29 September 2012

D&D Roadshow Cambridge

The Junction, Cambridge


Daniel Brine's invitation:

It’s a great privilege to welcome the Devoted and Disgruntled Roadshow to Cambridge and East England.  If you’re passionate about contemporary performance - whether you make it, experience it, organise it or just enjoy it - D&D is an event you won’t want to miss.

I believe the arts are changing and I’m lucky my professional roles have enabled me to champion this change.  I’m interested in the ways artists explore and redefine the boundaries of artforms, reconsider the relationships between artist and audience, and question the traditions and assumptions of practice.  I’m also excited by the curiosity of audiences and their increasing desire for performance experiences and events.  But I think our arts institutions and organisations are sometimes slow to respond to these changes.  My interest at The Junction – and my question for D&D – is how can we shape new identities for venues which embrace artistic change, remain relevant to the lives of audiences, and are financially viable?

My experience of Open Space events led by Improbable is that they are extraordinary opportunities to think freely about theatre.  The thing about Open Space is that you hear questions you’ve not yet asked yourself and you learn about solutions which you can choose to be a part of.  I will bring my interests to the circle but I’m especially keen to listen to what’s on everyone else’s mind.  I’m new to Cambridge and the region and this is a significant opportunity for me to meet people and to learn about their interests and concerns. 

Devoted and Disgruntled is an important event for anyone in the East of England who cares about theatre.  And I mean anyone.  The Open Space format of D&D is an approach to discussion and dialogue that is truly inclusive and provides room for all voices.  If you are interested in theatre, if you are curious, if you have something to say, if you want to lead action, or if you want to listen, then I hope you will come to The Junction and be part of Devoted and Disgruntled. 

I look forward to welcoming the D&D team and you to The Junction.

Daniel Brine, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, The Junction.

Phelim McDermott's invitation:

Do you love theatre?

Do you find it frustrating?

Do you feel audiences don't get a voice?

Do you feel like an outsider in your own profession?

Have you just started out and need support?

Been in the profession for years and feel jaded?

Is your region always left out of the discussions?

Do you usually dread discussions and meetings?

Are you looking to change things?

In 2012 for the first time ever, you have the opportunity to take part in a unique nationwide conversation.

In 2006 I wrote a heartfelt invitation and the first ”Devoted & Disgruntled: What are we going to do about theatre?” took place. This was an open and collaborative conference, a chance to check in with the theatre community, share the news about what we were doing well, talk about what we could be doing better and take action on how to improve things. 

Devoted & Disgruntled has subsequently become an inspiring annual three day event and since then there have been over 100 offshoot D&D events. Some have been monthly themed satellites, some have been regionally based like D&D Scotland and D&D North East, some have been international events like D&D New York and Vancouver. These conferences have kept the important conversations alive and have lead to companies being formed, venues being opened, festivals started, shows created, and many other projects and initiatives.

The Devoted and Disgruntled Roadshow has come about in response to numerous requests for these conversations to reach beyond London, and engage with all parts of the UK.  So as part of the Cultural Olympiad we are going on the road, holding D&Ds in twenty different locations round the country, and we are going online, launching a new interactive D&D website, which will record and connect all the D&D events.

In theatre, as in so many things, it can feel like the agenda is set, and the decisions are made by a faceless, unreachable "them". We wait for "them" to talk about what we think needs talking about and for "them" to solve our problems. Guess what? "They" aren't going to do it. But you can, and D&D is the place to start - so if there are questions that you think should be asked, projects you want support on, things you want changed, join Improbable this summer on the Devoted & Disgruntled 2012 Roadshow in a conversation that could reshape the theatre landscape. This is a unique chance for your voice to be heard and for us to listen to each other, face to face and online, locally and nationally. Join us and let’s work together towards making theatre better and making better theatre.

Phelim McDermott and Improbable

Booking for this event has now closed.