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Members’ Meeting with Arts Council England
‘People First’7 December 2021 After the success of 2020’s online conference we are delighted to announce our next online conference ‘People First‘ will take place on the 7th December 2021. We are inviting members to explore how we encourage new people into the sector, look after and develop them in order to reduce the number of people moving to other industries. Running on the 7th December, participants will have the option to attend as many of the Zoom panel talks and Q&As as they choose. Peer learning and support are at the heart of the ITC community. Many of the sessions will include breakouts with provocations and discussions allowing members to ask and respond to key questions of the moment. How to book tickets: Member’s Ticket A member’s ticket is available for the cost of £40 +VAT. This covers one place in each Zoom and can be shared within your company. We want this conference to be useful and interesting for people at all stages of their management career. If you work with a future leader we encourage you to attend as well. They could be someone who wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to attend an event like this and who would benefit from the career development such as; a mentee; an associate artist, freelancer, producer, or collaborator. You can purchase the ticket for them or they can take up the offer themselves via you.
ITC Online Conference Day 2021
The Almeida Theatre is seeking participants for a Directing Workshop. This is a three-day workshop led by Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Frecknall.
For details of how to apply please visit our website: https://almeida.co.uk/working-at-the-almeida
Developing Your Practice
16th, 17th and 18th July
For anyone over the age of 21
A three-day workshop led by Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Frecknall where early career directors will spend time examining their craft and honing their artistic instincts. Participants will have the opportunity to try out different rehearsal techniques and practical exercises together and gain insight into Rebecca’s process. Sessions will vary in focus from textual analysis to compositional and physical exploration and participants will be encouraged to push, challenge and evolve their thinking around their own practice across the three days.
Application deadline: 5 July 2021
Developing Your Skills Directing Workshop by Almeida Theatre
Getting Through The Cracks Part Two – hosted by Theatre Alibi, in partnership with Exeter University and supported by ASSITEJ UK.
Last year Theatre Alibi hosted the free online webinar series ‘Getting Through The Cracks’ where they invited renowned theatre makers for young audiences to talk about their experience of creating work during the pandemic. After receiving a lot of positive feedback they are returning with ‘Getting Through The Cracks – Part Two’. This time, each conversation will be asking internationally renowned performance makers to share a ‘behind the scenes’ look at their process, giving an insight into how and why they create their work. Here are the upcoming conversations, with more to be announced soon…
- 29th July: Ross Willis (Wolfie, Theatre 503) and Sally Cookson (A Monster Calls, Bristol Old Vic, Peter Pan, National Theatre) talking about Wonder Boy.
- 22nd September: Natasha Gilmore from Barrowland Ballet will be talking about her piece Family Portrait, facilitated by Louise Katerega from Foot in Hand.
In each session there will be plenty of space for questions from attendees and a system in place inviting people to share provocations, questions and introductions so that the conversation can carry on after the hour is over.
To book a ticket, or read more about the speakers, click here: https://theatrealibi.co.uk/getting-through-the-cracks-part2/
If you’d like to hear more about events like ‘Getting Through The Cracks – Part Two’ you’ll need to sign up to Theatre Alibi’s mailing list by clicking the link below and filling in your email address. By signing up you’ll receive latest news, be able to register your interest, and receive early-bird offers for all future events Theatre Alibi host for performance makers for young audiences: Click here to join the mailing list.
Getting Through The Cracks – Part Two by Theatre Alibi
Hijinx’s critically acclaimed online digital performance, Metamorphosis, will be part of Summerhall’s Fringe Festival programme 2021.
The award-winning innovative (and interactive!) live digital experience will be streaming as part of Summerhall’s online programme for 2021, from Sunday 22 August to Sunday 29 August.
Cardiff based theatre company, Hijinx, create exhilarating and subversive theatre productions with artists with learning disabilities and/or autism at the heart of the process. Hijinx’s acclaimed inclusive theatre work is original, surprising, edgy, and funny and in huge demand across the globe, with the company touring to over 35 countries in recent years. Their productions include Edinburgh Festival Fringe hits Meet Fred (a sell-out show in 2016), and The Flop (shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award in 2018), alongside the international ensemble work Into the Light (with Frantic Assembly).
