Monday, 7 February 2011


1. Wildflowers real and metaphorical Pioneers?
2. How can you be a parent of young children and a theatre maker?
3. Branding: Help Me!
4. Where the hell do we begin? The Graduate Dream
5. How to get in the industry as a foreign actor
6. How do we keep theatres and arts centres in Darlington and Barnet open…
7. Dr Theatre: Theatre Arts and the Healing Arts: Possibilities and Stuff to Discuss
8. Singing off key: the beauty of failure
9. Who Will Study the Arts at School now that the English Baccalreureate is success?
10. Motley Theatre Design Course is closing down: what are we going to do about it?
11. Big Plays. Big Casts. Where have they gone?
12. Practical composition
13. How can we make the process of tour-booking better for artists and companies?
14. I’m a producer. Do you have something you want me to produce?
15. International Crisis/ The Whitest Room
16. Making work that’s a bit taboo, a little bit naughty
17. I have a big idea but I don’t feel “big” enough to make it happen…
18. Training directors. Is it possible?
19. How can theatres support artists without dictating to them?
20. How Screwed Are We? Please Can Someone Come And Explain The Funding Cuts?
21. We all have resources – how can we share them? A Resource Sharing Network
22. Surfing or Opera?
23. Theatre and fashion : what can we learn from each other?
24. Can we still find new ways to communicate on stage.
25. Spaces + Places + Funding in The East Midlands and the North
26. How do I overcome the patriarchal blocks to my development/nurture/journey as an artist
27. Performing instructions
28. DEATH …Playing dying… How! Please help. What does death/facing your own death means to you?
29. Remaking and restaging. How to make it as big an adventure the second time around?
30. How Are You?
31. Cut the Arts, Save The Day Centre. How do you defend yourself against this argument?
32. Ok, Lets rant, really rant, rant til we’re blue in the face, red in the gills ‘cos that’s where our creativity o’erspills
33. How can I have an ensemble and make it work over a long period?
34. Crowd funding is here. Resistance is futile.
35. Does Theatre Need Age Badges?
36. Theatre and Games
37. Can Telly help, or would it balls things up even more?
38. What is theatre going to do about closing libraries?
39. Ritual in Theatre: Can Theatre Learn anything from Religion?
40. Such Tweet Sorrow - how can we stop it from ever happening again? (Or, what can we learn from it)
41. Theatre and Astrology
42. A Theatre with Glass Walls: How can we let the world in?
43. Who is going to cut the umbilical cord?
44. “I am young, theatre is not cool enough to go to.” How can we inspire young people to see theatre as cool?
45.Form Filling: have you had enough?
46. We really are all fucked or the death of thinking
47. How do we best nurture and encourage the next generation(s)* of playwrights?
48. What do I do with this theatre company I have lying about from September to July? (What options do new theatre companies have outside of the Fringe?),
49. Site-Specific theatre and theatre in non-standard spaces – Practicalities
50. Artist and organizer over 60- how does it work
51. Is blocking the equivalent of match-fixing? Do we root it out? How?
52. ‘How do you solve a problem like Peterborough’? Ode to Peterborough: Not in the South, not in the North, Not in the East, not in the West. Not in the fucking Midlands
53. How do small organisations get big organisations to play with them?
54. Lullaby for our Dark Time
55. Touring to Bosnia and the Balkans
56. Is there anyone else here from Cardiff?
57. IT’S NOT ALL CHEESE Why do people look down on musical theatre?
58. What does Punk Theatre look like now?
59. How do we reclaim a space in society for art for its own sake?
60. Is it fair to ask people to work for free?
61. Hackney Empire – not just for pantos?
62. Marrying an artist: HOW DO YOU SURVIVE?
63. How can we support the next generation of theatre makers?
64. What is your elephant in the room? & “We’re not talking about what really matters.” Well, come on then.
65. Are correspondence courses that promise to help you become a successful writer any good or are they a waste of time?
66. Theatre and Outer Space
67. Theatre in the public sphere: are we making a good account and could we do more?
68. Calling all the Dreamers
69. The Burning Man Festival: Immersive Theatre for 50,000 people?
70. Audience as Agent - What can theatre learn from video games?
71. I have the projects – as a young producer, how do I make them happen?
72. ‘Our ideas are in everyone’s heads’: performance and destroying capitalism
73. Do you miss your pet? Living or alive? Would you like to talk to me about it?
74. I’m often working alone – what about peer review or peer mentoring?
75. My friend Sally is really fit and brilliant. She would like a boyfriend.
76. Archives and Archivists: Dust and Paper
77. Does theatre have a role in climate change awareness?
78. Science and Art
79. Change: react or create? What do we want to make?
80. Theatre, therapies and religion: can there be a dialogue (If so, how and where?)
81. The kids are alright – Don’t dismiss youth theatre as bad theatre
82. What can we sell apart from tickets?
83. How best to integrate and delineate the roles of writer and director
84. Isn’t the time ripe for Good comedy?
85. Theatre companies can sometimes feel as though they exist in a vacuum, how can we encourage them to work with one another to challenge/build upon their practice?
86. Plan B: You have just lost your funding. What next?
87. How creative can access get in theatre?
88. Artist led performance platforms: What can they be?
89. Tea and Tax returns
90. Can you help me make a movement choir?
91. How can theatre make the world a better place?
92. D&D National Roadshow 2012 and WOSonOS (World Open Space on Open Space)
93. Not just talking about a revolution: showing solidarity with Egypt and Tunisia and artistic responses
94. DO IT WITH STRANGERS! (or, I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers)
95. I want to get on the international touring circuit. Help!
96. If I find spectacle dull, have I worked in theatre too long?
97. We are a venue! We would like to help support and develop artists. What is it that artists want/need?
98. Deaf theatre – integration and moving forward in the artistic sector
99. How can theatre as a place be more real than the lives we find ourselves living?
100.How to survive success
101. (we accidentally didn’t assign this number!)
102. What can we do with Forum Theatre?
103. Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
104. Sit Com
105. Brainstorm – What does an un-capitalist mode of performance look like?
106. Actors and writers collaborating live; anyone interested in helping me make it happen?
107. Making theatre happen in gig/club environments – any ideas?
108. NON STUDENTS ACTORS UNITE! – How can a drama school reject find work as a performer?
109. Theatre for Development
111. In the dark times, will there be laughing?
112. HOORAY!
113. Continued actor training
114. The great song exchange
115. The Hollywood Fringe
116. Developing New Work
117. Group Interaction, Connection, Presence. What can we perceive of each other, what can we express of ourselves?
118. "SIGNING IN THE DARK TIMES" - can anyone teach me some sign language?
119. Arts Journalism in 2011
120. Artist Resource Network
121. Teach me about the people on the D&D Map.
122. Encouraging Philanthropy or schmoozing the rich
123. What are we going to do to bring thinking back to life">


