Are there too many opportunities to say no rather than yes in Theatre

Fiona Mackie, 21 September 2012

This maybe a report about stating the obvious - that arts organisations should make sure they are making the door wide enough to engage with as many writers, artists, actors as possible, if only to meet with and listen to. It is only natural that people gravitate towards people they know or have worked with before but there is potential in that case for a lack of diversity and the door staying shut to knew talent. Pyramids where few people are able to say yes but everyone can say no will naturally reduce everyone in the organisations chance to make artistic discoveries and relationships of their own.

Saying yes can be a risk but it also can empower everyone.

Solutions - say yes to become self starter and make and stage your own work.

It was interesting to hear from Alister who's company did make a call to other artists and therefore had to say no to some but it was so good to hear that they made time to feedback and engage with the rejects to match the effort made on the application. But what if organisations that make calls for artists to offer, ideas and synopses, make a commitment to the slush pile - the artists who took the trouble to send stuff? That commitment should be made at the funding stage, the question asked ‘what are you going to do about the 200 people you reject?’, it doesn't have to be much but it could even be an explanation about what idea ultimately got the green light or workshops for the interesting but not-quites. Otherwise a lot of creativity is spent on something that is very random process.