Metamorphosis is inspired by Franz Kafka’s classic novella reimagined for online audiences. The production is performed live on Zoom, exploring the advantages, limitations, and comedic value of video calls. Metamorphosis was an experiment for Hijinx in recreating the highly interactive nature of their previous touring productions.
It had its world premiere as part of the Green Man: Festival of Streams digital festival in August 2020. Last November, Metamorphosis was selected to perform at the global festival and fundraiser, “Good Thea@tre Festival and Awards” hosted by the Red Curtain International, where it received the award for both Best Direction and Most Innovative use of Technology.
Metamorphosis follows the story of Gregor Samsa who wakes up one morning from uneasy dreams to find he had turned into a monstrous verminous bug. He is incapacitated, confined to the house, unable to work and unable to hold his family close. This metadrama sees the cast of 12, all of whom have awoken to a different world, forced to reinterpret their profession, their identity, their very worth to the world.
Recommended for ages 14+, During the performance, the audience will be able to interact with Zoom’s polling functions and may even become part of the action, so should be dressed appropriately, or at the very least, dressed! The Hijinx cast will perform live from their own homes, where an unexpected extra (dog, cat, child or guinea pig) could appear at any given time. There will be audio description and closed captioning available at every performance.
Hijinx Academy actress Ffion Gwyther, who has recently become a YouTube sensation with her lockdown videos and catchphrase ‘cwtch in and have a drink’, will feature in the online theatre production. Metamorphosis also includes a team of professional Hijinx actors, as well as music specifically created by award winning BAFTA Cymru Composer Tic Ashfield.
Artistic Director of Hijinx, and Director of Metamorphosis, Ben Pettitt-Wade said, “We are thrilled to be returning to the Summerhall for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021, all be it under very different circumstances. The fringe has always been about experimentation and Metamorphosis has certainly been an experiment for us, an urgent repost to the question of how we remain creative when everything we know has gone. We are delighted that more people will now have a chance to enjoy and relate to this satirical snap shot of a year on Zoom.
Hijinx is generously supported by the Arts Council of Wales, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Morrisons Foundation, The Rayne Foundation, Arts & Business Cymru and BBC Children in Need.
Further information about Metamorphosis and Hijinx please visit www.hijinx.org.uk.
Follow Hijinx on Twitter or Instagram @HijinxTheatre for more info.
Hijinx’s acclaimed online digital experience will be part of Summerhall’s Fringe programme 2021 by Hijinx Theatre
During a violent storm one night at sea, a ghostly pirate ship emerges out of the mist. Onboard are the remains of four long dead pirates, but due to some unseen force and copious amounts of rum, the ghostly pirates are about to come to life and live again. Like us, the pirates are coming out of lockdown, only they are coming out of Davy Jones’ Locker where they have been trapped for 300 years. The four hapless pirates are excited by their new lease of life and are ready to embark on a wild, fun filled escapade. But before they can move on and start enjoying themselves, they must re-live their past and discover who they really are. Only then, can they move on and start to live life to full once again, as fighters for injustice and standing for the disadvantaged.
There are four pirates who make up the Buccaneers. Anne Bonny, Jack Calico, Harry (Cutthroat) Bates and Angus (Jock) McTavish. The Buccaneers are no ordinary pirates as although they have a rough exterior, they all have hearts of gold. All four of them came together from tragic backgrounds and in their own way formed a family dependant on each other.
A show with uplifting songs, amazing swords fights, this musical comedy show is a must-see for family audiences (not suitable for children under 7 years).
With the folk tunes, the silly word games, and the tales of woe with their playful tone, The Buccaneers, have succeeded in presenting a fun piece which has its tongue firmly in cheek. The scene-chewing ‘Jack Calico’, surely the curious cousin of Sparrow of the Caribbean, steals the show. (Louise Pen @LouReviews)
For more details please see www.amatheatre.biz/the-buccaneers
The Buccaneers by AMA Theatre Co.
Campaigns & Partnerships
Introduction & Aims of the Survey
The Chancellor’s announcement of £1.57 billion to tackle the crisis facing the arts is welcome both in its recognition of the importance of this industry and its potential to help a recovery. However, we want to ensure that the independent theatre sector is considered in these decisions, both the challenges facing the sector as well as the important creative contribution. The independent sector has the potential to start making work soon and are able to reach communities throughout the country. This survey aimed to explore that potential and assess what support would be needed to enable it.
