Full programme below

Open Forum

Discussion on how to value artists, what needs to be done to improve employment conditions and increase work opportunities in the performing arts? Vicky Blades, Eoghan Carrick, Ása Richardsdóttir, and Ann Russell with Anna Walsh.

Ása Richardsdóttir’s Presentation and audio file (see below)

“Join forces. Collaborate across the arts in Ireland. Create the binding glue between you and work on your solidarity. It does take time, effort, and more effort. It takes patience and courage and understanding.”(10:08)

Open Forum discussion audio file

“We’re working on two main areas, one is to persuade the powers that be to value performers as creatives not just as interpreters…Also to improve the situation regarding the artists stipend, and the tax situation.”(1:38)

Asa Image New

Valuing and developing audiences

We have come to expect personalised marketing communications, more intense experiences and social activism from our chosen brands. This conversation to investigates how arts marketing can and does successfully capitalise on these trends.Jennifer Jennings, Heather Maitland, Philip McMahon, and Dawn Walton.

“Are you selling the dream of your show or your product, your organization, your venue? Are you selling your values?..Are you saying this is for you, come and join us…Are you kicking those real and imaginary doors open with your communication? Because that’s how you broaden your audiences.” (51:47)

” The conversation can continue in the ticketed event but we can all be apart of social change as artists and arts organizations.”(1:03:13)

Heather Maitland’s Presentation  and audio file (see below)

New Heather

Networks across borders

Think of the word ‘networking’ and you might grimace. And yet to prolong the life of a show, develop the widest audience possible while diversifying income, creating a strong local, national and international network is probably the most important action an artist or producer can take outside of the studio or rehearsal room. This session looks at the opportunities, challenges and outcomes experienced by artists and organisations in creating and maintaining networks.Tom Bonte and Bush Moukarzel with Róise Goan.

Networks across borders audio file (see below).

“This network for me is not something that so much has to do with quantity…but for me the network is about quality. It’s about having very very specific people or organizations in that international field that I know are dealing with the same topics, that have people working there that I have a deep trust in, that I got to know very well because that is the basis how you can work very quickly.” (21:55)

“The international network is still operating because there is so much network. The moment all programmers, and all directors, and all artists stop flying. The network will evaporate.” (43:45)

International Networking Image

Blurring Boundaries

How boundaries, real or imagined, stage and screen, music and dance, theatre and opera, virtual and real are becoming blurred all to the good for the art, artists and audiences.Emily Aoibheann, Luke Casserly, and Emma Martin with Tom Creed

Blurring Boundaries audio file (see below).

“The idea of community has become increasingly fundamental because there is such feeling of displacement all over Ireland.” (45:46)

Blurring Boundaries Image

Reframing our boarders – What if?

Closing address: Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney talk about their play for Ireland, THE ALTERNATIVE, and some questions it poses. What if Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom? What if Home Rule had passed? What if there was no War of Independence? No Civil War? No partition? What if the island had only one soccer team?

Watch Oisín’s closing address here *due to technical issues this is an abridged version of Oisín’s speech.

Read Oisín and Micheal’s full talk here.

“Perhaps the creation of art can be used to cross borders. Perhaps artistic endeavours can be utilised to begin creating new meaning, new identities, maybe a new Irishness. Perhaps Imagination can take us forward to reframe our lives, our relationships, our borders, and our nation… to empower us to think about and create the type of place we wish to call home.” (13:44)

Oisin Picture

Clarification for Members
Cancellation of the screening of Unfinished Revolution at 2019 Conference
At the 2019 Conference in Wexford on 12-13 June, winners of the Play for Ireland Oisín Kearney and Michael Patrick were invited to give the closing address Reframing our borders – What if?

In programming the conference, Theatre Forum also agreed to screen two short films, BORDERLANDS and Unfinished Revolution, on which Oisín worked as writer, producer and director/codirector. Subsequent tragic events in Derry and the killing of journalist Lyra McKee whilst observing rioting meant that Oisín talked to and agreed with Theatre Forum to cancel the screening of Unfinished Revolution, as it would have been insensitive to the tragedy and heightened anxiety in communities across Northern Ireland.
TheatreNI and Theatre Forum have worked in the last decade to promote co-operation in the island’s performing arts communities and are committed to co-operation across all future borders. The ethos underpinning this was summed up in Oisín’s conference address delivered in Wexford’s National Opera House:

Imagination is the essential component of any progressive change, and this has been shown by many groups of determined people who are making this island a better place to live. Once we ask ‘what if?’, we might be able to envisage a world where our physical, conceptual and social borders are framed differently, where the goal-posts are shifted. And from there, we can ask ‘How to change things?’ And then ‘when is the best time to do it?’

In these times of trouble and borders, the role of artists in asking ‘what if’ seems more important than ever.

If you have any issue with these events, please raise them by mailing director@theatreforum.ie
8 October 2019