This event took place at The Study Gallery, Poole on Tuesday 14th March. Theatre=Risk? was sold out with representatives from the public, students, teachers, practitioners, programmers, local authorities, funders, arts development workers and producers. Some people travelled over 50 miles to attend the event.
The day kicked off with ROMCOM, created by Rotozaza and Glen Neath in which two local performers (Laura Griffin & Lee Hart) met on stage before the audience and enacted the story of a relationship. The ‘story’ was pre recorded onto 2 CDs and was relayed to them, for the first time, through a set of headphones. The performers, different for every performance, agree in advance to do the show, but have absolutely no idea what is expected of them, they simply turn up and put on a set of headphones through which their instructions are given to them. The performance stimulated debate amongst the delegates on what constitutes a piece of theatre.
The delegates then went into break out groups with Jonathan Salisbury - Director of Camden Peoples’ Theatre; Kate Montefiore - Arts Manager; Ian Scott – Artsreach; Arts Institute Events Management course representatives and R.G. Gregory - Word and Action. In these groups delegates discussed with the speaker elements such as: what is theatre, what is it about theatre that makes the work ‘risky’, how to develop audiences and practitioners and taking risks in theatre form. Does theatre=risk?
“The vast degrees of people’s differences of opinion about risk and how strong some views were was very insightful and valuable.”
GilbertandGrape performed Missing you Mostly where the audience were manipulated into lying on the floor, holding a sparkler and thinking about someone they missed, highlighting the nature of audience risk. Chris Johnston improvised a performance in front of and with the audience which allowed delegates to think about the risk for the performer in this context.
The feedback overwhelmingly showed that most delegates were more likely to take risks in programming and attending performances as a result of the day. The feedback also highlighted that the delegates would like more of these types of events.
“Great networking. Great for Dorset to be doing. Really engaging.”