Your reports Find reports What is the point of Fringe Theatre What is the point of Fringe Theatre Convener(s): Andrew Piper Participants: Laura Macdougall, Tom Latter, Scarlett Plouviez-Comnas, Lucy Avery, Nir Paldi, Jen Lunn, Sally Christopher, Randy Ginsburg, Sarah Johnson, Nicola Sanhope, Katheryn Worthington, Sarah, Oli Townsend, Lyn Gardner, Daniel Pitt Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations: Convener’s note: I wanted to discuss this because I have found the fringe a deeply frustrating place to work. Each job I would approach with the hope either of artistic satisfaction or a showcase that would lead to more work or better representation. Out of about 10 unpaid fringe projects I’ve done, only 1 (poss 2) have been artistically satisfying; none has led to more work. Venues such as the Finborough, 503, Arcola, and Southwark Playhouse are attracting critical acclaim; many other venues blur the distinction between amateur and professional in a dispiriting way. What, then, is the point of theatre where no one gets paid? Development of new writing Showcase for new talent Exposure for actors struggling to get paid work Develop body of work for directors & writers Why does someone work for no money? Want exposure To keep working/maintain skills Artistic satisfaction lacking in commercial work (But does that make an actor’s artistic satisfaction dependent on other people?) To develop new projects that will have a commercial future. Fringe can be both about artistic development in a low-risk environment, and also about exposure to the industry. Anything is possible on the fringe – no commercial constraints Actors (and all involved) need to have a clear sense of what they want to get out of it. Important to play the long game: how does this project fit into where I want to be in 5 years time? Fine-tuning your craft. BUT the saying is that you’re only as good a tennis player as the people you’re playing tennis with: if you want art, but you’re in a showcase then you’re going to find that frustrating. Best chance of artistic satisfaction for actor if involved before start of rehearsals; know the director and/or writer’s work Seek out creative ensembles to develop a long-term relationship with Edinburgh – showcase for shows to be picked up by tour producers National Theatre of Wales: travels around looking for small-scale (not just fringe) shows looking for talent Some language discussion: some prefer ‘studio theatre to ‘fringe’.