DARE Festival 5: Introduction Webinar
11:45AM Nov 18, 2020
Hi everyone, thanks so much for coming. I want to start with a few housekeeping bits and pieces. Firstly, if anyone needs captioning, you should be able to see in the top left hand side of your screen, a button that says live in red. And there's a little drop down menu and you can click on the to view stream on custom live streaming service and it will take you to a web link, and it is automatically transcribing everything that we are saying in this conversation. So if you do need captions, please click on that. I see Tom's already popped it in the chat button as well, so you can also click on that link, and through these instructions to who we are, first hi, I'm Hannah, producer for upstart theatre.
We've obviously got Tom who's the artistic director of Upstart Theatre who's waving Emma, who's our exec producer for upstart theatre. And we're also joined by Dylan Franklin from Kill the Cat Theatre. Kill the Cat were one of our DARE artists from last year 2019 and Dylan's here to chat a little bit about their experience of making a show for their festival and where they've gone to. And so we are also recording this session, but if you do need to leave early or you want to listen to it again it will be available on our website a bit later, as well. And similarly, we're going to try and get through as many questions as we possibly can and if we can't get to your question we're going to make a note of them, and we're going to upload them to our website and a bit of an FAQ document as well so do please check that. And also if you've got any questions that were not answered or if it's a really specific question about your show or idea then feel free to just drop me an email. My email address is on our website and in our guidance as well. And I can talk to you outside of this conversation. That being said as well like pretty much all of the information hopefully should be in our guidance notes, do read those thoroughly do refer back to them as well if you've got any questions. And so we're going to try and leave as much time as possible for questions in this but we are going to go through and give you a bit of a run through of what daffodil is what we're looking for this year, what you get offered as artists, and then a bit about selling experience, too. So Tom Do you want to start us off with some info about death festival.
Thanks Hannah Yeah, and so welcome everybody thanks so much for being here. We started the festival back in 2016 with the intention of filling what we thought was a gap in provision for artists and especially emerging artists. Upstart Theatre has been going in various forms for quite a long time now we did our first full show back in 2009, we kind of came up as a companies through doing sort of independent shows on the London fringe and occasionally doing the old scratch night of our kind of work here in that. And we felt as a team that you know we were really happy with what we were achieving but we were doing so much with really hardly any resources at all. And, and not a lot of support. So, I trained as a director on the MFA program at Birkbeck which is kind of quite an intense two year program where you work a lot with other directors and people come in and talk to you. And then suddenly you go out into the world and, and there's sort of, you're kind of on your own. And so there isn't really a support network for artists who are starting to make me work. So we started the festival really as a way of mitigating some of those. What I think as as systemic problems within the theatre industry, especially as it relates to meet work. We wanted to make an environment where not only could you get paid to present a very early stage of work, rather than getting a share of box office, or sometimes paying for the privilege of so doing we wanted to create a supportive community of artists who could offer mutual feedback, as well as offering, and their own. And, as well as getting kind of mentorship from from other artists and from us and what we know as a team and as a company, and also we wanted people to have the opportunity for their work to encounter audiences so we've been working increasingly hard over the last few years to try to build up like a specific data festival audience who will come and see the work regardless of who's taking part in the festival. And one thing that we've been doing more portly as a company. In the last few months is refining our own artistic mission, and that's led to some changes and how would you dare festival so our kind of our new way of how we describe ourselves as a company, is that upstart theater is about reimagining the world through making theater playable. We've always been a company that's interested in power relationships and politics and how those things intersect. And, you know, we've, we've found that with a lot of our, our peer companies as well. And we've done a lot of different things over the years from straight plays to physical theater to animation to space balloons and to sort of interactive work, and we really want to focus everything that we do. And therefore, everything that we're commissioning for dare festival. For this next year's day for def festival five around this, this idea of making playable work. And so before I go into some of the detail about what we're looking for. And I just want to talk a little bit about what we mean by that playable is kind of a pun. Right. For me playable theater means two things. First of all, it means that the audience can participate in the work when I talk about playable what I think I'm really talking about is, is what other people might call game theater or interactive theater sometimes maybe immersive theater, but I think playability brings those things together as a concept in a slightly different way. And the thing that makes it really different for me is that if you go to a piece of game theater, you have to play. If you go to a piece of playable theater, you can play, you're given that you're given as an audience member, the option to choose your level of participation, a little bit, that feels really important. And the other thing that I think is fundamental to to my Appstats understanding of playable theatre, is that it's work, where the audience is offered a meaningful way to participate in it. So that way that the audience participates in some way might change. Actually what happens on the stage, or the meaning of what happens on the stage like the audience are a character they have a role, they're not just there. And we've kind of struggled at times within our own work over the last year to articulate how playable. Some of our work is, I think there are a bunch of different ways to explore it, and we want to be as open as we possibly can about what we mean by playability and the kinds of playability that we're that we're exploring with our shows that we're commissioning and but yeah So some examples might be that yeah, it involves a measure of audience participation. We've done a lot of shows. In the last few years where the audience are inputting elements and they're making choices and depending on the choice that they make the narrative that goes in one direction or another. It might also mean, and, and this is something that Dylan can probably speak to a little bit later that this the structure of the show, remains largely