DIY Theatre Makers

Clive Judd, 13 July 2012

Group: Clive, Susan, Nat, Theresa, Mark, Michael

Words (and the way we use them) are always interesting, aren't they? The beauty of this form of conference, it appears, is that you are quickly reminded of the many avenues a topic can take and multiple meanings words can have when in the hands (and mouths) of a diverse group of people.

For me, the term “DIY” points to the “self-starting” nature undoubtedly needed to get work up and running at any point of your career. What the discussion lead to was a deeper exploration of the term “DIY”. What the wider perception of “DIY” might mean and who are you making the work for when you speak of “DIY” theatre? Image and public perception became an important topic. The group discussed the perils of “DIY” theatre in the rough sense- floating in the unknown area between the amateur and professional world perhaps? Is it about bits of cardboard strewn about to make a set?

What kind of spaces are we talking about? What style of theatre? There was a suggestion that self-started work has the possibility to be more political- more subversive in nature. Street theatre was discussed as were Happenings. A discussion about audience. Does “DIY” theatre mean theatre for the artists? Theatre for the tastes of one man and his dog? The energy of “just fucking doing it” was discussed. The merits of doing the work you want and feel should be done regardless of financial restriction. Obviously, finance was discussed. Does “DIY” mean unpaid? It reminded me of an earlier discussion today about “Value”. Is work more valuable if someone is being paid? As one of the group said- “does a painter receive payment for his/her paintings?” Not always.

The group brought much to this topic that I have probably not done enough justice to here. Words, huh…


Audiences, Value, audiences, DIY, self-starting, value