120. My theatre company is a car, can anyone else drive it?
121. What has happened to notions of gender equality? Is feminisim a dead duck? Is this ok or not?
122. Meditation as preparation – what do you do?
123. How do we make theatre cross borders of language and country?
124. Hollywood is in its second year this June, what can they do to bring/attract international theatre companies?
125. Just in case: absolute last minute panic attack!
126. How to develop a culture of continuing actor training?
127. Anyone know a production manager who’s free this week?
128. Stretching / yoga
129. How do we find and nurture devoted audiences outside of that big London?
130. Write a play, squat a building, create a pop-up theatre: how direct action can create platforms for new work.
131. Optimism?
132. What keeps you awake at night?
133. 1 minute manifesto: fancy it? 1-2-1’s running through the day. Group sharing of manifestos at lunchtime. Find me!
134. I’ve got some lines to learn this weekend – anyone else need to learn some too? Maybe we can help each other.
135. Engaging audiences: imagination and play
136. Enchanting the suits: if only 20% of FTSE100 companies sponsor the arts – how to excite the 80%
138. In the dark times, will there be laughing? Taking the comic seriously (the ‘comic’ as opposed to the ‘tragic’ and why they shouldn’t be opposed)
139. How do I set up D&D in The Netherlands?
140. Gender or something or other. Just not about Sky Sports commentators.
141. Group interaction, connection, presence. What we perceive of each other, what can we express of ourselves?
142. Does anyone want to learn/share some songs?
143. The craft of the actor how can we support each others to work on this?
144. I’m currently finding Canadian tax laws taxing: can you help?
145. Fight 2.0. Come and have a fight!
146. Our friends in the North. Tracing the diaspora – are you connected to the north? If so, did you leave? Why? Why not? Would you like just a little bit of a connection?
147. Dancing in the dark: anyone want to focus on dance in 2010/11?
148. Let’s get together and act!
149. How can I use the arts to emigrate and keep working in the arts?
150. Afternoon tea and biscuits with the gays
151. A song for the dark times
152. What does it mean for an artist to have a career? And does such a thing exist?
153. Help me to make some nice signs for Open Space in a school on Monday
154. Politics: how theatre supports the systems that are failing us and (the unmentionable) class
155. Why should classical music be ‘relaxing’? Let’s tickle the ears and inflame the passions.
156. Is theatre a place which can be more real and more accountable than the lives we find ourselves living?
157. How do we nurture and encourages the next generation(s) of playwrights?!


