Fri Mar 16th, 2018 7:30pm
Sat Mar 17th, 2018 2:00pm
Sun Mar 18th, 2018 7:30pmStudio 1398, Granville Island
It’s been over a day since the GVPTA Making a Scene – Devoted and Disgruntled conference ended and I’m still feeling inspired. I started the conference not sure if I was still interested in theatre but leaving it I know I’m very interested in the theatre community and creating something with them.
Day two was filled with lots of talk about food, creating community, and having fun. At least that’s what was being discussed at the sessions I went to.
The first topic that drew me in was about fundraisers. These were the points I jotted down.
Putting the Play back in … was the topic of the second session I attended. People came from various backgrounds for this one. Some people were arts administrators and wanted to know how to make their jobs of writing grants and dealing with office life more fun. Some people were artists and felt that rehearsals/ shows were sometimes treated like a captial J Job by their peers. Others wanted to know how to make going to the theatre a more joyous experience.
These were some of the suggested ideas/ thoughts/ tangents.
During my lunch break I butterflied around chatting with many people and got a wonderful massage from Jacques Lalonde.
After the break I couldn’t decide where I should go next. I was having a lovely casual talk with Jeremy from Nanaimo and Jen Hill. Part of me felt that I should be attending a session but after floating from group to group I felt like the right place for me was with Jen and Jeremy. We spent the better part of the next hour getting to know each other, our theatre histories, our connections and our goals for the future. Kellee from Rumble joined us and I dubbed our session “Chillin’ and Illin’.” It was the highlight of the conference for me. What came out of it was the desire to create a social club and I will be contacting a few venues in town to see if we can take this to the next level.
The strongest message I saw coming out of Devoted and Disgruntled was that the Vancouver Theatre scene desperately desires more community events, more opportunities for us to get together to talk, to laugh, to play and to create. It’s not just about getting bums in seats or subscribers on your list, it’s about finding a community that cares about what we do and visa versa. We want to break bread, raise our glasses and get back to the origins of theatre; sharing stories and coming together.
I’m very happy that I attended this conference and I look forward to seeing what comes out of it.
My only critiques of this weekend would be:
Thank you to the Greater Vancouver Theatre Alliance for sponsoring me as a blogger so that I could attend this event.
I arrived at W2 Storeum a little late this morning, luckily the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance’s (GVPTA) 2010 conference hadn’t started yet. But it didn’t matter; as I later learned, ‘Whenever it starts is the right time.’
Walking into a room of theatre artists is always a little intimidating for me. I don’t feel like a theatre artist anymore. The last time I was in a play was when I was in London and did a show at the Greenwich Playhouse with a group called Open Stage with some students at Goldsmith’s University. Sure, I trained as an actor and I audition every now and then but would people in this community call me an actor? I’m not sure.
Regardless, I’m interested in theatre. Or interested in finding out if I’m still interested in theatre. This is why I was compelled to attend this conference. As well as comparing this D and D to the one I went to in London.
Devoted and Disgruntled runs using Open Space Technology. Phelim McDermott from Improbable Theatre started the day by saying that “Open Space is what happens in life.” There are four princples to it:
There is also one law: the law of two feet or mobility. It means if you’re not engaged with the conversation then use your feet (or mobility) to take you somewhere that might engage you. We were also told to be prepared to be surprised.
These principles, laws and thoughts were posted all over the room. As were drawings of butterflies and bumblebees. Bumblebees travel from group to group and cross pollinate ideas. Butterflies are people who ‘do what they do’ – they may be the people hanging out by the coffee table gossiping or sitting by themselves. Which is okay because, as Phelim reminded us, every original idea comes out of silence.
All of these rules and images led me to feel comfortable in the space, knowing that whatever happens is what’s meant to happen.
As the day began people came up to the centre to write their discussion topic in a short pithy title on a piece of paper then assign it a session and location for later.
So it began…
The first session I went to was “Super Social Media” spearheaded by the lovely social media maven Angela Crocker. There we discussed:
Session 2 – What Do People Want to See More/ Less of On Stage
This was a lively discussion with artistic directors, playrights, actors, audience members, arts administrators and more. We disussed:
Confession: I was a butterfly for most of this period.
What I really enjoy about Open Space Technology is how effective it is in creating dialogue and community.
They say the best part fof conferences happen during the coffee breaks and Devoted and Disgruntled is like one long break.
Thus far in comparison to London this D and D has less younger people, more artistic directors of well established companies (Can you believe it? Kevin Spacey the AD of The Old Vic wasn’t at D and D in London), and a tighter sense of community, which makes sense considering how much smaller this city is.
Relationships are being formed and there is strong passion for theatre. As for me, I’m enjoying being a butterfly and looking forward to what comes out of the silence.