Nota: mientras que en ediciones anteriores del Anuario se utilizaban. Anuario SGAE de las artes escenicas, musicales y audiovisuales. Alonso, J. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 1 4pp.

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That the Spanish theatre has always been in a state of quasi-permanent crisis seems a shared belief, a maxim that forces the Spanish theatre to try to reinvent itself again and again, but an effort which has seemingly been doomed to fail. As Khaled M. This was mainly a commercial kind of theatre, which relied on private financing and bourgeois audiences who demanded traditional forms and contents 16 , and therefore became a hindrance to the development of a different kind of Spanish theatre.

Fifty years later, the Spanish theatre is again in crisis—if it ever abandoned it—and while many would still want to blame Franco for our own failures, it is high time we questioned our own mistakes, even if changes in the theatrical system—the creation of an eminently public model—were originally meant to liberate the Spanish theatre from formal and thematic strictures. The present crisis, palpable in the diminishing numbers of spectators, the kinds of plays produced, public and private budgets, and the form and content of the plays, should give us the chance to analyse our theatre model and, if for once we want to overcome this crisis, utterly change this model.

The present crisis is shouting loudly that there must be something rotten in the Spanish theatrical system. Looking at the evolution of the Spanish theatre from a distant point in time, it also seems ironic that the same blatant denial of crisis that the socialist government of Mr.

Zapatero repeated again and again, until his final revelation at the end of , is echoed in the theatre world. They were amply satisfied with the numbers: the Spanish theatre had grown 5 percent regarding That is, figures for both spectatorship and box office takings had risen. Nevertheless, nobody seemed to take into account in the danger signs that, in spite of the apparent good health of our theatre, were fairly obvious.

One key question nobody wanted to ask was how to maintain public theatres. In contrast to the scarce 80 private theatres in Spain, ministries, autonomic governments, and town halls owned 90 percent of the theatre venues. Furthermore, it had been typical of Spanish town halls to be the major contractors for touring companies. Consequently, when, in the year , public administrations started delaying their payments, the first symptom of the crisis was pretty evident.

In keeping with the revelation of Mr. The Spanish theatre lost almost a million spectators it diminished 5. Nevertheless, a magic formula was then apparently found: fewer productions and an increase in the price of tickets.

Only this magic formula explains why the box office rose from But this magic formula goes directly against a solid foundation of the theatre, and its consequences are absolutely palpable.

As stated earlier, town halls customarily used to hire touring companies, which are mainly private. Paradoxically, as Torres argues, theatre companies, which are indeed in need of funding, are the ones who support to some extent some town halls. That is, knowing that town halls would delay their payments, many theatre companies used to invest their own money to put the play on the stage first, even though they were aware they had to wait a few— sometimes many—months to see their money return. Ironically, since these theatres are public, workers at the town halls are the ones to collect the money from the box office.

No wonder tmany of the 1, touring companies, which had up to 3, different spectacles a year in , had to close. Famous actors and actresses also talked about how good an opportunity this crisis was. But these actors cannot fully grasp the effects that the crisis has on the theatre.

Being part of the star system, they are paid—sometimes later than they thought, but paid eventually. The same year Galiana in which said that the Spanish theatre was better than ever , when Spain was submerged in an officially declared state of crisis, marked the beginning of the decline of the theatre, as evidenced in lower spectator rates and lower box office takings. The number of spectators declined from The crisis in the Spanish theatre was officially declared.

It could be said that since the early s Spain had lived in a cultural bubble. During the years when the country enjoyed an unprecedented—more than probably fake—economic boom, cultural budgets were impressive. Besides the investment in cultural productions, theatre spaces were built almost everywhere, theatre festivals were funded all over the country, and Spanish stars were paid astronomic amounts of money to act.

Numbers were considered the path to prestige. It seems now that such cultural excess and economic efforts were not part of a larger cultural project. The present situation, therefore, comes as no surprise. Given that the system has always relied on public investment, in many of these almost new theatre spaces have closed down.

Cycles and festivals have reduced their length or disappeared from view. Bills are shorter. Many theatre companies are forced to create new spectacles because they do not have other places where their plays can be staged.

A good question is: where is quality left when technical requirements are the main reasons to produce one play or another? Moreover, we should not forget that the price of the tickets, due to the increase of our VAT to 21 percent, when it used to be 8 percent, has made theatre a luxury. Furthermore, the private sector seems to have gained force, which has a very remarkable influence on the kinds of plays staged in Spain nowadays.

