First a massive thank you to Kazi Ruksana Begum from A season of Bangla Drama for hosting the first every #LoveTheatreDay Unconference! What a day!
Second, thank you to Zsofia Szendrei for this guest blog on the day:
What a day of insights!
From marketing managers, to university professors and “explainers”; from actors and directors to museum curators and museum leaders (and us, aspiring events managers); we were lucky to have a great meeting of diverse backgrounds attend #LoveTheatreDay’s #unconference at the Art Pavillion in association with Banghra Drama.
At the heart of it; however, we were all merely a group of theatre enthusiasts, theatre explorers and those who, just so, happened to find themselves seduced by this sector of dreamers at one point and haven’t glanced back since (Mar, I’m looking at you ;P). What brought us together was the openness to go down a path of unknown territory: asking questions that may have no answers (yet). Something perhaps as terrifying as it is thrilling.
We explored the barriers audiences may find when they think of what Theatre is, the obstacles practitioners face when composing and writing a piece. We discussed the inevitable difficulties of looking for funding. To conclude our open-ended un-conference we shared thoughts on (the future of) Education and the next generation of Theatre.
If you missed out on today I can’t quite give you the true feel for the dynamic, the scope and breadth of discussions we had. I can however leave you with 5 ideas I came away with to mull over:
- There really is “no right or wrong”, all points were of interest and importance. The more we explore, the more inquisitive insights we can unwrap.
- On audience engagement: Theatre is for everyone. There is a performance or theatrical environment for every single person out there. Unfortunately, people cannot be aware of all the different venues and performances, so audiences have to be shown and invited. Therefore, the mission and question becomes: how can we give them a taste of Theatre that they can enjoy?
- Which then take us onto barriers. Other than the obvious (often extortionate) ticket prices, audiences often find themselves restricted by self-imposed barriers
- Maybe instead of “out-reach” we should be looking at “in-reach”. While it is fantastic that institutions are showing their benevolence, but should being open to suggestions and collaboration from the outside be attended to as well. Both sides are looking for each other.
- While the most creative Art does come from times of hardship, because we have to question ourselves and those whom we look up on as authority…we cannot stop looking for ways to fund and support contemporary artists. What to do in a time of “#unfunding”?
While there was some sharing via tweets (see the Storify) we were so intent on speaking we failed to tweet! Below are some photos from the event.