the same but it relies on a series of interactions with the audience throughout. And then, there may or may not be a choice point at the end, but really kind of audience choice audience agency are at the absolute heart of what we talked about when we talk about playbook. That's one of the two senses of playable and the other is about access and playability always makes me think about that sort of idea that you have like when you know you're, you're at primary school and you're playing the game in the school playground and the best games that like that are the ones where anyone can play. So it's so you know we want. We've been committed to making there as accessible as it possibly can be. For years now and we're really keen to build on that. And I think that applies to all of our work and it applies to all of the work that we want to see commissioned for the festival as well. So the audience are able to interact with it, and anyone can play with it. I think the two things that we mean by playable. There are some other things that we think of really central to the work that we're looking for in depth and these are in the guidance notes but I'm just going to run through them, very briefly. And so we're looking for proposals that are first of all new shows that have been previously presented elsewhere, have had significant development or have received funding from a public funded trust or foundation or a venue or an organization, those shows are not eligible for their festival we're sure they're great. But we want to be supporting work that it's that at the earliest possible stage in its development. So, ideally we would like this to be the first time it reaches a public audience. If your crowdfunding. If you've done some self funding development do get in touch with us and have a bit of a chat about it but if it's done a bunch of other scratch nights, for example, it's probably not right, but air festival. And we're looking for proposals that are playable, which we talked about. We're looking for proposals that are related to the festival theme, which this year is we demand a better future. We borrowed that from David Bowie, and previous data festival themes have been power, money, and the commission works within those have covered a really broad range of topics. We don't want to be prescriptive, we want to use this festival theme as a jumping off point for the making of your work. So it might be that you have an idea that exists that feels like it adapts really well to have we demand a better future. And it might be that we demand a better future has sparked something in you both those things are okay, and we'd love to hear proposal from either way, but that idea that it has to respond to the theme feels really essential and early stage, given the level of commission that we're advertising we're really keen to stress that we're looking for initial ideas. We're not looking for fully formed pieces of work, and this is something that has come up from time to time on previous death festivals. There is a seed commission of 1000 pounds. That means that, obviously, we're not we're not paying you a level way, we expect you to come to us with a fully finished show we're expecting you to be able to present a very very early kind of first even sort of naught point five draft in development. At the end of the festival. If you found. If you've already finished a script that's 90 pages long, and you've got a lighting designer and a sound designer on board. And then, that shows, I'm sure going to be great, but it's probably not going to be appropriate for debt, and the scale of this there's a really important thing about adapting the scale of the work that you're making, and to this particular opportunity this is a it's designed as a space to experiment and play, rather than test something that is super fully formed at this stage, and collaboratively made its own next thing, and we think that the day program is most suitable for workers devised, either by a solo artist or as an ensemble, and it's not a script development program. We aren't expecting people to submit scripts we're expecting people to submit a concept for work. And you of course can have scripted elements in your work and your work can indeed be entirely scripted, as long as it's playable. But, and we're expecting that you are working on the show creating the show, as you go along. And a big part of that idea of collaboratively made is the three artists development sessions that we run and as part of the festival in previous years, those have been day long events that have taken place at Shoreditch Town Hall, and for obvious reasons we're changing things a little bit this year. So, there are going to be two online sessions. And there'll be one session which we're aiming for it currently to be live which will be in February, and that's this year what we're calling the play test day, which will be a chance for everybody to try out their work with the other artists who are participating in their festival. We love the artists development days, our artists seem to like them as well, and didn't and hopefully will back me up on this but the idea is that these are these are spaces where people can and can be sharing what they're working on can be testing out ideas can be having conversations about what they're making that hopefully is an opportunity to to grow and develop your work and
your work needs to be possible to be realized within the commission fee. And so, presenting a show at their festival shouldn't be relying on spending more than 1000 pounds, and we would expect that nearly all of that money if not all of it is going towards your time as the maker of the work, you might choose to buy some physical stuff to make your show work and if so, that's totally up to you but we want to make sure that that you're and remunerating yourselves as effectively as possible. And you are completely Welcome to seek out additional funds, once you're commissioned we're aware that the timeline is quite short this year. So, but of course you know if you want to use that thousand pounds, as leverage to say put together an Arts Council grant, and we very much are behind that, and we're happy to have a conversation with you about your Arts Council application as well. And the final thing that we need everybody. Everybody's projects to be this year are adaptable. And you've seen I think already in the guidance notes that we've created a number of different contingency plans for how we think that festival is going to work this year. We're hoping that it will have a live audience elements, which will be a socially distance live audience that shortest channel. And, but there are plans in place if that doesn't happen and I think Hannah you are going to talk about that a little bit later on. And. Is that right, or donate out. Yeah, I can do. Okay, cool. Um, yeah. And so, particularly this year, obviously, all of us we all know we need to be resilient, we need to be adaptable, we need to be able to kind of change our ideas. And of course, the most adaptable ideas are also the ideas that are at an earlier stage in their making as well. So we are really really keen to hear from artists who are really just starting out with the journey of a new project and want to use this as a chance to test it and and be responsive to the environment that we're working in. And that's me, I think.