Called on Monday

- March 26th: how might we contribute?

- Marking change- as things are cut/morph is there a need to theatricalise/ritualise this?

- Mindfulness- being in the moment

- Making my big idea

- Is it fair to as people to work for free? Part 2

- A graduate open space (but not “open space” in the D&D sense)

- Developing new work

- Connecting artists and organisations who work locally and quietly

- Affectively

- What resources are there for working more in Europe (and further afield)

- Can you teach me (briefly) what the people on the map did?


Issue: Encouraging Philanthropy or Schmoozin' the Rich

Convener(s): Olga Petrakova

Participants: Josh Neicho, Antonio Ferrara, Clara Giraud, Tanja Raaste, Ed Bartram, Lisa Turner, Sue Frumin, Jean Paul Dal Monte

The meeting was suggested during a previous session held by Daniel Goldman: "Big Plays. Big Casts. Where have they gone?", when I raised a question if/how it is possible to attract an Impresario to support an artistic endeavor of larger casts.

This was one of the harder meetings to have as it seemed that we all had limited experience in communications with the privileged class or in finding ways to attract them, excite them with our projects or gain their support. This is due to the sheer fact that we generally don't have a direct access to them, being artists.There is an art to this type of communication, if we happen to be talking to the wealthy dude/ettes. When putting this report together, I came across a good article by Michael Owen Hill (St. Paul, Minnesota), called Stroking the Ego: Fine Art of Schmooze and lucky for us, it actually does highlight a number of issues that we raised. I will contribute some of Michael's thoughts to this documented exploration at the bottom of the page.

Some questions that were raised were:

*What would the title of the wealthy supporter be? Benefactor, Philanthropist, Impresario.
*We decided to distinguish between investing vs. donation. Investing would need a whole other meeting and it has a number of legal issues to consider.
*In the UK, unlike US, charitable donations are not tax-deductible. Something that hopefully will change, as that is a perk for the wealthy to support the projects they are attracted to, and it seems to work well in America. On the other hand, it does release government from providing a sustaining support for the arts, so that is the other side of the coin to keep in mind.
*How can we attract a wealthy person to become a Benefactor?
One suggestion was to look for those who want to be knighted.
If we are touring internationally, we can look for our countrymen conducting businesses in the foreign territories to encourage them to support projects from their homeland.
Entice them to become theatre visionaries. Use examples of people they might already know, who are visionaries in other fields: music, dance, art, etc.
* How do we come across wealthy people in our daily artistic lives, when we are immersed in rehearsals and such? Put ourselves out there more.
Offer private theatre services for their parties, events: dance shows, commedia dell'arte events, theatre with music. Become entertaining provocateurs, subverters of the expected, daily, banal, overly social. Learn from the past, when jesters were part of the court.
Create Imaginative Fundraising Events, that are unusual and attractive on their own accord. Part of them can be special silent auctions.
Hire PR person, as this is part of their job. They are professional schmoozers. Or learn how to do your own PR ( by yourself or with your company's members.
Pursue government agencies concerned with real estate development to request from developers support for local theatre - to provide space for us to create in. Rent is the highest fixed expense for any theatre company.

*Image is something wealthy people/organization are generally concerned with.
Banks are an example. While having a poor reputation they are recovering fast. Supporting a larger project or a festival may offer bank an opportunity to clean their image.
Wealthy people, who are pursuing government positions may be interested in supporting non-profit arts projects to boost their image.

