On February 20th 2017 we hosted a You, The Audience Symposium event attended by 168 delegates. It brought together many of the artists, theatre writers, academics and theatre executives from across the UK who are making work, writing and researching, and leading theatre buildings in ways which might be described as audience-centred. It was a day of sharing, learning and, as one delegate fed back to us “ This feels like the first event of its kind. Now more than ever we need to be focusing on audiences – not as ‘bums on seats’ but as our partners.”
The day included a live performance ‘snapshot’ of the day from theatre maker Chris Thorpe, provocations from twelve theatre makers, audience members and theatre writers including Maddy Costa, Alex Kelly of Third Angel, Amber Massie Blomfield from Camden People’s Theatre, and Ruth Ibegbuna of RECLAIM; case studies and workshops from academics and artists and a sharing of the Royal Exchange’s You, The audience programme through short film, conversation and the launch of the Audience Manifesto as a performance from 16 audience members.
See below for the growing archive of sound files, the transcripts of provocations and case studies, and other extracts from the day. With thanks to all the contributors.
Amanda Dalton - Director of Engagement, Royal Exchange Theatre
Claire Will - Marketing and Communications Director, Royal Exchange Theatre
Sarah Frankcom - Artistic Director, Royal Exchange Theatre
Alan Lane - Artistic Director, Slung Low
Annabel Turpin - Chief Executive, ARC, Stockton Arts Centre
Matt Fenton - Artistic Director, Contact
Inviting Answers - Alexander Kelly - Co-Artistic Director, Third Angel
Maddy Costa - Theatre Writer and Critic
Andy Smith (writer and director)
Maddy Costa (Theatre writer and critic),
Liz O’Neill (CEO, Z-Arts), Abas Eljanabi and Brenda Hickey (audience members), Ruth Ibegbuna
(CEO, Reclaim) and young people from Reclaim.