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Help create a new, accessible to all, theatre lab.
£25 raised
0% of £100k goal
2 contributors
5 Years running
The project’s aim is to obtain a suitable space (such as an old farmhouse/barn or a disused church) in a semi-remote, rural location to be used as an accessible, dedicated people's theatre laboratory, allowing for theatre companies, researchers and ...
The project’s aim is to obtain a suitable space (such as an old farmhouse/barn or a disused church) in a semi-remote, rural location to be used as an accessible, dedicated theatre laboratory, allowing for new and innovative theatre companies, researchers and practitioners to experiment and develop work intensively as part of a residential retreat at minimal cost. It would also be used for educational purposes, allowing schools, colleges, universities and professional practitioners to work intensively for whatever period of time is necessary/available. Given that the venue would be run and administered by myself, and not run for profit, the fee charged to visiting artists/residents would be kept to an absolute minimum, covering running and maintenance costs only rather than operated as a commercial venture in order to make it as accessible as possible: the prohibitive price of a suitable venue is the biggest hindrance to theatre companies and practitioners, especially non-established ones, who often fail before they begin as a direct result.

As an experimental venue, it is hoped that it will also provide a significant research output as well as artistic (dissemination of research, where relevant, would be via an online journal).

The minimal fees paid by artists (not dissimilar to those of staying in a youth hostel) would maximise the accessibility, hence impact, on the wider artistic community, which is often financially blighted. The networks already exist through which to create broad and rapid awareness of the project, so there would be few if any advertising costs.

The idea is based on the somewhat unique Grotowski Institute in Wrocław, Poland, where I recently spent some time as a performer and researcher, and which allows artists to further their theatrical researches at minimal cost, an opportunity they would not otherwise have. The Institute owns a farmhouse in a forest in Brzezinka, which allows its visitors the opportunity to work privately and in an extremely focused, productive and intensive way. This is absolutely invaluable for truly effective theatrical research and experimentation. Practitioners in the UK are not currently afforded this opportunity.

Once up and running (i.e. once the venue was secured and made into an appropriate space), I do not anticipate any further help would be needed as it should cover its own costs. I would naturally seek charitable status, once the project is running, and pursue its continual development in terms of technical provision and cultural scope. However, given that it is entirely reliant on a suitable venue, it does not yet exist (never a small problem), and so fundraising becomes significantly more difficult than it is for an established organisation. With regards to covering the start-up costs, given that this is fundamentally a cultural and not commercial endeavour, I cannot seek commercial investment as there would be little return (the benefits being aimed at artists rather than investors).

In short, the acquisition and conversion of a suitable venue is the sole barrier to getting this project up and running, a project whose impact and legacy will be long and widespread.

Thank you for reading.
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