There is too much in the way between actors and the audience. What do we do about that? 

Convener(s): Ros Philips

Participants: Kirsty Loathian, Danny Brauerman, Matt Borman, Ben Neale, Rhiannan Armstrong, Stella Duffy, Tassos Stereng, Ariella Eshed, Sarah Jean Couzens, Roddy Maude-Roxby, Lee Simpson, Adrian Jackson

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

To summerize the debate became about how to be alive on stage and what that aliveness is. The participants were some of the most highly qualified people in this country to answer that question. There were many glorious anecdotes of performers and directors and audiences on that quest and conclusions drawn were that instinct is the source of that spontaneity and instinct is shunned in many theatre practices. There are many blocks to creativity at every turn and to make alive theatre we must remain aware of those blocks. We need to support each other and even when we stand on stage being alive but not necessarily entertaining, enlightening or pleasing an audience those who appriciate the intention and see it fail must say yes it failed but it WAS alive. Perhaps it takes 20 years. These kind of groups give us the strength to seek that lifefull stage.

Here are my notes I tried to quote please forgive paraphrasing that debate was rich and bouncey.

For the first 10 minuets I sat alone. Grew increasingly concerened that my question was unhelpfully phrased as I could not believe that the idea of relationship between actors and audience was not pertinent to our passion. It is very lonely sitting separated from huddles of chattering and sharing. Having your title passed by. I felt like a failed saleswoman. A chap lingered and I tried to attract him by saying I may have mis formed the question but I’m feel theatre isn’t as alive as it could be. Then the debate began.

We discussed the feeling that actors can be dead on stage.

Lee described a looming gatekeeper casting a shadow over actors instincts. We listed what the elements in theatre that can play the gate keeper role. Actors fear of failure, directors ideas design costume expectations of character.

Something makes performers choose not to be spontaneous and in the moment, who is it that tells the actor not to be alive in that moment.

Picture painting takes priority over spontaneity.

Instinct Vs intellect – this is true in all aspects not just the Theatre, it s true in health education

A book called the tipping point, blink are about the power of nonb thinking thinkiong and how incredibly intellectual, but instinct can be.

Blocks the creativity and the creative instinct, sometimes mistaken for lack of concentration,

Concentration can prevent instinct, its not the same as focus.

Theire are issues of control, sometimes there seems to be a conspiracy between audience and actor, all agreeing that nothing will happen, if you chose spontaneity or instinct people come down on you like a ton of bricks

Complicite between audiences not wanting to share with the great unwashed