Spring Fringe Manifesto Write Up
SPRING FRINGE MANIFESTO was an evening for us to chat about the company’s mission, vision and values, and for you, our audience, to tell us what you want from us. For those of you who wanted to come along but couldn’t make it, or those who came but might find this documentation handy (we certainly will), we’re about to talk you through the night. This is what went down...
We started by telling everyone what our mission, vision and values actually are. Here’s a brief summary:
To create Wales’ cultural leaders for the future by championing Welsh, Wales-based and Wales-trained artists to make high quality theatre with exceptional production values.
Our vision is for a healthy, vibrant theatre ecology in Wales that reflects the multiculturalism and diversity of our nation, where we don’t survive and endure, but we thrive and sustain.
Ambition. Grit. Empathy. Integrity. Choice.
You can read our full Vision, Mission and Values here.
We talked a little bit about the work we make...
A curated season of fleet-of-foot, fringe scale work, where the focus is on the outstanding level of imagination the shows possess, in spite of, and perhaps very much because of, the lack of resource which is so often the case with fringe level work. An 8 week programme where we take work from Edinburgh Fringe and put it up next to work from the fringe scene here in Cardiff, helping us define what fringe theatre is and can be for Wales. This happens in the Spring.
In the Autumn, a season of self-produced, high-quality drama with dark and dangerous themes which reflect the Welsh context. This work is explorative and provocative, inspiring questions and ideas about the wider world.
Outreach and Artist Development
We talked about our artist development and enrichment activities. SEEN, our monthly new-writing scratch night, YAF, our annual week-long programme for emerging actors/writers/directors/stage managers, PLAYROOM, our group play-reading event, OPENROOM, our (at least) annual open auditions/open meetings, and PPP: Professional Pathway Programme, a year-long professional development programme for Directors and Producers.
Then we asked you what you wanted...
We ended the night with three manifesto points, created by the group, which we commit to striving to achieve here at TOR.
1. TALENT RETENTION
Committing to the talent we develop with tangible opportunities.
We identified that there is a need for a space where creatives can meet, share and skill-swap, a space to network. The stronger our networks are here in Wales, the more sustainable our creative careers in Wales become. We talked about a desire for an industry environment with wide-ranging connections across all of Wales, but which is inclusive to those outside of Wales.
You want us to be open and transparent with the opportunities we provide, ensuring they are available to everyone applicable.
2. ARTIST DEVELOPMENT
Empowering the artists we develop to progress.
This is all about ensuring that once we have played our part in developing the talent here in Cardiff, the artists continue to progress within the industry. The key word here is EMPOWER. You want us to empower artists to DO so they feel equipped to keep working within the industry as individuals once they’ve completed whichever development opportunity they’re partaking in at TOR. That they are hungry and bold and brave and take risks - and always strive to do better.
3. ARTISTIC PROGRAMMING
Ensuring that our artistic programme reflects the communities around us.
You want us to be programming and making work that is unique to us, that wouldn’t be the same in any other space, and just wouldn’t be found anywhere else. You want to see the communities that surround us reflected in our work. You want us to work to ensure we aren’t leaving any of our surrounding communities unrepresented within our theatre. You want to see a feasible level of community involvement in the work we make, however that may manifest.
We’re excited for the discussion about our responsibility as Cardiff’s first and only Pub Theatre to continue to be an open one.
Having now gone through everything we covered, we would like to thank those who attended for their invaluable input. We are nothing without our audience and fellow creatives. Thank you.