RITU is 25! The celebration goes from Feb. 25 to Mar. 2.

A quarter of a century with RITU, the University Theatre International Meeting at the University Theatre. A little name for a big project: this celebration of work from all over the world began at the University of Liege in 1983. A theatre open to the world for a quarter century – a festive week. 12 plays, 150 players and producers from every corner of the globe: RITU opens a new window, onto a world of aesthetic variation that is intriguing and exciting. Robert Germay, founder of the theatre and President of the  Royal University Theatre of Liege gives you an advance peek behind the stage curtain…

Fin de siècle 3What do Sophocles, Ionesco, Peter Licht and Henrik Ibsen have in common? Or companies of players, from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Oaxaca in Mexico, Neuchâtel in Switzerland and Colchester, UK? The answer will be given beginning Monday February 25, and run through March 2, as they rejoin each other at the University Theatre of Liege for the 25th annual RITU, the University Theatre International Meeting. The actors’ company of the University Theatre is proud to mark the anniversary.

The motto of RITU has always been “A world tour in a theatre seat.” Twenty-five years of artistic voyages. Student acting companies arrive from every direction, and the creative energy flows. Plays are performed in their original linguistic versions. Ten troupes of players from foreign countries will hit the University Theatre boards. They hail from the Netherlands, from the UK, Burkina Faso, Mexico, Israel, Switzerland, Germany, Estonia and France. On the programme are: “The Marvelous Baobab” and “Momo’s gang”, collective creations, “The Merchant of Venice”, “Public Enemy”, “Rhinoceros” and also Sophocles’ “Electra”. Two plays are contributed by the Royal University Theatre itself:  "La Isla del fin del siglo" (The Island of the End of the Century) by Alejandro Finzi and “The Commedia of Losers”, based on the novel by Tonino Benacquista.

150 guest participants will lodge at the Georges Simenon Youth hostel in Outremeuse, the headquarters for this celebration. Since this is university theatre, it stands to reason that there is a colloquium scheduled – the subject is the globalization of theatre – and observers, professors and theatre pros will be along for the ride. It’s all an avant-goût of what’s in store at the 7th World Congress of AITU (the International University Theatre Association), coming up in June in Mexico with the same hundred flowers in bloom. In 25 years Liege has welcomed 170 university companies from 40 nations. With a professionalism not only the guests have remarked, as President Robert Germay has observed: “There is no doubt that our ‘meetings’, the RITU, stand among the dozen or so great festivals put on by the French Community of Belgium".

Commedia 1
RITU goes through light and heavy programmes, since the company’s budget varies, but this silver year is one for the books. None of the actors are paid, but each Rencontre costs 25-50K euros for production, promotion, and artist’s expenses. Robert Germay actually doesn’t like to refer to it all as a ‘festival’, preferring to emphasize the value of the experience of meeting theatre companies from far and near, and sharing what it means to take on challenging roles and stage them. Robert Germay even thinks that this bond transcends the Babel of languages that is raised up during this meeting. The theatre is a place of words, yes, but even more a place of emotions and gestures.


Prices : from 3 to 8 euros the show

Seating : salle du TURLg (quai Roosevelt, 1B) or salle des Chiroux (Place des Carmes, 8)

Complete programme on www.turlg.ulg.ac.be

Reservations  04/366.52.75