Great. Thanks, Tom, I'm finally going to tap through quickly now what commissioned artists, receive from us, for being part of that festival. Again this is all in the guidance notes. And so firstly it is the main thing is a commission fee of 1000 pounds, and we pay that to you in one installment on signature of contract. You don't have to tell us how you're spending it it's totally up to you to manage that budget as and how you would like to every show will get three performance slots at festival and the dates are in the guidance notes as well it's the 25th to 27th of February, at the moment, as Tom mentioned we're planning for that to be hopefully live with a live audience of some sort. In shortage Town Hall, but our contingency plans are in the path of moving to a digital festival if we need to, hopefully, then live streamed from shortage town hall or in a real worst case scenario, live streams from wherever the commissioned artist happened to be. And if it comes to that we'll work with you to make sure that we're still able to go ahead and host it as much as, as, as well as can be done from wherever you are, and as true to what performances that you want to bring to the festival. So the next thing is there are three artists development sessions, which Tom talks about which are in January and February, which we run for you which will include acts of peer support and development sharing of work and hopefully some workshops and kind of learning about playable theatre within them as well. Every artists group will get a fee of 50 pounds per artists development session that you attend. And that's really for the lead artists in your group to attend that session, and that's to cover your time to be there although you're absolutely Welcome to bring if you have other collaborators you're working with you can bring them to to the session, but it is just 50 pounds per group that doesn't show up for bringing more collaborators. We're going to provide mentorship, as well in playable work, we haven't specified yet who the mentors are, because that's something we're going to be confirming once we know who the commissioned artists are and what the shows aren't exactly what you're looking to develop in them as well. But we will be pairing each artist with a mentor who can support your work through the program. We're also going to provide three sessions with Tom, specifically giving you support and guidance that will be a sort of one to one or one two company fashion outside of the three development days to work with Tom on anything. We'll talk through whether it's dramaturgy or questions about playable theater or you just want someone to give you a bit of feedback on the sharing. I'll also be providing a minimum of two sessions per commissioned artists with kind of producing support and advice. This will probably break down to one session once you're commissioned to talk through getting your show ready for debt, or if you want to apply for additional funding. That's the kind of thing I can support you with. And then another session and probably towards the end of the program to chat about the future life of your show. If you need help with tour booking or programming or thinking about how to bring your producer on board and get a team together, that kind of thing. So we also cover stage management for festivals that we will provide you with a stage manager who will be there for your technical rehearsal dress rehearsal, they'll be able to help you program your show in and operate your show as well, whether that's in person or online. So you don't need to worry about bringing on board, found designer or vaping designer, but obviously you're welcome to work with a composer for example if you really wanted to but it's not essential, there will be someone there who can who can program those things into you during your tech rehearsal.
Every show will get a minimum of one live stream performance to an online audience, obviously if it all goes online, then you might have three performances to an online audience but at least one will be for an online audience. When we're in shortage Town Hall. You'll also get a recording of your show that you can use afterwards to promote in whatever way you would like to, as well as production professional or production photography which will probably take during the dress rehearsal as well you'll be able to keep that to promote your show afterwards, we will be providing captioning and BSL interpretation for at least one of your performances possibly more depending on our budget and upstart we'll be taking responsibility for marketing data festival as well so we really do give you commission money and hope that you spend that time really developing and focusing on making the work and not trying to worry about bringing an audience to your show and the way that we market, our festival and it may change a little bit because of COVID this year and how we have to sell tickets and see audiences but the way that we marketed is as a festival as a whole new market, all the shows we don't focus on trying to bring audience to one particular performance, and it is really about audiences coming to experience the whole festival, you know, perhaps coming for an artist, they know and then seeing a bunch of other shows from artists they hadn't heard of before. So you don't have to worry and focus on marketing or work although obviously it's really appreciated if you can share it on social media, and share it with your contacts, as well. And just also be really clear that you retain 100% creative control of your work, you own the intellectual property rights, we do have requests that will be in the contracts about acknowledging up there to support in the future. And for the first commissioning of the work that you will be able to be free to do whatever you want to deal with that show. Obviously when presenting our debt and anything after death festival, as well. And so just to move on to what we expect from artists, as well as being part of their so you will be responsible for producing and creating your show and that means, managing the budget that you have as well. If you've got a team with you and supporting them. You'll be expected to present three performances at Shoreditch Town Hall, we give you an up to 30 minutes slot, but it doesn't have to be 30 minutes it can be a bit shorter if you want but that's the maximum amount of time, you'll be given. You will be expected to have at least one lead artists, attending the artist development sessions. Ideally, we'd like that to be the same person for continuity who can attend all three. And we found that that is just the best way of building that sort of peer support group through the program. So ideally that will be the same person, but will also require you to provide you know standard things like marketing copy and an image that represents your show, but we can also work with you on developing these things if you've never written marketing copy before Don't worry about it but we will work with you to do that. And then take part in evaluation of the program. So we work really, really hard we feel about evaluating the program as honestly and transparently as we can, if you want to on our website you can see the evaluation from last year's program and all the feedback kind of good and bad is in that and we do listen to every bit of feedback and respond to it, and develop the program further from it. So we would expect all artists to take part in that evaluation as well.
