How can we support the next generation of theatre makers?

Convener(s): Amy Letman

Participants: Kate Yedigaroff, Matt Ban, Jennifer Tan, Lisa Turner, Lucy Oliver-Harrison, Ben Cutter, Dan Baker, Julia Sandiford

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

  • The term ‘young’ or ‘emerging’ can sometimes be a tyranny – we need to find a more generous way of communicating this.
  • We must promote a healthy culture in theatre where there is a mix of age bands in theatres and organisations.
  • Perhaps there should be more opportunities or ‘ways in’ for people who are starting out in theatre – which aren’t distributed because of financial background or age-band but because of talent and potential (we recognise that there are some opportunities which exist but we would like to promote more).
  • Unpaid internships: organisations need to be honest about what they are providing and we must recognise more that many, many people cannot afford to work for free.
  • The new generation of theatre makers (and this also spans producers and administrators) must know what they are about, stop apologising for being young, appreciate their value and feel positive about voicing their trade.
  • There needs to be more dialogue between the older generation with the newer about how to cope with anxiety and surviving with having no money.

Our advice for the new generation:

  • Don’t diversify yourself for the sake of it, do what you’re brilliant at.
  • Don’t be apologetic – be what you believe you are.
  • Be a mentor and seek to mentor (at any level)
  • Communicate and share with others.
  • Share resources!
  • Talk about your ideas with others.
  • Get on with it!