NEW YORK (May 21) — Randy Gener, the 2009 George Jean Nathan award winning writer, critic, and editor, has been invited by the Swedish Association of Theatre Critics to give the keynote address at the 2009 Swedish Theatre Biennial on June 3 to 7 in the city of Boras in central Sweden. Gener’s lecture addresses the theme of “Theatre Criticism, the Media and the World” before an expected audience from the Swedish theatrical world.
The Swedish Theatre Biennial is both a national festival and a meeting place for everyone involved in the world of Swedish theatre. The Swedish Centre of the International Theatre Institute arranges the biennial every other year in collaboration with different theatres from across the country of Sweden. The most recent Biennial festivals have brought together more than a thousand participants. Increasingly, guests from abroad are also taking advantage of this unique opportunity to encounter a concentrated version of Swedish theatre.
According to the biennial program, Gener’s lecture is the centerpiece of a three-and-a-half-day seminar on new Swedish drama and criticism: “How does theatre criticism in Sweden look from an international perspective? Media is undergoing itslargest revolution since the invention of the rotary printing press in 1933. Paper-based media are fighting for survival while young theatre aficionados are starting internet magazines, blogs and on-line communities. It can be argued that more theatre criticism is written today than ever before.”
Praised by the New York Daily News as an “internationalist, a champion of cultural exchange and dialogue” and by Instinct magazine as “the visionary,” Randy Gener has won two major literary awards this year; one for drama criticism and the other for travel writing. In addition, he is celebrating the back-to-back publication in Europe and the U.S. of two new books, which have anthologized his essays on aspects of the world theatre: “The American Theatre Reader” and “Theatre and Humanism in Today’s World of Violence”.
In addition to being the Senior Editor of American Theatre magazine, Gener is a writer, critic, editor, playwright, and visual artist based in New York City. He is the author of the plays Love Seats for Virginia Woolf and What Remains of a Rembrandt Torn into Four Pieces, among other plays, as well as scholarly essays (in the encyclopedia Cambridge Guide to the American Theater; the anthologies roMANIA after 2000 and Stages of Transformation, among others), and articles and reviews in The Village Voice, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Star Ledger, Time Out New York, and other publications.
Gener has worked as an editor of the Arts-Institute/Theatre Institute of the Czech Republic’s newspaper Prague Quadrennial Today. His photography installation In the Garden of One World (in collaboration with scenic designer Nic Ularu) debuted in 2008 at La MaMa La Galleria in New York.
In March, Gener was named the 2009 winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for the theater year 2007-2008. Awarded by the heads of the English departments of Cornell, Yale and Princeton universities, along with their theatre counterparts, this prestigious prize is reserved to the U.S. citizen who has written “the best piece of drama criticism during the theatrical year, whether it is an article, an essay, treatise or book.” The highest accolade for dramatic criticism in the U.S., the Nathan is one of the most distinguished prizes in the American theater.
In the following month, Gener also claimed a 2009 merit prize for this year’s North American Travel Journalists Association Awards Competition for “Swedish Provocateur,” one of two award-winning essays he wrote on new voices in Swedish drama that were published in the January 2008 issue of American Theatre magazine.
“Swedish Provocateur” chronicles the life and work of Lars Norén, Europe’s most produced living playwright and the author of more than 70 plays, considered Sweden’s new August Strindberg. NATJA is the world’s premier professional association of writers, photographers, and editors, dedicated to the travel and hospitality industries.