After more than two years of preparation, Asia's first platform for theatre education exchanges was established at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing on October 19, 2005. The first member institutions include the Central Academy of Drama (China), Faculty of Arts of Nihon University (Japan), Chung-Ang University of Korea, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (China), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore), Shanghai Theatre Academy (China), and Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (China). The representatives of the above seven memberinstitutions jointly signed an agreement and held aninauguration ceremony at the same time. The Asia Theatre Education Centre was formally established. Xu Xiang, President of the Central Academy of Drama, served as the first chairman.
ATEC aims to promote mutual understanding and exchanges among Asian countries and regions on theatre education, academic research, stage performances, etc.It serves as a platform of research and exchanges for students, teaching staff, experts and scholars interested in Asian theatre education, so as to advance the sustainable development of this field.
On May 18, 2006, the 1st ATEC International Forum was held at the Central Academy of Drama in China. With the forum as the starting point, the Centre blazed the trail to establish an international academic exchange platform in the Asia-Pacific region. Every year thereafter, the centre regularly holds international forums in May. Apart from the representatives from member schools, other international organizations, experts and scholars who concerned about the development of Asian theatre educationwerealso invited to the forum. It touches upon various disciplines undertheatre education to deal with the issues in reality for common development. As of 2019, 11 forums have been held and 11 collections of papers have been published.
On May 18, 2010, the 1st Asian Theatre Schools Festival was held at the Central Academy of Drama in China. Since then, the Festival is held every two years, serving as the international platform for the presentation and exchange of the productions by thetheatre school students. The award categories of the Festival include Best Stage Performance, Outstanding Stage Performance and Best Acting.
On May 18, 2014, the 1st World Theatre Education Conference was held at the Central Academy of Drama in China.Ten years since its establishment, ATEC has gained the attention and recognition of more and more national drama schools in the world. With unanimous approval by the Board of Directors,1st World Theatre Education Conference was set to be held atthe Central Academy of Drama to further promote international academic exchanges and cooperation,
The Conference was widely supported by ITI, IFTR and IATC, three major international organizations of theatre arts. The leaders of the three organizations were invited to deliver keynote speeches, and they are President Tobias Biancone of ITI, President Christopher Balme of IFTR and President ofYun-Cheol Kimof IATC.
This conference ushered ATEC into a new chapter in its history.With five years of steady development from 2014 to 2019 as a stepping stone, the ATEC International Forum has been upgraded to World Theatre Education Conference.
On May 17, 2013, the 8th ATEC International Forum was held at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. This event marked the first step for the Centre to promote international academic activities onto countries and regions outside the headquarters. Thereafter, 3 ATEC forums were held respectively by Universidad del Valle in Colombia, Mongolian National University of Art and Culture in Mongolia, and Chung-Ang University Department of Theatre in South Korea. Theacademic influence and international reputation of the Centre have been further enhanced.
On May 17, 2019, the 14th ATEC Meeting of Directors and General Assembly were convened. President HaoRongof the Central Academy of Drama was elected to take over the position of Director General according to the procedure stipulated in the Bylaws of ATEC.