the performance, whatever their function may be - and to no one else.
Four: The literal adaptation of classics on stage is forbidden. If a source text – whether book, film or play – is used at the outset of the project, it may only represent up to 20 percent of the final performance time.
Five: At least a quarter of the rehearsal time must take place outside a theatre. A theatre space is any space in which a play has been rehearsed or performed.
Six: At least two different languages must be spoken on stage in each production.
Seven: At least two of the actors on stage must not be professional actors. Animals don't count, but they are welcome.
Eight: The total volume of the stage set must not exceed 20 cubic metres, i.e. it must be able to be contained in a van that can be driven with a normal driving licence.
Nine: At least one production per season must be rehearsed or performed in a conflict or war zone, without any cultural infrastructure.
Ten: Each production must be shown in at least ten locations in at least three countries. No production can be removed from the NTGent repertoire before this number has been reached.
Ghent, May 1, 2018