A voice that can't be heard: do you have to be lucky to showcase new work?

Craig Manson, 8 September 2012

Discussed by: Craig; Emma; Jennie & Rhona.

Young people today have such bright, bold new ideas when it comes to theatre in the Highlands. Having just graduated from my HNC in Acting and Performance at Inverness College, my fellow classmates were constantly generating, devising, writing, and producing new work - always bold, new, and experimental. But despite this, there was always the feeling that because we were young, and because we weren't qualified, not many people cared. Why should nobody care about bold new voices in the highlands?

Young people are very much aware of the world around them. They are aware of politics; of gender issues; of racism, sexism, and other forms of social stigma. Through writing, they are able to raise a platform whereby audiences have a chance to talk about this. But sometimes it just feels that audiences feel young people don't know enough about the world. We may not know as much as you, but we certainly know a lot!

Because of this, there aren't many opportunities for new work to be presented. Of course, this can be put to a lack of funding and space in the Highlands for this type of thing. And maybe people aren't interested in the young voice. But why not?

Perhaps there should be more sponsorships for this sort of thing. One interesting thing that was raised in the discussion was mentorship. Having experience of being mentored by passionate theatre-arts practitioner Jesse Paul, perhaps there should be more opportunity for this sort of thing - much more collaboration between arts diploma's and degrees and arts venues such as Eden Court. This would be a chance to let people's voices be heard.

Another question raised was: do you have to be well off? There are so many statuses attached to certain universities, such as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, or the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Not many people have the same opportunities to attend universities, and it can feel as if not having a degree means not having a voice. This is not the case.

There is also such an issue of theatre ticking boxes. It's fine to create theatre on your own terms when it's coming out of your own pocket, but when it's someone else's pocket, there are so many restrictions. Why should there be restrictions on the kind of art you create?

Voices shouldn't be edited. Voices are voices - they are there to be listened to, just as they are. And that's exactly what people need to do: they need to listen.


recognition, devising, Theatre, mentorship, Work, young people, sponsorship, arts, Arts, plays, Sponsorship, generating, Young People, work, new writing, voices, theatre