The Spaces We Create To Create

Bistro 1, Wed 4th Oct, 10:00am, 1 Hour Facilitator: Mark Pritchard 1st Provocateur: Elena Carapetis 2nd Provocateur: Jeffrey Jay Fowler

Literary Managers and Associate Directors inherit spaces within artistic organisations and institutions that are key to creating bridges for new voices: how are they being creative amidst organisational and government red tape? How are they creating and holding space for diverse storytellers, experiences, and audiences? What have been their approaches, challenges, and successes?

Key Points (Updated Live)

  • Inheriting institutions

  • Perception of theatre companies on inside and outside is very different: creating a bridge; feeling of powerlessness for independent artists; and hope and pathways for culturally diverse people

  • Creating change: pressure of hitting financial target (ticket sales); finding sincere product to advocate for; faith in subscribers

  • Making theatre accessible to communities – creating the bridge: engage with communities in their own space first; exchange of welcoming; going to their space and being welcomed, so you can then welcome them into yours; hunger for stories with people not necessarily of anglo background

  • Luxury product for luxury venues: Who are the people who don’t feel invited? How to make people feel comfortable in a luxury space if that’s not what they feel like themselves; the nature of the invitation

  • Help the system adapt and create change: dismantling of traditional process of theatre company; takes time to create change because values and processes can be calcified

  • Dependence of interconnectedness within the arts: engaging people who do not necessarily have the same opportunities; breaking the inner circles

  • How to support independent artists: without financial freedom; state theatre companies taking artistic risk; employment of staff who do the “bridging” work; pushing upward from the role of a resident artist

  • Culturally safe spaces: companies need to become colour competent; “Interculturalism” – several cultures rubbing against each other.

  • Diversity in audiences: the most diverse audiences tend to be the audiences of educational shows; inspiring young people by representing them in the theatre

  • Faux diversity: stereotyping; can actually have a negative effect on the represented community; needs to be counteracted through genuine sustained partnerships with institutions – going outward rather than pulling upward. How is the theatre space designed and utilised in other cultures to present other forms of performance?

  • Letting culturally diverse stories speak for themselves: not adapting them to fit western ideals; respecting the dramaturgies of different cultures, being aware of the differences – how not to colonise the work.