D and D Report
I’m nearly an elder and feel like a creative child?
How do we keep open to each other’s creative abilities whatever our age? #DandD15 session2 venue: snake
Called by Mufrida Hayes
Attended by Kate Maravan, Sarah-Louise Young, Jess (trainee producer at Improbable), Lloyd Davis, David Cottis, Alison Mead, Amie Taylor, Denise Stephenson and…..

I raised the session as I have become aware more and more how we tend to create work in silos of age. My concern is that I still feel as open to play in my 50’s as I did in my 20’s yet am not sure that those of us as, we get older are viewed to be as open to play, to creative riskiness and I wanted to explore how we can have more artistic connections across ages.
We talked about perceptions from both sides.
Perhaps younger creatives may perceive that we wouldn’t want to work for little money, be able to give up our time, be “hard work” i.e calling breaks, asking where work was being used, being assertive about our value – could this make younger artists afraid to ask?
Lots of talk bout assumptions both ways,
Younger artists may think we have it sorted, successful and therefore won’t be interested.How does this affect work as a young producer ?
Does it stop you working with older performers, is it easier to choose projects closer to your own age? Or not?
Are there assumptions around our physical limitations? Some spoke of hiding an injury in case people thought they weren’t up to the job. Easier to pretend.
In terms of new work and training – is there an assumption that we may not want to learn more? That we already know – assume we might not be as open.
And what are our assumptions…. We need to challenge ourselves -Do we come across as embittered, knowing what won’t work, not allowing aa younger person to discover.
As creatives we are constantly changing no matter what age?
Might I know what I had to be doing?
Do we go into a space assuming younger people think I already know this stuff and focus more on my own age group?
I want a timelessness and agelessness without assumptions
We talked about the number of people making their own work, because of the huge numbers of people coming into the business and the lack of work, therefore they tend to make work with their own peer group.Very difficult to earn a living now as a young artist.
What about Chekhov, Shakespeare- multigenerational . We have less opportunity to work with a variety of ages, no rep theatre tradition – that’s a big change since when many of us started out.
( Can’t read my writing at this point….. apologies but discussion around confidence and assuming we may be more confident.
Our responsibility is to allow younger artists to make discoveries. You may already have.
To put ourselves in workshops and situations, going in being a student.
Acknowledging we have experience without being an asshole! Being open.
The Flipside may be : I’m a young performer and I feel excluded.
Not self-selecting – could be a younger or older person.
Not assuming I have nothing to learn.
Timeless and ageless
Someone reminded us of the amazing Old people’s home and Nursery school that worked together and each generation got so much from that.
Felt we have to break down age based assumptions - some of us felt like we were treated like we were mum, instead of fellow artist, therefore assumption around how we will react or be creatively.
Felt we should allow ourselves to fail?
Can we share incomplete work? With age and experience it’s easier to fit in a box – but don’t want to be boxed.
Older circus performers //ockham’s Razor
Where’s the representation of different ages in programming?
Improbable’s “ Without Words” show which used much older actors struggling with lines and taught them to improvise.
Sarah-Louise shared an amazing story of where an actor she directed who did her first every performing in her 70’s was open about her difficulties with learning lines. They embraced this as a gift. The actor handed her script t someone in the front row and said they were responsible for prompting her if she got lost, became a wonderful incorporation of difference.
Another person talked about the terrifying stage fright she had experienced when her memory was struggling with lines and she told no-one and was riddled with worry.
One person had attended a Gestalt conference some years back and they explored how would we change the world at each generation.
We want to create a piece of inter generational theatre and are inviting creatives of all generations to be part of a week of creative exploration with sessions run by both young artists and older and middling.

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