New_writing_theatre_2003-8.doc - New Writing in Theatre...

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New Writing in Theatre 2003–2008 An assessment of new writing within smaller scale theatre in England. Commissioned by Arts Council England from Emma Dunton, Roger Nelson & Hetty Shand July 2009
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Contents 1 Introduction & Objectives ____________________________________3 1.1 Introduction ________________________________________3 1.2 Objectives _________________________________________3 1.3 Context ___________________________________________5 2 Methodology _________________________________________________6 3 The Report ___________________________________________________7 3.1 Definition of New Writing and Does It Matter? ____________7 3.2 Who are the writers and is this changing? ______________9 3.3 Organisations & Writers ____________________________13 3.4 Venues & Audiences _______________________________19 3.5 Writing for Younger Audiences _______________________23 3.6 Arts Council Funding and Other Strategic Support ______26 4 Conclusions and Recommendations _________________________29 5 Case Studies ________________________________________________31 5.1 Graeae ___________________________________________32 5.2 Contact __________________________________________33 5.3 Pentabus Theatre __________________________________35 5.4 HighTide Festival __________________________________36 6 Sources & Constituency _____________________________________37 Appendix 1: E-survey _____________________________________39 - 2 -
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Introduction & Objectives 1.1 Introduction New writing in theatre at a grassroots level appears to have undergone a period of renaissance over the past six years. Additional funding has enabled a wider variety of new writing/new work to take place in an extraordinary mix of venues across the country. A new more diverse generation of voices is emerging into a culture of experimentation and change. Throughout the period of discussion leading to this report, debate was all about the work and how it could improve and develop. Although there were concerns about the future, the period since 2003 was mostly viewed as one of growth, inspiration and diversification - in all senses of the word. This report focuses on the state of play of new writing within smaller Arts Council – funded companies 1 in order to assess what impact the funding increase has had on the theatre industry at grassroots level since 2003. Through a series of interviews and discussions, with a representative sample of organisations and practitioners, this study has aimed to gauge opinion across a range of key issues. Where there are perceived threats or structural weaknesses, or opportunities identified that are still unexplored, it makes recommendations for future action to help ensure the continued health of this vital part of the theatre ecology. There are undoubtedly many exciting developments not included in this report – it does not claim to be a comprehensive survey. However, by engaging closely with a cross-section of emerging practice, it is hoped that the report will give insight into new developments and patterns in new writing, productions and audiences. 1.2 Objectives The core objectives of this report are to assess the industry perceptions of the following areas: Where have the new writers been emerging from and are they coming from other artforms, different directions, more diverse backgrounds? How is this affecting what is written, what is being produced, for which audiences, and where it is performed? What is the perceived state of new writing at this level in England today?
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  • Fall '16
  • Thomas P. McCabe
  • The Land

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