From secondary school to tertiary study to professional opportunities, planning a professional trajectory is not as easy as it was: what are the pathways well trod or less travelled? What is the importance of well-established and reputable education courses in our places of presentation? What are the opportunities for practicing directors, actors, and makers once they have left the education system? How do we create spaces for diversity and retain people, preventing the all too common brain drain?
Key Points (Updated Live)
• After the introductions from both provocateurs, the open floor started to discuss the changes to what is being taught at acting schools nation-wide. Also discussed was how the arts schools are now splitting into two streams to allow for classical training. All members of the group agreed that a diversity of skills need to be taught in acting as the industry relies on artists to be skilled in many aspects of theatre to find work. Students must also be willing to give new skills a go.
• The group shortly discussed Shakespeare as the ‘great white construct’, how this can give youth misconceptions about theatre from a young age, and acknowledging that theatre is much older than Shakespeare, teaching youth about the roots of theatre with the first nation’s people. This was coupled with a call for diversity within schools and the sector. Concerns were raised at the idea about lower socio-economic students unable to do recommended programs such as internships or work placement programs. Also, schools being more forgiving of important cultural occasions some students may need to attend.
• A consensus was reached by the group that it can be very hard to find resources once out of theatre school, and that skills not usually taught in acting schools (such as producing, devising and managing) were also needed to be taught. Getting young and upcoming artists through “Arts Puberty”, to a point where they realised they were out of the school system and could become artists, was of high concern.
• Schools and families can hinder students from becoming artists because of the lack-of-work stigma that is still associated with having a job in the industry. A call for more transparency within the sector was given by the group so that more students would be able to see a career in the arts. This would also help remove the stigma of having to go to art schools straight out of high school, allowing more diversity.