So then, just move on to how you can apply the data festival and again in the guidance notes and on our website there is a link to a Google form to fill out, which our application form, but there's also a link to a Word document with the application questions in it as well. If you want to prepare your answers offline in a Word document or something like that. We've tried to keep the application process and forum, as simple and straightforward as we possibly can. So you'll notice if you go in there that there are suggested word limits for each question but there isn't an actual word limits on the form and this is really to try and save you time trying to cut out 10 words or something from an answer which is just feels like a bit of a waste of artists time and please do try and keep those word limits as much as you can. And that's really also suggestion from us. How much time we'd expect you to spend writing you know a 200 word answer you don't need to give us much more than that but should be enough. And, but most of the information to start with is about you and your company and there's a room if you're applying as a collective or company to write a little bit about the other people who are involved, if you're the lead artist. And then we have four main questions, and you're welcome to submit these as written answers or you can also record an audio or video clip, and put a link to that as well. I mean if for any other reason you have a different format that you'd like to apply with for access reasons for example that's totally fine just drop us an email. And we can have a chat about that as well. So there's four main questions and things that we want to know from you, so we'd love you to tell us a bit about yourself and your company in sort of roughly 200 words. You can talk to us about anything you've done before. You know, key moments in your artistic career or anything you think we should know about your actual motivation for making work. Then we want you to tell us your proposal for what the playable show is that you want to bring star festival, and how it relates to the theme of we demand a better future. So we obviously want to know how it relates to the criteria that Tom talked about earlier about being playable in particular, and just the structure so you don't need to explain the full mechanics of how your playable theater show will work, you don't need to know exactly all of that yet. We just want to see the potential in your idea and also know that it has potential to be meaningfully playable to an audience. And then there is a question which is an optional question, which is about what work Have you done so far on your idea if you've done nothing and you literally come up with this idea, because you saw this commission and you had a thought for something then that's fine you don't need to answer it but if there's anything you said it's relevant to tell us about what you have done or if you've tested it and so you know one element of it will definitely work as a playable format for example, you've got some space there when you can tell us about that. And then the final main question is about what skills you feel you need to know, or would like to develop in relation to playable theatre. And just to be clear with this question. This isn't a test of seeing how much you know or don't know about playable theater. It's honestly for our benefits to know how to structure the program, how to pay you with mentors for example, so don't worry about needing to sound like you know a lot about playable theater or having a clever answer to this question is genuinely just, we want to know what you would like to learn, or what you want to know about pebble.
And there's some diversity monitoring information at the end of the form which is kind of totally optional if you'd like to fill it out it's really helpful for us to know the kind of reach of the festival applications and who's applying that information will be removed from your application as well before it's being assessed. But the main final bit. That is optional. In the application form is about our reserved conditions. So you'll see if you've read through our guidance that we reserve four out of the six commission from artists from different underrepresented groups. So there is one reserved commission for any artists who identify as being working class, and the class or benefits class, one for any artists who are LGBTQ plus another commission reserved for any artists of color or if you're from a minority ethnic background. And a final reserved commission for any artists who have a disability or a long term health condition or illness. Those are four of them and we have two other unreserved conditions that are are totally open. And the reason we've chosen, those four groups, is because they're kind of historically represented within kind of upstarts work. Previously, and within data. But what we've allowed for in the form as well, is that we really acknowledge, is that without theatre that there is a you know there's no the barriers that artists face that maybe don't come into those categories, and something we've always tried to do through our evaluation of the program before is find out what challenges artists are facing. So whilst there are those four without commissions and we ask you to answer a question telling us about any bias you faced in the application form if you feel that perhaps those Commission's don't really represent your experience, but you have faced other significant barriers and you want to tell us about those then you can also answer that question. It's just about 200 words, and it's totally up to you what you want to tell us in that as well but it's our attempt to try and make it as open as we possibly can to try and consider the big range of different barriers that artists might be facing in the industry as well. So that's pretty much everything in the application form and the deadline is midday on the second of December, so please make sure you have your application in good time and get it in before then. And we're going to go on to the chat with Dylan now about kill the cat experience of being a part of their festival, and then we'll have a chance and we'll move on to any questions. So I think a few people have already put some questions in the chat but if you want to be adding your questions to the chat then please do so and then after Dennis told us a bit about their experience, we'll move on to questions that Mr Warfield face. Thanks Anna.
