Does anybody know whats happening in Theatre overall? Is it shrinking, growing, or changing?

Convener(s): Dee Evan 

Participants: Jo, Grainne, Tome, Anne, Charlotte, Diane, Pip, Joanna, Peth

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Summary is that it is doing all three things.

Aspects of it are shrinking, whilst others are growing. Areas are changing.

Initial discussions around the fact that there is a new generation of theatre makers who are not connecting with existing companies, but independent of them. Where are the mentors? There is too much dislocation . No bridge.Funding dictates that learning does not come from passing on processes/ideas as in building led or established companies. Funding is person centred/led rather than company led.

Too much emphasis on funding requiring administration organization and outcomes. (ACE) More money /funding coming from abroad.

Emphasis of ACE – open air, access, etc.

There is an appetite for challenging new companies.If the work is good, as in Punchdrunk, Shunt …

What is good enough? Because of the cuts companies are forced to relate to their audiences. Does this dictate a market led theatre?

Do we like change? Are we in theatre afraid of it because it is such an insecure profession? No its about how we treat each other. In a civil service job you wouldn’t lose your job in such a summarily fashion as when you lose your grant after many years practice, because your work is out of fashion.

Less touring venues. Touring is deemed to be old hat. Less appetite and range of theatre experience being developed outside London or cities.

Is it changing or ‘remaining the same?” Some would say so as is/the established theatre being run by same men in suits? Talking heads. No not so. Many women work in commercial theatre.

Interest in ‘scratch ‘ night idea. But isn’t that just labeling something which should be allowed to happen any way. Can you go to a show and decide for yourself whether it’s in development or the pinnacle of excellence?

In west end the process is brutal but honest.

Theatre is being studied more. Academia vs practice. Becomes very self conscious.

What is theatre? Created by professionals only? We are over concerned about people outside the room and what they think. But if you don’t have an eye on that you could lose out, because you get out of touch withj funding trends.