It was the week when Twitter took theatre to task as The Next Stage started the debate on how we might “fix theatre”. Whether you think theatre needs “fixing” or not, there were a myriad of replies – The Next Stage compiled a list of some of the more interesting suggestions, but the sheer scale of the responses on Twittershowed how many people wanted their (140 character) say.
Twitter wasn’t the only placethat questions were being asked. The #fixtheatre challenge provoked Many Faces of Wayne to consider the value (or otherwise) of post-show discussions – and whether they help or hinder the audience/performer relationship. Elsewhere, A Younger Theatre considered whether age matters when it comes to theatre criticism while Theatre Practitioners also got in the act with Mare Biddle reflecting on creating point of view for playwrights and Lois Backstage revealing what the role of a Stage Manager might be.
There was still timefor some fun: Jill Dowse, an associate artist for Foursight Theatre, blogged about her feelings prior to taking up her spot on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square – and then Foursight live-tweeted their way through Dowse’s (somewhat soggy) hour in the spotlight.
Don’t Talkback to Me
“I am not a fan of talkback sessions. I’ve come to this opinion after experiencing them both as an actor and as an audience member. I actually feel they are detrimental to the theatre experience. In fact, and this is a little radical, I would prefer to see the end of the talkback session even for children’s theatre.”
Does Age Matter?
“Theatre is an experience. That alone cannot be argued. So does age need to come into it? Surely it does not matter if I don’t have many years behind me – not if I can feel and experience theatre.”
Phoenix 21: Whose Story Is It?
“As a writer fascinated by the negative space in relationships, I am constantly challenged by where the balance of the silence hangs … When I wrote my first play, another writer asked me, ‘Which character has the first line?’ It took me years to understand this question in terms that applied to my work: which character controls the silence, and what does that say about the power in their relationship?”
Welcome to the Rehearsal Hall
“A place where actors are comfortable being vulnerable and are able to do their best work. In and of itself this charge takes numerous forms. It can mean covering over a mirror in a dance studio so that actors aren't checking themselves out instead of looking at their scene partner … It can mean being the listening ear for an actress who has just found out that her costume is essentially a spandex cat-woman suit.”
My hour on the plinth
“I think my real fear of heights, combined with my performing profession, has led to the whole thing taking up a huge amount of my mental space and actual time. I'm currently regarding it as a challenge which must be faced: and this, too, will pass ... I can't believe what this 'thing' has provoked in me.”