Devoted & Disgruntled 2: What are we going to do about theatre (now)?

13 - 14 January 2007

Devoted & Disgruntled 2: What are we going to do about theatre (now)?

Battersea Arts Centre


DEVOTED AND DISGRUNTLED II: What are we going to do about theatre  
A two-day event facilitated by Phelim McDermott on the 13th and 14th of January 2007, from 10am to 7pm at BAC. It leapt on to an empty stage: it wobbled, it looked as if it would never take off, and then suddenly, it was flying. Sky-high. A Theatrical St Crispins Day
Susannah Clapp, The Observer, about Devoted and Disgruntled I DEVOTED AND DISGRUNTLED II What are we going to do about theatre (now)? At the beginning of this year Improbable held an event, attended by about 200 people from the theatre community. It was called Devoted and Disgruntled and was a call for people to work in Open Space on how we might make better theatre and make theatre better. It was about what we were devoted to and what we were disgruntled about. About how we make theatre, produce it, sell it, love it, hate it, be it! For a few days we experienced the great high of working in a different way on issues that are important to us. For a few days those who were there (and a few who weren't but felt the ripples) experienced the opportunities of this different way of working; a sense of community, change and spirit. At the end of those two days many were in agreement that it was the beginning of something exciting and that the tectonic plates of theatre had perhaps shifted a bit. It's ten months later and I'm even more devoted and more disgruntled! More devoted because I saw what we could achieve in just two days more disgruntled because theatre still seems to be in dire trouble. I have been involved with professional theatre and performance since I left college in 1985. Since that time I have created and co created shows, which have ranged from totally improvised and devised work to classical texts for repertory theatres, from puppetry to site specific work and from dance theatre to comedy. I have performed, designed, written, devised, taught, improvised and served on the Board of the Actor's centre. Yet in all this time I have often felt an outsider in my own profession. There are things I love about theatre and things I find very difficult- things which I wish were different. I find myself both devoted and disgruntled. Over the years I have often found myself gossiping and moaning about how the world I work in could be better. Not just about what we put on the stage but how we produce, manage and administrate our work. How we create it in all aspects and how we treat each other as a creative community. Are you devoted and disgruntled like me? Do you still feel like an outsider in your own profession? Within only the past ten months the world has got crazier, the urgency is more extreme and maybe theatre has got worse? Are you up for making it better now? I made a commitment to continue opening the space for people in theatre so that we might continue working on what we are going to do about theatre, knowing that somehow we are devoted to this thing but that things could be better, and we are going to do something about that. Its time to shift things up a gear. From now on we will be doing Devoted and Disgruntled at least once a year! The next one is on the 13th and 14th January, at BAC, a venue dedicated to inventing theatre's future, and it is the next chapter in this story. A story of change, a story of difference. Come and join the ride! the rickety plane is leaving! are you on board? Are you devoted? Are you disgruntled? A strong point of Open Space is it's ability to unite groups of enormous diversity, to that end we are encouraging all participants, if you think this event is not for you, it probably needs you there. Phelim Phelim McDermott, Co-Artistic Director, Improbable Please distribute this information as you see fit to practitioners and colleagues and anyone else who you think might be interested.
Improbable's Open Space Event
In collaboration with BAC

What are we going to do about theatre (now)?

Facilitated by Phelim McDermott

A two-day event, 13th and 14th January 2007, 10am to 7pm
At BAC, Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN

Although Open Space may be new to you it has been used all over the  
world with predictable results. It will be an exciting open-ended  
event that enables a self-organising group to use its collective  
imagination to deal with complex issues and it will achieve this in  
an incredibly short space of time. By the end of the event the  
following will have occurred:

- Every issue of concern to anybody will have been raised, if  
they took responsibility for doing that.
- All issues will have received full discussion, to the extent  
- A full report of issues and discussions will be in the hands  
of all participants.
- And YOU will have taken part in making it happen.





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