Ageism or experience

Madeleine Millar, 5 October 2012

Who came:- Madeleine Tess Barney Rich Emma (anyone else? can't remember - senior moment!)

Why this title:-
Sessions where being posted for discussion with all the emphasis on youth. I wanted some balance.

What was said:-
Tess started by saying that she experiences ageism from the opposite end to me i.e: as a person she is often perceived as being younger and therefore less ‘intelligent’ than her years.

Rich finds it difficult to find older performers and collaborators, and bemoans the fact that ( also apparent in this Open Space) the world he/we work in doesn't reflect the rich texture of the multi-cultural and aging world we live in. We also discussed the fact that a lot of discussion is had about attracting ‘young’ audiences but none about attracting ‘older’ people.

Rich also suggested that the Playhouse's Haydays should embrace information technologies.

My own concern is that I have issues with getting design work in theatre, and have often wondered if ageism is at work here. When I've seen the design of the productions I didn't get, they have been very similar to the kind of work I proposed at the interview but the designer is younger; so, does experience count for nothing and should I just give up and let the next generation take the jobs? Emma suggested that some of the experience I have had may be daunting to producers/directors and they question why I may be applying for the post in the first place.


experience of working in theatre, ageism