Convener(s): Angharad Wynne-Jones

Participants: Peter Collins
Patricia Kane
Helen Ainsworth
Angharad Wynne-Jones

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:
(with apologies to my fellow participants for misquotes.)

The big issues:
Globalisation/climate change/end of fossil fuels – mass migration/break down of political systems

How do we as artists respond, how to we effect change?
Do we have a responsibility to engage?

Process of making theatre brings up issues around:
Ownership of ideas,(as a collaborative process)
and the sustainability of the practice (environmentally and financially)

Issues are scary and unattractive- seen as province of the woolly jumpers or science bods
How do we make it attractive to more people? (artists and audiences)

These processes do exist , but are not celebrated and not profitable (Theatre of the Oppressed)

Should we develop an ethical theatre?

Bu is that didactic ? we know we react badly to being told what to do.

We need to inform ourselves as artists
But even when we know sometimes we still don’t care.
Is the role of theatre to convert people?
Or is to ask questions or to answer them?
It reflects the human condition.

How important is it that the process is democratic?
We should stipulate the process or the system

Back to the issues…
Are all changes we imagine are going to happen as a result of climate change going to bad, and bad for whom?
Bad for humans maybe but the world keeps turning? Why should we focus on that?
Because we are concerned for our children, for future generations, for our fellow human beings.

If the end is nigh, lets die with our eyes open rather than being watched on CCTV.

Transformation comes from within, and might effect others
We need educated ourselves and others to be socially responsible, to be civil
To rehearse new behaviours for the future
Is theatre fit for the job, why aren’t more theatre artists engaged with these issues as visual artists are …where’s the theatre’s Cape Farewell project?

Theatre deals with personal and epic stories, allegorical, not aesthetically suited to engage with issues like the environment. What could be more dramatic that the global climatic disasters we are living through? But is it digestible?

Can we suggest and rehearse different ways of living, re-organising and creating new structures.

Lets face it most people don’t give a fuck about theatre, the environment or poor people. (what about all those issue bracelets like make poverty history)
More people watch theatre than live football
Morally arrogant to imagine art can change people.

Bu theatre can empower an audience to act, from reflection and or participation.- interactive theatre
Watching can be interactive theatre

But it has to be good – the finished product that matters

No the process and context is more important

What is good theatre?

A good director helps
What is the role of a leader in a democracy?

What is the role of a director in the theatre?

Lets make these theatre processes that are more democratic more accessible.

I’m a terrible idealist.