How can we work together collaboratively and avoid becoming insular?

Annie Reilly, 21 September 2012

I realised I had probably not phrased the question correctly or actually put two questions into one? But, everyone was very patient and understanding.

Theatre can be quite an isolated art form. We are all doing more with less and it can be quite hard to live up to the expectation to be fully informed and engaged in everything.

We don't know what everyone else is doing even within our own artistic communities, let alone in the wider world.

Geography can be a stumbling block. This region is near and yet far from London.

Working together is a way around insularity. Collaboration and creativity are the glass half full of the recession. We are working–and working together –in exciting and innovative ways.

How do we create diverse work and encourage audiences to experience diverse work while acknowledging that not everyone is interested in everything.

We should explore a broad definition of ‘collaboration.’ It can be sharing ideas, off loading and giving advice. Not just making work together with shared expense.

Similarly, we need to think outside art form boxes but acknowledge differing tastes and interests.

Will we all have to come together to be funded as collectives. There is a danger of homogeny. Collaborations have to be flexible and fresh. Don't just work together because you always have.

Insularity is in some ways the nature of being an artist. It will not stop being that way.

You have to build your own community and pay your dues. There will always be peaks and troughs.

Continuity is the positive flip side of insularity. There is consistent voice, shaping and supporting.