How can we reinvent the concept of 'workshops' for the 21st century?

Annabel Turpin, 18 July 2012

Present: Just me (and a quick chat with Phelim)

As a venue, when we are booking work, we are increasingly asking artists and companies to tell us about audience development/engagement activities that they can offer in addition to performing the show itself.

The most depressing answer - for us - is the ‘we can do workshops’.

If you are booking Shakespeare, Brecht or happen to be programming a devised piece into the autumn term just in the week when the local sixth form college are ‘doing’ devised theatre, that's really helpful.

However, we don't book Shakespeare or Brecht and our timing isn't always that good.

To be honest, we can't give workshops away, let alone raise additional and valuable income through selling them.

So what we are looking for, and what was behind my question, is new, outward-looking ways of getting people interested in seeing your show. I think we can re-invent workshops, and I think they look like organised yet informal conversations between artists and audiences, which may or may not involve some practical demonstration of your craft or content of your show.

What we need to work on is how we organise these conversations, how we find ways of you meeting potential audiences, in organised groups, and talking to them.

Not scaring them off with the thought that they might have to take their shoes off and learn something.

Anyone with me?



workshop, audience development, Audience Development, audience engagement, Audience engagement