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The conference is over but the conversation continues

June 26, 2010

Ash under the microscope from arindam5580's photostreamThe Eyjafjallajokull eruption on Flickr

We are all back from Wexford, back to the grindstone perhaps, the blank page, the empty space, the tickets to sell, the show to get on the road.  For many of the delegates its back with new perspectives, ideas and resolve.  We looked at theatre in Ireland through several lenses, the micro and the macro, the local and the global, the philosophical and the practical.

We looked at some different perspectives on the value of theatre, from the National Theatre of Wales – a tool in nation building, to the reconceptualising of cultural value explained by Dick Penny of Watershed.

We looked at the value and impact of creativity,  delved into the language of the creative economy and we looked at relationships – between theatre and the state and between theatre and its communities.

We learnt lessons,  “Slightly exaggerate everything “ (Maureen Gaffney) – but avoid “boosterism “(Tom Fleming)

We argued about the arts council model, explored storytelling, audience data and digital technology.

A medal for bravery to THEATRECLUB youngster Grace Dyas who interviewed the revered veteran Tom Hickey. Tom came down to Wexford late after a performance in Dublin and was there for the ungodly 9am session the next day.  A true pro.  Couldn’t say the same for some of our non native speakers who hit the Guinness too hard the night before!

The podcasts will be on the Theatre Forum website any minute now and, with the Twitter report, will provide the comprehensive record.  The speakers ,chairs and delegates were great. So for now, for me, some personal highlights.

Dr Maureen Gaffney telling us how to flourish under fire through stacking up the positive thoughts to negative thoughts at a ratio of 5 to 1. Maureen Gaffney’s curtain call.

Camilla Holland and Anne Clarke , talking about the interdependencies of the commercial and non-for-profit, Camilla sharing that in Toronto the not for profit sector may have supplied talent to a buregeoning  commercial sector but that the commercial sector has supplied audiences.

Anne Looney’s cut to the quick response to Paul Collard’s talk demonstrating the impact of England’s creative partnership programme which develops creative skills in children at school.  Anne advocated a revaluing of the arts and creativity in the Irish curriculum.  Paul Collard’s video of himself as a cartoon animal.

Tom Fleming’s 101 images.

Ray Yeates’ call for the Irish Theatre community to be more inclusive.

Stefan Jonsson and his gift of volcanic ash.

And the chat, the subject which was chewed over was, wait for it, Twitter as delegates and colleagues not in the room at Wexford tweeted merrily in what will surely be mainstream by next year. Good to extend the conversation though.

Did we become more resilient? I think so.  Were we renewed? – yes.  Or am I just exaggerating everything  a little?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. blooggerr permalink
    December 22, 2011 5:14 pm

    Video blog :
    [b]http://goo.gl/RjEjp
    [/b]

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