Emergency Manifesto 2020


Theatre is revolutionary. Theatre continually destructs and constructs our perceptions towards art, life and the world.


Theatre arts is dying out. In our rapidly developing world, theatre art would fast become obsolete if we do not pay attention to its development and evolution.


The development of theatre arts is no longer just about the development of content. More importantly, it should also be the exploration and innovation of its forms and structures, as well as the corresponding frameworks and systems.


Theatre arts is not a product, it’s a process. We should shine the spotlight on processes- the research and development of our talent pool, building platforms, documenting methodologies and cultivating long-term networks. The developing and sustaining of long-term processes must be backed by viable resource allocation and far-sighted cultural policy.


Theatre arts is ephemeral and therefore should be documented, analysed, and evaluated.


Artists must grow into leaders with a vision in order to change their dilemma and passiveness (and reliance on larger funding apparatus) and to activate them into forces for change.


Audiences are important participants of an artwork. However, we should not only regard audiences as those who enter the theatre in the present, but also those who would play a role in the development of our larger cultural environment in the future. 

Theatre should negotiate, challenge, critique, and subvert the larger narrative. Therefore, the theatre audiences should include the people beyond the ticket buyers- they are the active stakeholders of the existing framework.


Technology is arts; digital is arts.


Arts must cross boundaries. Each work must consciously and constantly cross boundaries of cultures, art forms, disciplines and cities. Crossing-overs will bring upon new knowledge, insights and possibilities through meaningful collaborations between artists, institutions and other stakeholders. In order to achieve this, we must build sustainable platforms and long-term networks.


Arts change our systems, not the other way around.

By Liu Xiaoyi