Vilafranca de Bonany will become, once again, the theatre capital for children and young people of the Balearic Islands and the whole of Spain. From 19th to 22nd October, the 21st edition of the FIET (Children’s and Young People’s Theatre Fair of the Balearic Islands)will be held, offering 35 shows by 34 companies that will put on up to 85 performances, filling the entire municipality with theatre, circus, dance, puppetry, storytelling, street shows, etc. for audiences of all ages.
FIET 2023 will have a total of 15 venues, including the municipal theatre of Vilafranca, the sports centre, Ca ses monges, the CEIP Es Cremat, different squares and streets, and even the church. This year, in addition, there will be a large number of street performances and a lot on offer for teenagers.
During these five days of theatre, Vilafranca de Bonany will become a meeting point for companies, professionals and families from all over the island and also from abroad, who will be able to enjoy small, large and medium-format shows. Last year’s edition was attended by more than 23,000 spectators. As for the origin of the companies, 15 of them are from the Balearic Islands, 12 from Catalonia, 2 from Valencia, 2 from Andalusia, 1 from Castilla y León, 1 from the Basque Country and another from Mexico.
This new edition was presented today at the headquarters of the Institut d’Estudis Baleàrics (IEB), Can Oleo, with the participation of Jaume Gomila, director of the FIET and president of Sa Xerxa, the organising entity; Llorenç Perelló, director of the IEB; Guillem Ginard, island director of Culture, and Marta Oliver, councillor for Education, Festivals and Youth of the Town Hall of Vilafranca de Bonany.
Jaume Gomila underlined this year’s FIET’s commitment to sustainability, social inclusion and accessibility. He also stressed the importance of culture for children and young people and invited families from all over the island to participate in the Fira in an “active and vital” way and once again create an exceptional atmosphere in Vilafranca. For his part, Vidal spoke about the creation of “cultural fabric” that an event like the FIET implies. Perelló also stressed the importance of “decentralising culture” and taking it to small and medium-sized towns such as Vilafranca. Ginard stressed the need to bring culture closer to children and teenagers, and Oliver recalled the great involvement of the people of Vilafranca in the FIET since it began, more than twenty years ago.
More than 100 professionals registered
The FIET is also a marketplace for shows and a laboratory of ideas and projects that energises the island’s theatre industry. In this sense, for the companies that participate in it, it becomes an ideal stage to showcase their creations to the professionals who attend.
In this year’s edition, the FIET has 101 registered professionals (programmers, distributors, producers, etc.) from the Islands, from all over Spain and also from Denmark and Wales. All of them will take part in the professional days (19 and 20 October). This year, they will focus on sustainability and accessibility in the performing arts and will include workshops, book presentations and shows in the process of creation (work in progress), among others (see programme).
The companies also take part in these days, during which they can meet the programmers and establish a relationship with them. Meetings have been organised between companies, artists, producers, directors, etc. and there will be a new feature: Slow meetings, a meeting point to encourage the creation of synergies and collaboration between programmers and creators.
Volunteers: the muscle of the FIET
FIET is also a people committed to culture. FIET’s muscle is the volunteers who collaborate with it. These are people who participate altruistically to make the fair a reality. This year, 43 families (41 from Vilafranca and 2 from Manacor) will host artists and programmers in their homes and, in addition, more than 50 volunteers will work at the FIET, either as hall managers, helping to sell tickets or even cooking.
1670 students at the theatre
FIET 2023 will also continue with the project ‘The school goes to the fair’, which offers schools the opportunity to take their students to the FIET. This year, thanks to this programme, more than 1670 pupils from 16 schools will take part in the morning sessions on Thursday and Friday.
A more sustainable, inclusive and accessible fair than ever before
FIET 2023 makes a firm commitment to environmental sustainability and also carries out different actions to guarantee social inclusion in the theatre and to act as a means of social integration and promotion of a better quality of life for people with accessibility problems.
In terms of sustainability, among other actions, reusable bottles will be distributed for professionals, which can be filled with water from the 3 Glops Salut Mental dispensers; the badges have been made with recycled material by Aproscom and the identification paper contains flower seeds; the green stage, sponsored by Ecoembes, will host the games of ‘Lila y els jocs reciclats’ in the Josep Maria Llompart park, and a study will also be carried out to measure the degree of sustainability of the FIET.