In a country traditionally and stereotypically known for enjoying life, theatrical entrepreneurs have decided to give spectators what they apparently want: respite from the harshness of the present crisis. A quick look at the most popular plays in Madrid and Barcelona today reveals that people are more than willing to spend over euros on a musical: Grease , The Lion King , The Sound of Music , Pretty Woman , to name just a few.

There have been, however, some public and private initiatives to give other spectators what they also want: plays that deal with the crisis; plays that fulfil the primary role of theatre as a means of discussion. In the 80s Glengarry Glen Ross meant an acid critique of the capitalist system, so close to the US society as the stars and stripes in its flag. Now we are on a similar crossroads: a big crisis. Therefore, the most innovative and challenging plays are very often found at this theatre.

In a way, Gas was giving his audience what spectators wanted. It is also remarkable that, although Gas was accused of producing plays with such technical requirements that they were difficult to go on tour, these three plays, which in a way deal with the crisis, went on tour around Spain.

Although most private theatres, as stated before, prefer to put onstage comedies and musicals that make spectators forget the crisis, there have been two remarkable and successful exceptions. In this play, directed by Pedro Olea, a humble couple cannot start their life together because they cannot afford an apartment, a situation which is well-known to most Spaniards.

When the country was seemingly in good economic health, almost any person with a job could get a mortgage, no matter the astronomic interest. And the situation is not better for those who want to buy a house now, since getting a mortgage has become a heroic adventure. When the housing bubble exploded, many personal stories were also shattered. In El Pisito , there is a comic solution to this housing problem: the male protagonist will inherit the apartment where an old lady lives, but he has to live with her till she breathes her last breath.

After its premier in Madrid at the Teatro Marquina, El Pisito went on tour around the country for two years and returned to Madrid in September to close the season. This social drama, in the form of a hilarious comedy, deals with themes all too well-known to Spanish spectators: the high unemployment rate more than 6 million people are presently unemployed in Spain , prices that go up, salaries that go down, political corruption, evictions, and politicians who, allied with security forces, ask the people to calm down while they, apparently, try to get the country out of this crisis.

To believe that sooner or later this situation will pass without knowing how, […] and above all, to be aware that this will happen again later. After three months in Madrid, the play is now on tour, probably because of the necessity to see plays that deal with the crisis, but also because the play is advertised as a sharp satire on our situation and Pablo Carbonell, one of the most well-known Spanish comedians, plays the leading role.

All of them had popular TV actors and actresses and all of them were tested first in the capital before going on tour, whereas earlier it was the other way around. While working with famous actors and in a way prioritizing comedy, above all in the case of private theatre, seem to be two of the solutions already found for the survival and aliveness of the Spanish theatre, other solutions are being planned at the moment.

This model, which has worked for years in the United Kingdom, does not seem possible in Spain, where the private sector has never been characterised by investing on culture for the sake of culture. Only the future will tell if this model takes roots in Spain. Other possibilities which are being examined nowadays are crowdfunding and the updating of the Ley de Mecenazgo Patronage Act.

The draft of the Ley de Mecenazgo obliges non-profit-making companies to allocate at least 70 percent of their trading profits to objectives of general interest, i. To conclude, I also believe that the Spanish theatre will only get out of its crisis if the changes in the system described before are coupled with a renewed education of the spectators. Spanish spectators must learn that the theatre is much more than its mere spectacular nature. Abbas, Khaled M. December 22, Europa Press.

March 12, Diario Ya. November 12, El Mundo. August 26, December 5, January 15, January 25, November 24, SGAE December 10, Soler, Enrique.

October 22, Torres, Rosana. December 13, Skip to content Noelia Hernando-Real [1] That the Spanish theatre has always been in a state of quasi-permanent crisis seems a shared belief, a maxim that forces the Spanish theatre to try to reinvent itself again and again, but an effort which has seemingly been doomed to fail. Directed by Daniel Veronese.

Jordi Boixaderas. Directed by Mario Gas. Directed by Miguel del Arco. Directed by Pedro Olea. Pablo Carbonel and Leire Ruiz. Directed by Gabriel Olivares.



Ajzen, I. From intentions to behaviour: a theory of planned behaviour, en I. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 50 1 , pp. Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior Englewood Cliffs, N.


The Budget is the Thing: Spanish Theatre in Recession (Spain)





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