How to put theatre at the heart of the community and get paid.

Convener(s): Ray

Participants: Ray, Frankie, Rick, Rachel, Lesley, Frank, Tv, and others….

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

  • Theatre needs to reconnect with its audience – The audience needs are not being met.
  • Its got too elitist
  • We are losing our sense of theatre by the community:

Football – audience gets what they want from it, but they do not get it from theatre, Why?

Blue man Group, Knee High and Welfare State have succeeded in meeting the demand of the audience, getting them jump up and down and shout, (emotionally involved), so, why does theatre so often struggle to meet these needs?

  • Need to establish trust with audience, there is too much distrust.
  • Money paid by the audience is validation for a good show – Grant funding makes work risk averse.
  • What is a community? (especially in London where diversity is an issue) – Do we need black players to draw a black audience?
  • Political / Issue based drama – Welfare State: Raised their funding by what it contributed to the community; Which was empowerment and social inclusion.
  • Time it takes to bring things into production?

BBC take two years to get a radio play broadcasted – The conclusion to this is immediacy, The issues are often missed by the time lag.

  • The audience has the right to be “entertained”
  • Shows need to live up to expectations       - Honest marketing
  • Validate the process of making theatre and not just the product
  • Theatre is to reflect the feeling of the audience here and now, in the present.