For two years now, the Belgian theatre NTGent and the Berlin based Verbrecher Verlag have been publishing the series The Golden Books: Books on the theory and practice of contemporary performance art, on individual plays and general social questions. For the 5th volume, after months of cultural lockdown, when live arts were in a state of emergency and the whole institution rethought their priorities, NTGent asked more than 50 of the most influential artists and intellectuals in the world the question: Why theatre? Why is this art form so unique, so beautiful, so indispensable? From classical theatre to performance art and dance, from activism to political theatre and the performativity of everyday life, authors of all continents and generations delivered short essays, memories, manifestos, letters. Moments of aesthetic epiphany meet strong emotion, critical insights into the problems of representation and populism compete with utopian texts about the theatre of the future: more than 50 voices about the state of performing arts 2020. An instant encyclopedia of theatre for this and for any time, with contributions by andcompany&Co, Tania Bruguera, Nora Chipaumire, Chto Delat, Extinction Rebellion, Susanne Kennedy, Angélica Liddell, Édouard Louis, Rabih Mroué, Toshiki Okada, Alain Platel, René Pollesch, Tiago Rodrigues, Kirill Srebrennikov, Botho Strauß, Miet Warlop and many, many more.