*When we finally meet with wealthy folks, how do we interact with them?
We may want to share with them what it is we are doing, not who we are....
Be ourselves. We are interesting, weird people.
We should have wacky cool stories to share.
Have confidence/Intelligence/sincerity to share, do not be needy.

Supplement from some research Olya' did:

Mark Owen Hill (
"The one trait all successful schmoozers share is an ability to manufacture genuine curiosity. I’m not talking about mindless “rah rah” or groupieism, but genuine curiosity on a peer-to-peer level...
This leads me to point number one: Suckups tell you how great you are. Schmoozers show interest in you, your ideas and opinions. Suckups speak well about you. Schmoozers listen to you, and listen well. You get the point."
"Gratitude is another powerful tool of the successful schmoozer, but it can be a two-edged sword. Too much gratitude or thanks that are misplaced can quickly signal to the sophisticated person that there is serious suckupery at play. Make sure you thank people for things that are deserving of thanks. If you spend some time thinking about the other person — instead of focusing on the ego-stroking tactics you might employ to get what you want — obvious opportunities for honest gratitude will present themselves."
"Authenticity is key, but here is a little trick I learned from my years in... fundraising for arts and animal welfare nonprofits: In any written communication longer than a quick e-mail to a colleague — and certainly any communication to clients, potential employers or anyone whom it is your job to serve — begin and end with a thank you. Make the first thank you very specific, and follow it with a statement that shows you are actually thinking about the reader."
"Schmoozing is not about fooling people or finding the right “line.” Schmoozing is about creating a social or emotional space in which the other person can honestly feel good about themselves, and by reflection, you."

A few Key Points from Guy Kawasaki. They actually reflect some of what we arrived on our own. Read the blog to get the full take on each Key Point. (Guy Kawasaki's "How to change the world" Blog/The Art of Schmoozing,

Understand the goal. Darcy Rezac “Discover what you can do for someone else.”
Get out.
Ask good questions, then shut up.
Unveil your passions.
Read voraciously.
Follow up.
Make it easy to get in touch.
Give favors.
Ask for the return of favors.


Issue: What are we going to do to bring thinking back to life?
(Session on Monday morning following up from Saturday and Sunday sessions on ‘The death of thinking’)

Participants: Shonagh, Lee, Alan, Adam, Jen, Kate, Jamie, Annie, Rebecca

- Write to your MP… or become one?
- Make work which is smarter, funnier, more meaningful, better
- Think and feel dispassionately
- Be vigilant and know your values
- Hold dissent
- Encourages our advocates to speak for us
- Talk about immigration (and other thorny issues)
- Be honest when asked to talk (e.g. about the advantages you’ve had)
- Work out where you are on a spectrum of opinion about a topic
- Bring different ways of thinking into our world and take ours out to the wider world
- Go on marches
- Give people time off to go on marches (from work / rehearsals)
- Put 26 March demo in diaries
- Don’t assume shared politics – but have conversations where it’s ok to disagree
- Understand the process of how thinking has been killed – be in the roles of people who have killed thinking
- Be honest with yourself – about your beliefs and work and who it is for
- Use our theatre skills to help people articulate / voice their opinions
- Improvise other people’s POV
- Feel as well as think
- Let thinking be messy
- Don’t cut education budgets in the arts first
- Read Arnold Mindell ‘World Work’ and find out about Cooking Chaos
- Be braver – and worry less about being right
- Learn in life – ask better questions
- Formulate an ideological point of view – read, talk, and think
- Help as well as oppose
- Do battle but with awareness
- Create platforms for speech / thought = and prepare well if you are speaking yourself
- As each other questions
- Put ourselves in positions where we’re not experts
- Change your attitude to what’s happening
- Be on the look out for unspoken-anti-thinking-ism
- Think harder


Issue Teach me about the people on the D and D map

Convener Thomas Eccleshar

Kieran Hurley Fiona Drummond
Lindsey Hope Pearlman Daniel Bye
Gemma Brookis Tashan Pandey
Tom Hughes Dan Copeland
Julia Taudevin Phelim Mcdermot
Oly Petrakova Caroline Pearce
Ed Jaspers Lewis Barfoot
Caroline Horton Elles Kerchovey
Jennifer Tam
Lucy Foster

The purpose of this session was to try to learn who the names on the D and D map were and why they were significant. Phelim revealed that the connection between all of them was that they were teachers (of theatre practice) and, as we went through (almost) all of them we tried to trace a heritage or lineage that might reveal something about where we are now or where we’re going.

