Connecting Universities - City - Theatre Makers

Mark Taylor-Batty, 5 October 2012

How can our civic universities be better intergrated into performing arts environments and theatre makers in ways that are of benefit / use to the city that hosts them?

Stuff said:

Universities can do better at communicating in a number of directions: with secondary schools, with companies, with arts funders, with graduates.

How can Universities harness, and make sure they are listed in, all the online (or other) hubs or catalogues of makers, promoters, facilitators of performing arts?

Would not intimate access to theatre makers' process be of great value to performing arts students? Can arrangements be made where Universities can host and support companies in return for students gaining access to process, skills, talks, methodologies? Empty rehearsal spaces traded for such things.

Different performing arts departments have different objectives - some offer training and are keyed into professional practice, offer contact with professional practice, chances of making professional work - others consider themeselves as less directly vocational, while having an eye on employability,

A prejudice can exist in universities, or be percieved to exist, that they ignore or fail to be aware of all the practice around them. Lost opportunities. Similarly, there can be great misunderstanding about what Universities teach and how - hermetically sealed from the ‘real world’, what is understood by ‘academic’.

In gaining and developing relationships with companies, there is a danger of creating a ‘feedback loop’ where the companies foster new audiences within academic environments, and students aspire to construct work that then feeds back to the academy, with the city and its communities left out from that loop.

Greater contact with practitioners needs to be established (where that is not already the case) and rel;ationships and opportunities created and sustained. Pilot schemes where Universities fund and support internships, for example, could be explored.


skills, City, civic responsibility, universities, Training, Process, outreach, process, new work, academy, Education, education, training, city, New work