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Arts & Culture

The Antic Teatre

Written by Brian S

Antic Teatre – Espai de Creació is an independent theatre and cultural centre known for its independent productions devoution to the Catalan heritage. that resides in a building circa 1650 and is in the city’s Architectural and Historical Heritage listings. Located just one block from the world famous Palau de la Música, it has become a hidden landmark venue for the neighborhood for its long history of the neighborhood’s cultural and social status. The Antic stands a symbol of supporting those who cannot – or will not – look at what they have to bring to the acting world with thier radical mix of dance, music, and acting in their performances. While the stage and audience may be small than a regular theatre, it is still an important platform from grassroots art.

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A Standing Piece Of The Past

Via Antic

Antic Teatre sits a 17th century neo-classical residence that is listed as an important piece of the city’s cultural history. It is located in the Casc Antic – “Old City” in Catalan –  and one of Barcelona’s oldest neighborhoods called Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera, an area connected to the arts and homemade businesses. Cut to 300 years, two failed republics, and a civil war later, the residence’s main living room – now a theatre – was occupied by the Círculo Barcelonés de Obreros San José, a club that allowed its members to peform various shows in discreet fashion against the censorship in place at the time. The club would flourish there throughout the end of the Franco regime and into the country’s counterculture movement that was carried with Spain’s democratic transition. But a decline within the area took place towards the latter half of the century and the Antic would be left abandoned until 2003, when a group of artists used the space as a rehearsal studio and reopened it as a theatre.

The Art Of Independence

Photo by Antic Teatre Barcelona via Facebook

Since then, it has survived thanks to support from the community and visitors who come to their various free performances and underwent a lengthy renovation process in 2009 to reopen in 2010 as the theatre known today. It is unique because of two key features: the type of performances that would be considered “alternative,” and that it is a theatre that works based on grassroots support. They define themselves and what they want to do in three words: sustainability, resistance, and independent. As a standing relic of the city and an entire neighborhood, it is a theatre for the actor, musician, designer, painter, and all in between (if not all-in-one) that works to act freely. It is proud to be an independently run centre that permits all forms of expression without consequence and by self-reliance.

Showtime! – Programs Of The Antic

Photo by Antic Teatre Barcelona via Facebook

The Antic Teatre has hosted various events including the Antic Horror Picture Show film festival, the INFLUX Festivaland the Festival GRECThey run their own productions and co-productions with other small theatres, as well as serve as a venue for shows on tour and neighborhood-wide festivals. In addition to the shows it puts on, the theatre is involved in projects with its citizens, both adults and children, to promote the area’s own cultural past as a standout section from the rest of Barcelona. Concerts, plays, dances – somewhere in between (if not all-in-one – again), they host many things in such an intimate setting. But, the performances also go outdoors to the venue’s beautiful terrace and garden. A sitting history of the Romanticism era, it’s part stage, part social space, and part cafe & bar.

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The Antic Teatre remains a dynamic setting for the 60+ shows annually and is a hub for independent performers. In the face of local adversity and bigger attractions throughout Barcelona, Antic Teatre remains in business because of the community’s support. It is a theatre by the people made with passion (and no pay) to give the “Old City” a boost in visibility and promote the arts in the highest way possible to every artist who has a show for everyone.

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About the author

Brian S

Brian Susbielles is a freelance writer who loves global politics, foreign movies, and Led Zeppelin

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