The report of the survey can be viewed here
Statement from ITC CEO Charlotte Jones
Thank you to the ITC members from throughout the UK and across the broad diversity of our membership who have responded to this survey. It has given us an illuminating snapshot of the sector at this extraordinary time and provided us with vital intelligence to inform our advocacy and strengthen our practical support for the sector. We have chosen to make the many of the detailed responses available in this summary report because our members have so powerfully articulated their position and statistics don’t always convey the picture so strongly.
Some of the standout statistics for us are that only 34% of respondents received emergency funding. Over half of the workers in this sector are currently furloughed and 42% of organisations expect to be making job cuts when that scheme comes to an end this Autumn.
Interestingly over half of respondents have continued to make and disseminate work either digitally or outdoors. 79% of respondents have increased their reach by this means. Most however have been providing this work for free and it is obviously not sustainable long term.
Touring is the life-blood of this sector. It has been described by many as an already broken infrastructure and there are serious concerns about how it will revive in the future. Shared risk-taking by venues will be vital to its revival.
This sector has suffered from a steep decline in core-funding for many years and a continuing reduction in project funds available. It has worked hard to generate more earned income over the past years and obviously the pandemic has brought this to a sharp standstill. This sector has the potential to revitalise its communities, is already doing important work and will require significant support to mitigate the losses it has suffered. That support will go a long way though if targeted strategically at theatre makers and artists.
The independent sector offers energy, imagination, value for money and hope for the future if properly recognised and supported. We would strongly welcome further responses to this survey. I hope you find it interesting reading.
Charlotte Jones, ITC CEO
Statement from The Chair of the ITC Board, Ali King
“Thanks to all the ITC members that were able to fill out the survey, it has shown a very interesting snapshot of the problems our sector face as a result of COVID. It clearly shows what support and help we need.
I am constantly impressed by the ongoing resilience and inventiveness of our sector and the care and consideration we show to one another.
This survey will be really useful for the team at ITC to disseminate and use to help the sector. To target areas for improvement and carry on co-ordinating a voice supporting the sectors needs and concerns. I know it has been awhile since we have all been able to come together but ITC remains as always here to help, advise and listen to its members”
Ali King, Chair of ITC
“Who is curating the culture? Predominantly it is white, middle-class men.” David Oyelowo
How many people of colour are running publicly funded theatre organisations in England? Not many. It’s time for a change.
tiata fahodzi have brought together companies whose collective missions represent a rich, multicultural and modern Britain – Freedom Studios, Talawa Theatre Company and 20 Stories High – to stage an intervention and lead the change.
Supported by the Arts Council England’s Sustained Theatre programme, Artistic Director Leadership Programme is a unique training opportunity for future theatre leaders. The programme comprises two initiatives:
- Trainee Artistic Director
- Leaders of Tomorrow
Trainee Artistic Director programme provides four paid, two year, full-time traineeships for experienced theatre directors. Trainees are resident at one of the partner theatres, working closely with the artistic director of their host organisation. Participants will gain an exceptional opportunity to take part in and contribute to the daily life of running a theatre company.
Leaders of Tomorrow is both a bespoke leadership development programme and a collective of theatre practitioners of colour. Not just for directors, this opportunity is for anyone who wants to lead a theatre company or building; this could be theatre makers, writers, producers, actors, administrators, designers, dramaturgical or literary practitioners or movement directors. Leaders of Tomorrow includes a wide range of free training opportunities that will take place in two hubs based in Manchester and Watford.
Natalie Ibu, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of tiata fahodzi said, “we believe that the future of theatre leadership should look and feel different, that is why, with our partners, we delighted to announce the launch of this ground-breaking programme.”
ITC are proud to be running the training sessions for this important initiative, spearheaded by four of our members tiata fahodzi, Freedom Studios, Talawa Theatre Company and 20 Stories High and supported by Regional Theatres Young Directors Scheme.
For further information and to apply for Artistic Director Leadership Programme go to www.adleadership.co.uk
ITC is actively involved in What Next? – a movement bringing together arts and cultural organisations from across the UK to articulate and strengthen the role of culture in our society. We want to engage the public in new and different conversations about how and why the arts are important, and become a catalyst for fresh thinking and new policy ideas.
