Saturday, December 02, 2017

What are we going to do about the theatre and the performing arts?

That's the question posed by director, Phelim McDermott, and it will be the question asked in January's annual D&D (Devoted & Disgruntled) open space event. This year, it's being held at the New Diorama Theatre in London on 20-22 January 2018 (that's all day Saturday and Sunday and a half-day on Monday - drop in and out as you please). It's the unconventional convention for everyone who loves, makes and lives theatre and the performing arts.

Who is D&D for? It's for theatre lovers and people passionate about the performing arts. You might work in the theatre, you might not. You might be a teacher or a technician; an administrator or an audience member, all are welcome. A key principle of Open Space is whoever comes are the right people. In fact Open Space works best with a range of people and diverse points of view, so if you want to be there, you ARE the right person to attend.

The weekend event uses the open space format. If you've never done that before, I recommend you give it a go. I think it's a great way to learn, listen and participate. If you've been to a barcamp or unconference before, those are both broadly similar but there's something about open space that I think works even better and allows for all kinds of topics and expertise to emerge and it completely alleviates the need for any kind of Powerpoint slides!

I went along to one of these D&D open space sessions about 3 years ago. The question was something around what an Institute of Improvisation might deliver. It was my first experience of open space and I had no idea what to expect. I also wasn't sure what I could or couldn't contribute since my forays into improvisation were fairly minimal. I was soon won over by the energy and conversations happening all over the building we were in. I'd arrived tired and depleted at the beginning of the session and left more tired, yet energised having had a chance to exercise my brain in a completely different way.

That session then led to myself and Lloyd Davis running various open space sessions covering topics related to artificial intelligence, blockchain and other technologies in relation to the future of work. And very interesting it was too and is something I'd very much like to do again.

I'm thinking of heading down to this event. I've been to 89 shows or concerts this year alone, so I have a point of view of what's happening and some thoughts on what could happen and I'm interested to hear what practitioners are up to in an age of continuing austerity and an impending Brexit. It will also be interesting to stretch my brain in a different way and hang out with a different kind of crowd.

The video below will explain a little more about what's happening, and there's more information and a link to get your tickets on the Devoted & Disgruntled website. See you there?


Phelim McDermott invites you to D&D 13 from Improbable on Vimeo.
A captioned video invitation to Devoted & Disgruntled 13 from Improbable's co-Artistic Director, Phelim McDermott.

Day 2/25 Blogmas #DandD13