Why did Glasgow University need another theatre society?

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[Written by Amanda Landegren, Publicity Coordinator for GIST]

[Image Credit: GIST//Facebook.com]

With the current existence of over five other performing arts societies, was there really space—and need—for yet another theatre society at the university? When looking to the anglo-centrism of the content performed, the answer was a firm but enthusiastic yes! GIST, Glasgow International Student Theatre, was created last year with the intention of bringing attention to theatre from around the world. With a goal to perform, promote and celebrate theatre in translation and theatre from lesser known authors, the founders imagined a society where all are welcome, no matter accent, experience or prior knowledge. Looking then at the society’s first year in existence, the members are a small but devoted bunch who all contribute to diversifying the performing arts scene. The great advantage of multiple nationalities is not only cultural insight into the plays, but also the ability to share that insight with others.

The society’s first performance was put on with a small budget through the commitment and excitement of the few involved at the end of last semester. A night with four short plays, four directors and an overlapping cast brought a turnout well over expectations. However, while Machiavelli, Strindberg, Molnár and Chekov are all recognised and acclaimed international names, for this semester’s production we want to highlight a more contemporary play written by a woman. We therefore chose Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage as a play of manageable scope and which gives us an opportunity to explore different ways of getting people involved. And ultimately that’s what the point of the society really comes down to; getting people involved and interested in international theatre. That’s why another theatre society was needed at Glasgow uni. It’s not a society only for international students, but a society for anyone who wishes to diversify and widen the discussion surrounding theatre and performing arts.

[Image Description: The Glasgow International Student Theatre logo which consists of a stylised G on a blue to red gradient]


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