We all learned a lot.

It was suggested, and I would love to try (but it might be better suited to one of the ‘teachers’, that the Tate modern’s ‘map’ of 20th century artists both in time but also in space is a very useful conceptual way of figuring this lineage and wouldn’t it be good to have one of the people below.

The purpose was also to be brief so, in that interest, I have tried to keep the biogs / definitions short. I have also tried to write them in the order we discussed them as this was often informed by links/similarities.

The descriptions are key words, places, book titles and things they said / stood for.

Book titles are underlined.

Jaques Lecoq.
1960s → / Paris. / Work that concerns the body in space / a practice based on the purity of movement from his background as a sports teacher / The Poetic Body / “Everything moves” / Complicite, Mummenschantz, Clod Ensemble.

Philippe Gaulier
1970s→ / Paris, London / Pleasure, playfulness, games / “You are not funny” / Clown, bouffon, melodrama / catholic / Spymonkey, Sasha Baron Cohen, Peepolykus.

1990s → / London / LISPA / Lecoq disciple but adds elements of psychology, zen, meditative, mindfulness / A negotiation between Grotowski and Lecoq.

John Wright
1980s / UK, Paris / Clown, bouffon / Moved to England because ‘he got cash’ / Like Gaulier but ‘more english’ / Improvisation / Codifying comedy, the science of laughter / Games as opposed to play / Pushed clown towards the pathetic, the tragic / Told by an Idiot, Trestle.

Keith Johnstone
1970s, 80s / UK / Impro / Impro towards narrative, storytelling (as opposed to Gaulier who was towards the relationship w an audience → often people who don’t connect w Gaulier are more comfortable/successful w Johnstone) / Ran the writer’s room at the royal court in the 70s → Barker, Brenton, Bond / Gaulier and Lecoq say ‘No’, Johnstone says ‘yes’ / Failure is an active part of the process / Lifegame (anecdote from Phelim about a woman recounting a story in Lifegame about her mother’s heart attack and it being the first time Phelim realised impro could create wonderful, memorable scenes, and not just comedy, moments).

Viola Spolin
1950s / USA / Pioneer of early ‘impro’ in the US. / Worked w street kids and developed, through this work, improvisation techniques / if Johnstone’s impro is about narrative, Spolin’s is about space / ‘Single focus’ allowing for instinct and intuition (eg. Coming onstage focusing on your feet allows you to instinctively use the rest of your body) / Improvisation for the Theatre / Games, play / ‘anyone can be an actor’ /

Anne Bogart
1990s onwards / NYC / Serious badass with a sensitive, vulnerable side (!) / Founder of Siti company / Works with ‘Viewpoints’, a system of codifying patterns in space and time to describe things and thus to be used in training or as a starting point for creation / not dissimilar from Laban / The performer of this has a 180 degree field of vision (unlike, say, a Gaulier performer who focuses on the audience) / an awareness tool / The director prepares

Tadashi Suzuki
Japan / Comes from a Japanese tradition of Noh and Kabuki / voice centering (in the diaphragm, not the chest or head) / THIGHS.

Yoshi Oida
Japan, Paris / Part of Peter Brook’s company / Noh training / the Japanese tradition of clear pictures, clean, clear language / Jo-Ha-Kyu / The Invisible Actor.

Konstantin Stanislavski
1890s-1920s / Russia / Came out of a period where declamation was king, his practice was a reaction to this, a search for authenticity, truth to life and a rejection of self-consciousness / He evolved from a place where actors worked as individuals to ensemble work / His system(s) has been misappropriated by Stella Adler and The Method in the US and is unfairly maligned as a result → in need of reconsideration!

