It’s an uncertain time for everyone in theatre. In the past year, almost everything we thought we knew has been turned on its head. We’ve seen the loss of work, projects, companies and venues and also the loss of people, of loved ones, of dreams. For some, the very idea of returning to the career they had before the lockdown feels impossible.

We invite you to gather online to collaborate on how we move forward. To dream about and design the kind of sector that could emerge from this pandemic. We want to create conversations that acknowledge the loss and the grief that many of us are feeling and support those who need supporting. Conversations that look beyond the short-term crisis, and which also support new, better ways of working.

Our first events, held on 22, 27, 29 May and 2 Jun were about dreaming. What kind of world – and what kind of theatre sector – do we want to emerge from this crisis? We are now continuing to hold a series of smaller events that focus on specific areas of work, including new ideas and themes that emerged in those dreaming conversations. And then we’ll come back together further down the line share what we’ve learnt, take action and make plans for the future.

These events are open to all – whether you are an artist, maker, funder, venue, company, freelancer or anything in between. The more voices we have in the online room, the more ideas we can bring together. Some of the events will be run in Open Space, which means that you set the agenda. We will work on the things that you think are important right now.

We don’t know what to call these forums. The closest we’ve come is Susie Dent’s Word of the Day a few days back: respair. An old word now fallen out of usage meaning recovery from despair – to respair is to have fresh hope. So we invite you to gather with us in May and June, to respair.

Improbable & Battersea Arts Centre

Reports from Time for Respair events

You can read and download the reports from our first series of Time for Respair Open Space Online events below:

Act 1 (20 May 2020) - How can we build the future of theatre together? (Pilot event with Theatre Bristol)

Act 1 (22 May 2020)A conversation about theatre & the future

Act 1 (27 May 2020)A conversation about theatre & the future

Act 1 (29 May 2020)A conversation about theatre & the future

Act 1 (2 Jun 2020)A conversation about theatre & the future

Act 2 (7 Jul 2020)What can and should opera be and how might we build it together?

Act 2 (25 Sep 2020)Is this actually a great time to make some changes in Dance?

Act 2 (5 Nov 2020)How can we change the world of design for the better?

Act 2 (20 Nov 2020)Outdoor Arts 2020: How do artists & producers working outdoors plan for this rapidly changing world and its future?