Your reports Find reports Does Theatre Need Age Badges? Does Theatre Need Age Badges? Convener(s): Amelia Bird Participants: Helen Pringle, Sue Frumin, Carrie Thomas, Alex Thorpe, Renu Arora, Jennifer Tan, Japsit Kaur, Charlie Payne, Tyrone Higgins Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations: Our discussion was split into two areas around this question: ARTIST AGE BADGES AUDIENCE AGE BADGES ARTIST AGE BADGES Support programmes are geared for very specific ages, usually the young (under 25). Older artists felt that programmers and support schemes for their age often pushed them to create nostalgia. Young people working in the arts can feel patronized by assumptions made about their experience and also the gravitas they can bring to different roles. There was an acknowledgement by younger members of the group that often older people had more experience, but also a feeling that fresh blood is not valued as much as it could be. Older members of the group felt that it was possible to go out the other side after their 30s and assumptions about their ability to do the job are made OR they are told they have too much experience. The success of people in their 30s was put down to people having found their specific ‘groove’. It was noted that the acting industry whittles down the number of actors of a certain age, there are far fewer actors in their 50s for example than in the 18-25 bracket. Theatre is a social profession; it relies on networks and relationships, age is an easily visible symptom of this. The same could be said about gender and groups of friends. Summary: people feel isolated at both ends of the spectrum. AUDIENCE AGE BADGES We agreed it was positive that generally theatre lets audiences make their own judgments about what is suitable. Film style classifications are unwelcome. Suggested ages can be useful for audiences (particularly parents and teachers). Age badges can encourage exclusivity and create barriers. Daytime/evening performances create informal age badges. Is there any worth in saying who is it NOT for? Dual purpose (theatre exclusively for children/adults) companies are possible. We discussed if their truly is theatre which is suitable for all.