Veteran actor and theatre director Edward Mercieca, who runs Stagecoach and FM Theatre, was elected President of the newly-formed Association of Performing Arts Practitioners (Malta) at its first general meeting last Sunday at the St James Centre for Creativity in Valletta.
The committee’s first action will be to meet Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi in order to discuss Renzo Piano’s controversial plans for the Royal Opera House site. This consultation meeting was first requested last February by 128 artists, as no major would-be stakeholders had been consulted about the project at that time.
Since then the Office of the Prime Minister requested that the performers choose 15 representatives for the meeting. The meeting will take place on Friday 4 June.
In an email sent out to the association members, Mercieca said: “I strongly believe the creation of this Association is long overdue, and it is a step, indeed the only step, in the right direction for the business of the performing arts. I use the word ‘business’ with much care because the performing arts is a money-generating industry which already provides a number of practitioners with their livelihood, and it is vital that these numbers grow in order that our industry is sustainable and of the most professional level.
“Having said that, equal importance must be given to those practitioners who do not depend on the performing arts for their livelihood but are nonetheless contributing in no small manner. For the first time everyone, and I mean everyone, now has a voice, one voice to speak on their behalf in order to really propel the performing arts into the 21st Century. Everyone is represented in this association, Dance, Music, Theatre, Techical & Support, Backstage.”
Mercieca also said that the strength of such as association depends on the large number of members in order to have the clout to move things in the direction the association deems best for all concerned.
“I therefore would like to appeal to you to become members as soon as possible. Let’s make a difference!”
The rest of the committee is formed by Tanya Bayona (dance), Terry Shaw (theatre), Pia Zammit (theatre), Renzo Spiteri (music), Franica Pulis (production) and Joseph Vella (technical & Support).
One can become a member by submitting an application, together with a €10 payment, – cheques payable to APAP (Malta) – and sent to: APAP (Malta), c/o St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Castille Square Valletta. For further information contact [email protected]