And so, yes. My name is Dylan, and I am one half of killed the cat theatre, and which I co run with Madeline allerdyce, and we are an interactive Theatre Company, and I think. Basically, there was really huge for us as an opportunity. And we've had quite a exciting year this year. And we've been able to take a lot of our work online, and that's all thanks to everything that came from us being part of that festival. Last year, and I think it was say came up earlier in terms of talking about the artist development days. And those, I think were one of the main sort of main starting points for a lot of that we got out of that festival, because those days, because we had those process of three artists development days, it meant that it really genuinely does become a community of artists in the festival it's the only and not even just work in progress festival it's the only festival I've been to where everyone goes and sees everyone's work where everyone's actually very supportive of everyone and everyone cares about the piece that you're making. And so, regardless of our own piece it's meant that we've been we've actually been able to form a community of artists, we got to know everyone else who was in the festival, we've worked with them since. So we found a designer for our project from one of the artists who was at their festival last year. And for a new project we've also found a couple of drama tags, who've also come from there. And we've also received mentorship from Tom subsequent to the festival as well. And so, it's not a kind of just, you just get their festival and then it ends, and I think that's the main so that lasting impact is so huge, and particularly for us as a quite an emerging company. It really helped us feel that we'd sort of arrived, a little bit, and particularly can work in London, because we originally were from the southwest. And that can be quite hard, we found that quite a hard transition. And we've been in love living in London for a year and a half, two years before the festival, but we still felt like we didn't know anyone we didn't feel like we knew any of the venues and. And now what was really helpful is that we were able to sort of mention their festivals name, and then suddenly venues were interested about coming. We got programmed that kind of people say to basically just because we phoned them up and said we're going to be performing at their festival Do you want to come and see. And they did come and see but they also agreed to actually program us before they even saw the work, just on the basis of the Deaf festival name, anyway, because they were like, oh we trust the work that comes out of there. That gives a sort of stamp of quality to the piece that's being developed anyway. And, which was huge and that suddenly meant that we were able to introduce our work for a lot more people, which is given us multiple opportunities off the back of that. And I think the fact that it is framed as a festival as well, means that it feels so much more important and much more exciting than just a typical scratch night. And, and particularly that it runs over a few nights, and you get multiple opportunities it means that we could change elements of our piece in between the days. We definitely changed bits and went, Okay, this isn't working. Can we try something new. The second night, how can we
expand on what we've already learned rose, I think that ability to respond live to an audience is what you miss so much as part of the development process is usually by the time you actually get to an audience. You're way further on down the line, and what we were testing is we're testing stuff that we'd come up with a few days before, and then able to change it again before the second performance, and that's so helpful, particularly if you're making work that is interactive and is because it's entirely reliant on how an audience responds to you, and you can prepare as much as you can, for how you think an audience will respond to an instruction or rule. And then you'll realize that it's definitely not clear the way you've explained it and no one understands what you're doing. And so, but it's really like if you're not testing it in front of an audience, you're actually wasting a lot of time, and particularly for what is playable or interactive, and I think that's why it's really key that there are opportunities like that. And I think what else, in terms of, we got communities. So I'm just going through some notes. And, yeah, and just to sort of the in those artists development days we had the ability to show work as we were in the lead up as well. And that was always handled I thought really well because it's quite intimidating to show a roomful of strangers, your work, particularly when it's very early on. And that also other artists that you want them to like the work that you're making. And, but we were only. It was always done in a very low pressure way it was like the first session we would show five minutes of our work and that could be anything and some people would get up and they do something a little bit more polished and those other people would just sort of chat you through that process and just some questions that they had. And the fact that sort of anything was allowed in those spaces meant that you would try and challenge yourself to have something more. And to show the next time, which gives you useful parameters whilst you're making, because otherwise you're kind of just making in a vacuum and it's kind of without that lines, it's hard to sort of motivate yourself in that way, but also it wasn't with any sort of pressure of like, you've got to be bang on or it's got to work, and like, it allowed us to sort of try things that failed allowed us to go. Oh, also just to go, we actually really struggling with this concept and before we've got wrapped our heads around this we actually can't put anything up on its feet, we can't show you anything. And that flexibility in sort of the process, I think is really key. And I think ups are also really good at picking people who are just really nice. Everyone was really lovely and ups that are really lovely as well which is it's just a really nice, it's basically apply, it's great. And it leads to those opportunities, and everyone's really friendly, and you definitely won't regret it. And in terms of what it's meant for us as a company at this year. We weren't meant to be doing as I said, we got programmed at CPT, and we were meant to be doing that but then COVID happened. And, but fortunately for us we were actually able to use the seat commission that we received to get Arts Council funding, just before everything went, mental, as soon as COVID hit. So it meant that actually we had that ability to develop our show further, and we started looking at how it could work online. And we had an incredibly useful conversation with Tom right at the beginning of the process, about how we would adapt to online sort of track Tom trying to sort of get us to think about what the new medium and what the toolbox is if you're creating something online because obviously we've lost all of our toolbox of like spotlights and microphones and how what's the new parameters that we're working with online. And for us that's been really helpful, and we've done a few tours of it digitally, and it's now just sort of finished at the end of its first digital tool, and we've been able to be seen by different venues, it's kind of sort of solidified us as a company in sort of knowing that we want to make interactive work, how we sort of think about going about that and and so then we've also come up with ideas for other work that we're gonna be looking at next year. And all of it is just come from us actually, we didn't even, we if upstart hadn't put out the call out and if that call that hadn't been happened to been centered around the theme of money, we'd never have made the show that we did. And because we were one of the companies who completely just responded to that idea of money and went, Oh great. Actually we've been wanting to make a piece about the climate crisis ages, how can we shoehorn money and the climate crisis together, and that's led us for a year of work and discovery, making those new discoveries on the way and finding artists that we really like and we now make work with more regularly.
