Is it possible to break into theatre companies in Cornwall?

Anna Scutt, 17 July 2012

Attending were Anna, Paul, Katie, Nick and Kit.

The issue was that the vast majority of Cornish theatre companies have a closed-casting policy, which also applies to the few home-cast productions the receiving theatre is able to produce. How are Cornish actors to work in their own county?

The obvious answer is to make your own work. And that is the answer you get over and over again when you ask this question. Suggestions from the group included changing the way you work to fit with the companies - a good idea, but if they are so closed, they won't even know you fit with them.

Someone pointed out that the companies cast the right person for their needs, but how does the company know that if they won't look for new people? At least they are upfront enough to say they are closed so they don't waste an actor's time. The suggestion was put forward to ignore the companies, and focus on making your own work.

The phrase came up ‘That’s the way it is'. If Mrs Pankhurst had accepted that, women still wouldn't have the vote.

In response to this, it was suggested a Facebook campaign might be the answer. Ask others if they face the same closed doors and would like to join in campaigning, or collaborating on new work.

An excellent idea. We must be careful that in implementing it, we do not get that most fearful of results ‘A Reputation’. Maybe I will need to emulate brave Emily Davidson and throw myself under the King's horse for the good of the future of acting in Cornwall.


emerging actors, cliques, new actors, closed casting, starting your career