A growing number of locally based What Next? groups are forming across the UK. Click here to find out more
We, The Independent Theatre Council declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency
We pledge to work with and support our community and local government in tackling this Emergency, and we call on others to do the same.
These are our intentions:
1. We will tell the Truth
Governments, and their public broadcasters and cultural agencies, must tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and communicate the urgency for far-reaching systemic change.
We will communicate with citizens and support them to discover the truth about the Emergency and the changes that are needed.
2. We will take Action
Governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
We pledge to work towards reducing our emissions to net zero* by 2025.
We will challenge policies and actions of local and national governments and their agencies, where we interact with them, that do not help to reduce emissions or consumption levels.
We will actively work to imagine and model ways that my practice / our organisation can regenerate the planet’s resources.
3. We are committed to Justice
The emergency has arisen from deeply systemic injustices. Arts and Culture can imagine and forge shifts in the ways we relate to one another and the world, in our values and behaviours.
We will do what is possible to enable dialogue and expression amidst our communities about how the Emergency will affect them and the changes that are needed.
We will support demands for more democracy within our civic institutions and government.
We believe that all truth-telling, action and democratic work must be underpinned by a commitment to justice based on intersectional principles*, led by and for marginalised people.
The Family Arts Campaign is a large scale, national collaborative programme led by ITC and a number of other partner organisations. It provides training, resources and marketing opportunities for the performing and visual arts sectors, in order to increase levels of arts engagement by families.
During its first three years the Campaign has provided training to over 1,000 arts professionals, reached over 1 million families through its annual Family Arts Festival, and enabled 350 arts organisations to highlight their commitment to families through its Family Arts Standards quality mark.
To see how the campaign can help you visit familyarts.co.uk
Blog and News
Having just gone through a recruitment process at ITC I have been reflecting on the current state of recruitment and retention in independent theatre. We were fortunate that our recent recruitment process generated some strong applications, and we were able to make an excellent appointment from it. However, the number of applications was significantly lower […]
2 years in the making, I write this blog on the brink of sending our new website and logo into the world, and what an eye-opening process it has been! This is my second time working on a development like this, yet I never fail to be surprised by the in-depth explorative process and the […]
This last year, we have seen the arts hit very hard, venues forced to close, tours cancelled, rehearsals stopped. We have seen employees made redundant, some freelancers left unsupported by the government and much more that has been hard to bear and see. Alongside all of this we are beginning to see the impact of […]
Lockdown hit just as we were embarking on a two month consultancy period, funded by Arts Council England as part of a larger organisational development project. The consultancy was about giving us the time and space to evaluate ten years worth of work, helping us to understand our audiences better, who we make our work […]
Times like these are great social disruptors. They allow us to pause and reflect and, if needed; to re-set society. It may seem that social change is optional in these times, when rightly so many are focused on survival, that equalities issues should be put aside to re-focus on other priorities. However, stopping and pressing […]
On Sunday Boris Johnson’s address to the nation threw up new confusion, uncertainty and a lot of fear by ‘encouraging’ people to return to work (it seemed with 12 hours’ notice – later amended to 3 days) if they couldn’t work from home. The onus was put onto employers to create a safe socially-distanced working […]
Lockdown reflections – Managing Uncertainty On 17th March Zoe and I spent our last day in the ITC office at The Albany preparing to shift our operations to our respective homes, diverting the ITC advice line to my mobile, mopping up the last bits of admin in relation to our regrettably postponed Ethical Employment conference […]
I’m impressed by the people on social media who are treating what could be a long stretch indoors positively. Nothing wrong with being excited about the idea of having time to read that novel, finally complete an arts/craft project, sort the sock drawer etc. But now we really are in social lockdown most of us […]
A transcript of the talk giving by ITC Board member Bhavini Goyate at the Cultural Governance Alliance Conference 2019 Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a great day. My name’s Bhavini and I’m the Admin Assistant at the Young Vic, recently appointed board member for the Independent Theatre Council and Clore alumni. I want to […]
I was a Stage/Company Manager for over 12 years before moving on to general management. So I’ve experienced first-hand what happens when theatre companies, underpay, over expect and at times downright exploit actors, stage managers and creatives. In my experience in small companies this is rarely to increase profit but simply because they had not […]
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