Hey, thanks so much, Dylan, and I'm just gonna, before we go to questions, it's going to explain a little bit more about the programming over the festival and sort of roughly how it works. So, 2021 because of COVID things are obviously subject to change. And it's probably not going to be our usual setup. But this year, all artists are getting three performances. Previously it was two performances and we've increased that to give you a bit more time to test out your work in front of an audience, and data tool it usually takes place in the debtors shortage Town Hall so that is what it can hold slightly coffee but I think very atmospheric basement space. If you go into this town hall website they have an amazing 360 video which you can basically look through the whole building if you want to see what it looks like, which is really cool. I think it's linked in our guidance as well. And that usually the festival takes place down there and they have a long room in the middle which is sort of the festival hub. And then there are two performance spaces the garden studio and the living room, and we would assign you and your show to one of those spaces so you'd always be performing in the same space over the festival and that usually what would happen is over the three days, the order of shows would change that we try and program it in a way so that no two shows are ever taking place at the same time. So in theory you could see every show in the festival if you spent all your time there, but it might change a little bit this year so we're really hoping to still use as much of the ditch space downstairs as we can. But we might be having to move to some other spaces in Shoreditch Town Hall and this will really be dependent on what the government guidance is nearer the time and also what shortest term hold policy is, but it may be that we use a combination of faces in the ditch and also spaces upstairs, as well, which are also a bit bigger than the ditch two. And so in terms of how programming will work because it was three days of the festival and everyone's getting three performances it's most likely that you will have a performance on the Thursday Friday and Saturday, we won't know the final programming schedule, and we've got all the commissioned work in, but that will also hopefully change the order of it so you hopefully won't be at sort of 6pm every single night we will change. You have a different time you might be early and then middle and late. Of course the three different days, and how it's probably going to work. This year is that we have a set number of shows together because of COVID, we are having to keep audiences seated. A bit more than we usually would usually everyone's allowed to kind of free flow throughout the festival space in and out of shows that they want to and usually audiences can pick, right before the shows about to start which show they want to go and see. But we're probably going to have to be a bit more formal for 2021 than we have been before which will likely mean that we may be looking for common threads, or themes within the work that we commissioned perhaps, and trying to program a few together that are in the same space that we can keep audience in one place, and a bit more socially distance. We'll try and give it as much of a festival theme and vibe as we possibly can. But it may be a little bit more formal, but you will be programmed in one venue should be the same venue for all three nights, you will have a different performance time, probably, each day. Cool. I hope that answers your question about programming and Emma, do you want to talk us through this any questions for us and also feel free to add any questions you've got to the chat as well.
I think we are up to date on the questions. I've been trying to like, you know, type some responses to it. Someone's just asked will audiences need to be seated for the shows. And I think that like everything in life at the moment is dependent on what Boris decides, um, I would say at the moment with current guidance yes people would. That would be my understanding, um, but usually in the past we have had all manner of, you know, standing, sitting squatting.
What we're what we're hearing from Shoreditch Town Hall at the moment is I think it's more likely that they'll need to have everything in the gym really we'd love to change the greens between each show, and it's been a big feature of our working week and, but but yeah for this, it's looking like they, we may well need to have more kind of traditional configurations of the space and. And of course we need to make sure that everyone's following social distancing that same time. And someone was asking about live streaming earlier maybe I could speak to that, in this moment, and I'm sorry I can't remember who it wasn't I can't find it in the chat just now, but the question was like how our show is going to be live streamed, and we're still we're still evolving now, but generally, our policy is for everything to be as adaptable, as possible, and that means potentially working in different ways for different shows. So, if you're making a show that will work really well on zoom, then we can discuss how we've made that show work on zoom, if it's something that you know makes more sense as like a YouTube live stream, then we can do that as well. And, but we as a team like one of the things that we're going to need to do this year is to strike the balance between how each individual show might be best served, and what's practical for us all to deliver. And so we'll have a conversation with you. at point of commissioning about how your show might be live streamed. I hope that answers that question.