Michael Chekhov
1940s / Russia, USA / Stanislavski’s student / ‘the psychological gesture’ → the idea of creating a whole body physicalistation of a character or a play / ‘Atmospheres’ as tangible, physical things, ‘there’s an atmosphere of love in the room, what does it feel like to move my hand through it?’ / He himself was a star performer (an amazing clown) and ended up in Hollywood teaching Marilyn Monrow, Yul Brynner etc. (you can see him as the Russian in Spellbound) / Phelim’s hero / To the Actor / the Charles Morovitz Biography / Spiritual / Jungian

Jeremy Whelan
Instant Acting / working w. text: the actors record the text then, while listening to it, move in the space. This is repeated but with completely different movement. After the fourth repetition, the actors try to speak it without the sound (and almost always manage with amazing success) / alternative to ‘dubbing’ exercise / the effect is almost like improvising a text / On the first day you should do the whole play(!) / Bypasses the intellectualising of the parts, lines / Dictionary of Emotions.

Joan Littlewood
1960s / UK / Radical / Socialist / Impro / ‘Oh what a lovely war’ / Devising / Working class / that theatre should be like boxing, should be a struggle / wanted to form the “Pleasure Palace’, a home for art and theatre, on the Southbank but was denied and ended up moving to Paris.

Uta Hagen
1960s-90s / Respect for Acting / sense memory / 6 questions / things like ‘who am I?’, ‘where am I?’, ‘How do I get what I want’.

Augusto Boal
1960s – 90s / Brazil / Forum theatre / Theatre of the Oppressed / Political / The audience became actively involved in the experience, performance / later became a politician / ‘rainbow of desire’ added a psychological aspect.

Joan Skinner
Dance / Dance improvisation pioneer / Similar to Chekhov’s ideas about externalising internal images physically / ‘Slinner Release / Feldenkreis / How internal images effect movement.

Wesley Balk
1970s-2003 / USA / Director of the Minnesota Opera / Created a system for actor singers / wrote a famous article called the ‘Disappearing Diva’, which argued that singing compromised acting (and vice versa) and, in the effort to do both, things became tangled and the result was unsatisfactory. He developed techniques to separate the two processes than bring them back together (eg. holding up emotion cards while they were singing) / The Complete Singer actor / Radiant Performer.

Dell Close
Improv teacher and comedy writer / ‘the truth in comedy’



Unfortunately I lost the notes that I wrote during the session! But still have everything we did on the big sheets of paper so that is a relief at least! Do have a look at the report on Resource Sharing (Issue No. 21) which also gives further info in relation to this all.

There are three parts to this email: (I think)
1. Principles (which need to be added to and agreed)
2. More Inspiration
3. Other Things

1. Principles
These were generated by the group in the final session at D&D and are up for input - they are useful for both the creation and dissemination of this project. I would like to suggest that we find around 4-5 principles that we can then share via the Facebook Page. Here are the ones from the notes:

We will start simply and we will try and keep it simple.
You have to offer something.
If you give you get.
People who are part of the network need to be verified (in some way).
There will be moderation but it will not be like the police.
We will provide a platform for people to express need.
Negotiations will take place between the people sharing and borrowing.
The network will be for artists (mainly performance/theatre/live - but could extend?)
The network is not a platform for selling
There will be no advertising of personal wares (such as performances etc.)

2. More Inspiration
I am currently at the Transmediale Festival ( in Berlin and have today attended a series of talks themed around 'The Currency of the Commons' and in particular the 'Future of Money. This has been ridiculously good timing in terms of the ideas we discussed at D&D. Here are a few references from the festival and from other research that are interesting in relation to Resource Sharing Networks:

The Future of Money by Emergence Collective (as presented at Transmediale 2011)

Some words that have come out of discussions today:
"It's not just what i am but its what i have access to."
"How can we quantify things that are qualitative in nature?"
"Don't hoard!"
"Peer-to-peer commons based economy"
"Self organising distribution networks"
"Linking unmet needs with unused resources"

Collaborative Consumption
An emerging movement spearheaded by Rachel Botsman - video is worth a watch.

3. Other Things
As someone suggested in the session I think it would be worth looking at the Freecycle wording for pointers
We will need to nominate some people to be admins/moderators on this.
We should gain some further clarity on the difference between physical and other resources.
I would like to propose that those that can meet up in say a week or two (could skype others in)?
It would be good to get an idea of what people can offer to this?
We will try our best to make this succeed!