ipay sip opening

Virtual Party Toast

october 2020

IPAY SIP 1 Opening – 14.OCT. 2020/ Virtual Party Toast

by Bebe de Soares


Hi everyone! I am so happy to be here today to make a toast to this remarkable event. As I was preparing for this, I realized that the dramaturgy of 2020 is indeed not a cheerful one. It is more of a diabolic rollercoaster with some weirdly scary loops.


Exactly one year ago in Chile started a wave, almost as a premonition of what 2020 was planning for all of us on planet earth - a wave of protests and cancellations.


High school students protesting - caused by a raise in the public transportation - took to the streets of Santiago and soon developed into a social unrest that unveiled a political and economic system that only benefits a few.


Me and TJ were there together, as an estimated one million Chileans took to the streets of Santiago. The massive wave of cancellations started early for me, taking with it our FITA CHILE. But TJ came to Santiago with a plan, bringing the generous offer of extending IPAY one extra day to accommodate FITA CHILE @ IPAY.


By that time, in January 2020, Covid 19 was already around. I came back home with a cold, suspecting I could possibly be patient zero in Germany. That was, luckily, not confirmed!


After the first lock-downs and closing of theaters which led to the cancellation of all touring to China, we saw Bologna in Italy, April Festival in Denmark, Imaginate in Scotland and … and …and, festivals falling like a house of cards.


At that time, we witnessed the Zoom platform gripping the world by the neck. Festivals being pivoted to online events, meetings, seminars, coffee sessions.


After a while I am sure, most of us realized that it is great to be able to connect virtually to an extend we never imagine possible before the pandemic.


I have to admit here that we are enormously better equipped now to work virtually, we all got a tremendous upgrade in our digital skills, that hopefully will take us through this winter until there is a vaccine. We are incapable to travel right now, but we have created platforms that will go on connecting us more than ever. Our silver lining here is that, in fact, we are much better equipped to innovate in our ecosystem in terms of dealing with the actually more important issue that is global warming and the sustainability of our sector.


In one of the early days of the lockdown I heard someone say during a zoom meeting, “The international has been cancelled.”


My immediate reaction was - Hell NO! We do not give up, ever. We owe it to our public. Don't forget, our mission is CHANGE THE WORLD, ONE CHILD AT A TIME. There is a saying in Portuguese that translates to “we will never step back, not even to take impulse!”


THIS toast is to resilience. Showcase in Place is the proof of the resilience of IPAY as an organization but also of the TYA sector.


We have a lot to celebrate!


Not only has our staff reshaped our usual conference to go virtual, but in the making they invented TWO additional showcases in place, IRL and Superbloom that are the embodiment of our desire and the call of our membership to a greater diversity and equity in the showcase selection. Those changes have come to stay.


Children are apparently less affected by the virus itself, which is good news. Nevertheless, children are very hard hit by the side effects and consequences of the pandemic. Children need contact, need education, need art to develop. Let’s make sure that each child gets its right to access the arts and that finally each child will have the opportunity to see itself represented on the stage and beyond it.


For that, I invite you all to raise your glasses and drink to IPAY! To a great Showcase in place, let's take a SIP!


Cheers! Salud! Prost! Saude!