We've got a few questions coming in about kind of companies individuals, copper, he has a number of people and so just to clarify, you can apply as an individual, and that's totally fine. We've had a lot of solo artists, take part in the program entirely on their own. And that's absolutely fine. You just ignore the questions about collaborators. This is one question when you can explain anyone else you're working with, in the application form, but you can also apply as a company so you could be an ensemble collective or you could be a theatre maker but actually you brought on board, you know a great composer because music is a big element in your piece. When you're working with people with with other set roles I think someone's mentioned having a drama tag for example, and that's absolutely fine. You can just apply as a company or. It's up to you what, how you want to describe that to us, we've left some room in there to talk about the makeup so you can talk about being selective you can talk about being an individual and having bought these people on board, it's, it's totally fine. There is no maximum number of people who can be in your company. And, in theory, it's with the only reason that might become slightly tricky depending on how many people you have on stage is because of COVID this year, because we're having obviously socially distance so the audience numbers are also going to have to be less in the spaces because the faces in the ditch are quite small, but I mean in terms of actually making the work you can in theory have as many people as you want, making the work we've had a great company called outside edge this company had quite a lot of people, and they made a show last year I think yeah like 12 to 15 people or something. involved in the making of the work. So that's totally fine. All we ask is that for the relevant sessions there is at least one lead person who is going to be there for all three of those sessions, but more people are welcome to come as well.
Should I respond to, I think it's Holly's question about reserved Commission's which is in regards to the reserves Commission's, what if company members fit across multiple of their commission categories eg some members are, this has moved out yeah some members are working class sometimes they're LGBT, for example, and that's completely, that's fine, that's great. And then, obviously, like, all, all in justices intersect. And just, it's helpful in terms of, plus allocating those reserved commissions just let us know. Add the particular barriers that your company has faced as a collective, and we'll take those into account that's that's right handers.
Yeah, yeah. Obviously, you know, lots of barrier that intersectional so basically for the different Commission's I think it's pretty much just a tick box so you can take as many of those as apply to you, and then writes whatever you feel is relevant in this question about barriers, but we don't announce like this is the reserved condition for an artist with a disability, for example, we don't kind of box them in in that way in previous years we've had artists overlap in many different categories as well it's just for us to make sure we know that those without Commission's are going to people who face those kinds of barriers
Katherine's asks could individuals collaborate within the festival, I have similar ideas of President, could they maybe come together as one piece just a random thought, and it's really good thought. We need to present six pieces of work, otherwise the Arts Council would be annoyed with us and. However, you can absolutely collaborate, within, and within dare festival. So if, if you have a member of your company who might then end up working with someone else's company, as well as you. That's great. That's totally fine. And, but we we've never done and I can't imagine that we ever would suggest that we sort of merged two shows together to make one kind of like dooba show. And we just go hey there's two really great, really similar shows let's put them by phone.
There was a question about rehearsal space Hannah.
Yes. Oh yeah, I haven't she emailed us about this today as well. And so, in previous years we have offered rehearsal space to artists and that finished artist can call in a ditch that's been in the performance spaces that we'll have this year we don't yet know for certain what space and when would be available that shortage Council is partly because of government guidelines and restrictions, changing, but also because of the COVID situation, they have some technical things which may not go ahead or may go ahead. So we're sort of waiting to decide what will be available for Haskell face wise and also as I mentioned previously, we may have to use alternative spaces, this year as well. And when we give you a hostile face we do try to make sure it's as close as possible to the space that you might be using during the festival so perhaps your face is currently on confirmed, but we're really hoping to offer some if we can, I mean previously I think we have three weeks of full time rehearsal space across three different rooms shortage town halls, we were able to pry quite a lot for artists. But that is still to be confirmed.
just scrolling down the question. And to do that, and someone's asked Can you please clarify the concept of playable a bit straight up art dramas are a no go. Question mark and straight up dramas are a no go. If your show, does not involve meaningful audience interaction. It won't be commissioned for their festival, and we wish you well with finding the right hook for it elsewhere. And so basically our version of what we mean by playable is in the guidance notes, which are available on website but essentially Yeah, and from where we set playable Work is work that offers the audience meaningful opportunities to interact with it so bad participation, changes the experience within the room.
yeah, someone's asked, do we have any advice on how to make your work audience, interactive, when it is online and. Yes, we do. And we probably don't have time to go into it here but that's some as Dylan mentioned earlier, that's very much a conversation that we had. When killed the capital of repurposing their shape for online touring and very briefly, I would say consider the possibilities of the medium. Bear in mind that if you're live streaming a show over YouTube or doing a show over zoom there are a plethora of ways that the audience can engage with your work and Dylan and matalin had a very clever idea of simultaneously presenting the show in the same room, and having a WhatsApp conversation with the, with the audience as well, which worked really well, and basically think about all the media that are available to you, I would say, and obviously that conversation I think is like that's one of the things the artist development days are all about.
