THE FUTURE OF THE THEATRE
A STATEMENT FROM OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM: ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE CLOSES ITS STAGES UNTIL AUTUMN 2020
"As we moved into the final year of the partnership with the Booth Centre, we were keen to consolidate the achievements of the previous two years by raising the stakes for the participants and ourselves. In the planning process we looked to shift the way we worked, largely for creative and artistic reasons.
There was a sense that the partnership had achieved one of its original objectives of successfully introducing drama and theatre as a valid platform of expression for the participants. The time felt right to raise our expectation of what the theatre outcome could be, with regard to content and quality, and how it may have a socio/political agenda that encourages the audience to look beyond the identity of the participants and absorb the message of the work in a satirical way.
We established some key changes for the project: the Producer would give dramaturgical support to the lead practitioner for the script; the script would aim to satirise both society’s views of the homeless and the inherently absurd notion of placing participants into the restrictive world of rehearsals, call times, and performances; and, to introduce a smaller performance group of more developed participants to compliment the ensemble.
As we moved closer to the outcome, we reinforced these raised expectations with a commitment to having a strict framework to operate in (including an enhanced role for the Stage Manager). The formal structure of technical and dress rehearsal schedules proved to be beneficial for the participants with the strict guidelines proving a positive contrast to their often chaotic lives."
Chris Wright, Producer (Creative Industry Experience)
"Without The Aid Of A Net [the final performance piece which was presented as part of the Backstage? Me? national event] was written with the actors from the Booth Centre in mind, and was very much created for that particular purpose, for those individuals and for a particular moment. Some of the performers had been involved in the partnership for 5 years, so were experienced members of the ensemble, and some had not been involved for so long. The script provided a structure for the players to work together - both in rehearsal and performance - and as a result it shouldn't be viewed as an abstract piece of writing, but as a piece of drama containing the personalities of those who performed it. It is included in the online resource with that in mind - as a reference point - rather than an off the shelf script."
Janine Waters (lead drama practitioner)
Without The Aid Of A Net Script