Manoel Theatre appoints drama consultant

Local actress and drama teacher Simone Spiteri has been appointed to the newly-minted post of ‘drama consultant’ within the Manoel Theatre.

Simone Spiteri will now be overseeing Manoel Theatre’s dramatic repertoire
Simone Spiteri will now be overseeing Manoel Theatre’s dramatic repertoire

The 28-year-old, two-time winner of the Francis Ebejer Prize for dramatic scriptwriting described the current situation in Maltese theatre as an "exciting time".

"These last few years have opened new doors of opportunities which were certainly not available until recently especially in terms of available funds for artists and practices in every artistic sphere," Spiteri said.

Spiteri is joined by Rosetta de Battista - who is currently Arts Education Consultant - and Brian Schembri, occupying the post of music consultant. According to Manoel Theatre CEO Ray Attard, the three permanent posts have been set up in order to facilitate a more dynamic infrastructure for arts and culture to develop within the National theatre, as part of an "intensive five year plan to position the arts as a significant part of our nation's lifestyle," in the run-up to Malta's candidacy as European Capital of Culture for 2018.

"For this implementation to begin it was necessary to have a solid structure based on three main positions: an Arts Education Consultant, who focuses on communicating with the younger generation and instilling a passion for the arts in our youth and the music and drama consultants for the theatre, who work profoundly on building a calendar of performances ensuring that what is presented to our patrons is of a high quality while keeping in mind the obligations of a national theatre," Attard said.

With regards to her new post, Spiteri singled out a need to foster high standards in local theatre, while at the same time nurturing young talent.

More pressingly, however, there is a need to develop home-grown productions.

"We are in dire need of more exciting works written in Maltese about the Maltese, works that reflect our times and which will serve to document these particular moments in our history for future generations to refer back to. It is already a shame, I believe, that there are few original works that encapsulate what the last 20-odd years have been like for the Maltese.

"Besides, it's not like there's nothing to write about, the last few months alone have been fraught with events that would make marvellous story lines," Spiteri said.