Did we answer would you consider performances that are entirely experienced online.
Fortunately we did. And it's really good question. We would certainly consider them, I think, Shoreditch Town Hall really have been really keen with us that the whole festival, and the festival as a whole is live as much as it's possible for it to be. And, but that wouldn't necessarily stop us from programming, one or two projects that sort of immediately went to our kind of plan C and version. So, yeah, I would say it's, it's worth sending an application for that but we, we would need to take into account what a venue is looking for as well because they right now at least, they'd like to see human beings in the room. And so what that might mean is that we would be working with you to for that to be an element taking place, actual channel, even if it's, and people watching the live stream, as part of a live audience in Shoreditch Town Hall, but you're not physically in the same room as them. So we, if the idea was right for the festival we would look at finding a way to make that work.
There's a question about support with a accommodation if you're outside of London. We haven't previously had a budget, especially for accommodation but we have provided artists with travel support before if you get trains and other things like that, we can definitely if you're looking for accommodation. We may have a budget available I mean it would depend how much we have, depending on the makeup of all the artists and where they're from in the UK as well. And, but we can definitely support with putting calls out, at least at bare minimum to help find accommodation in London as well, it's probably worth saying at this point that under, assuming London returns to the tier two and conditions that it was in prior to national lockdown. That wouldn't be legal. And so we need to take into account government guidelines.
We, we are not asking any of our artists or broader networks to to break the law today. And so, tape is asking when you say traditional forms of staging to me because of COVID we need to only propose and on style work or could we traverse in around etc as long as it was seated. And basically what we think is likely at this point is that the venue are going to ask us to have one staging configuration for each space that we're using. And so I would say that that probably means that if you think is absolutely integral to your work, and that that piece is true first then I guess we just have to take that into account. And if everything else was more that we'd be likely to program with work for and on, but it doesn't mean that you would have to. And it doesn't mean that we'd want necessarily for you to have to compromise your staging ideas, and we're just not quite sure exactly how those spaces, have to be set up. Just now, and Catherine's asking could meetings be attended virtually IE locked down public transport can be tricky hundred percent. And so of the three office development days the first two are definitely going to be online. And the third, we think should be in person, if we can swing it. And the other meetings, pretty much can all be on same if they need to be. There's there's no reason at all why we have to like for the mentoring meetings, we might start to have to go face to face. I'm aware that we said we finish up one and it's 1258. And I guess we can sort of last three things as quickly as we can. I've definitely got a few more minutes if people have questions that they haven't got answered yet. And Alex is asking because the rivets room done should usually 650 60 people do you have a rough idea of how many those seats certainly distance and shortage Town Hall is still working on that. And, but we're talking 10 to 15 minutes.
did you see Lily's question is playable done one on one with an audience member and the performers still possible.
It's a really great question. Potentially, if we were able to put it in a separate space, and which we should be able to do. And as long as it involved, as long as we're able we need to track, who the audience member was who was going into each show. And, and we need to make sure that you're able to do it in a socially distance way. So, in theory, we think so, right now, or it could be one person in one of the theater spaces to be honest right now. I would also work
with a question about whether thing performance has to take place and if any place where it can be streamed street theater. Yeah, we've actually considered for their festival. Previously, doing some street based shows or outside of the venue shows so it is, it is possible that it could be so if you've got an idea of something that fits. Everything else in the criteria. Feel free to submit an idea sort of street theater obviously we have to work with you about where that takes place and how and still making sure we follow all of the COVID guidance, but we can definitely consider ideas like that.
But we haven't said everything. Amazing. And. Does anyone have a question that they feel hasn't been answered yet.
And, in which case, thanks so much for making the time everybody, and we, we really hope, I hope, one of the things that people will take away from this conversation is, and that we want dare to be as open a festival as it can possibly be. we try that every year, we're having to modify some of the things that we would normally just say sure to do to what my three year old niece calls the tiny invisible bucks. But, like, yeah, we're gonna. She's storable also she knows invisible and she's three wiring. And, yeah, but we're going to try and make everything. Run, as openly and as well, and as responsibly responsibly responsibly, to the artists work, as it can possibly be. That's kind of the core operating principle. And I guess also responsibly to make sure that everyone can do what they're doing in a way that's healthy and safe.
Thanks so much everybody.
hands face space object,
I'm gonna I'm gonna end the meeting, so it's like just
like everyone see it like. Thank you.