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HighTide Festival 2016

Symposium sessions

We have an exciting day of conversations, discussions and musings. Below are a list of sessions and participants who will be contributing.

We want to hear from YOU too! If you have any questions for our participants or something you would like to contribute to discussions, click here to get in touch and we'll aim to answer your questions or discuss your point on the day. Click the link to download the HighTide Symposium schedule.

A new Jerusalem: where are the new classics?

An introductory session led by National Theatre Dramaturg Nina Steiger. This opening session will look back at the last ten years of new writing in the UK, reflecting on the rise of what are now considered to be ‘classic’ plays, what constitutes a new ‘classic’ play and how do British theatres continue to produce new work that contributes to the rise of new ‘classics’? How do new plays match up to classic revivals and since 2013, why is 66% of the British work produced new, original work?

Panel includes:

Nina Steiger

Rob Drummer

Vicky Graham

Theatre in the Digital Age

Over the last few years we have seen a huge rise in ‘on demand’ services, bringing a wide variety of art and culture into our homes at a click of a button. Theatre is no exception to this.

Theatre is already joining the digital age with the rise of NT Live, Digital Theatre and the rise of live theatre events being broadcast on national television and live streamed online. Should the digital age be a concern or can it only be a good thing?

How can new writing embrace the digital age of Theatre? Robert Delamere, founder of Digital Theatre, will lead a discussion on the advances of technology within theatre and how the form continues to develop and evolve.

Panel includes:

Robert Delamere

Anna Brewer

Rob Drummer

Alecky Blythe

Surviving as an artist

How much work do you have to be making to actually survive as an artist? In this session, you will hear from those who are surviving as artists and the journey they had to get here, we’ll discuss when you actually start to have a career as a ‘writer’ or creative. How do the worlds of funding, commissions and part time jobs collide and what does it really mean to be a ‘freelance’ artist? Luke Barnes leads a discussion on turning ideas into income.

Panel includes:

Luke Barnes

Vinay Patel

Brian Logan

Melanie Spencer

David Byrne

Chris Foxon

Theatre and the political

With the last few years being a tumultuous few in British (and international) politics, our theatres have reflected this. With historic events taking place on our national political stage, do these lead to good resources for drama? Are writers inclined to discuss current political climates overtly in their work or is there a sense of preaching to the converted? In the wider realm of things, how have these political landmarks affected the theatre industry? With Britain’s involvement in the EU now unknown, what does this mean for the arts, collaboration and creating new work in uncertain political and economical times? Steve Waters leads the panel on how theatre responds to political events and how the political events effect theatre.

Panel includes:

Steve Waters

Melanie Spencer

Matt Trueman

Brian Logan

Chris Campbell

Alecky Blythe

Regional Theatre discussion

A discussion of the work being made across the country. Is it getting harder to make work in London and are writers and artists finding there are more, less competitive, opportunities in the regions? How is new writing produced in our regional theatres and how can theatres collaborate with artists and other theatres to create a National dialogue?

Peter Rowe will be leading this session which will bring together a mix of regional theatre makers/ directors and London organisations to discuss how theatre functions outside of the capital.

Panel includes:

Alys Kihl

Peter Rowe

Ivan Cutting

Steven Atkinson

David Byrne

Getting your script noticed

This session will be a chance for writers or emerging artists to ask literary managers, editors, agents and artistic directors how to get noticed and what these industry figures look for when commissioning a new script or writer. It will be a chance for industry figures to share their advice and answer questions on how best to get your ideas across, how they work with writers and how crucial collaboration is when it comes to development. With the idea of development in mind, there should be a focus on the next steps; after getting your script noticed, how do writers work with these figures to continue to develop to opening night and beyond.

Panel includes:

Chris Campbell

Anna Brewer

Marcelo Dos Santos

Rob Drummer

Chris Foxon

Nina Steiger

Barriers to Entry

In this session, we aim to examine the problems within the industry that are creating barriers for groups of people engaging with theatre and actively participating. We will examine the limitations and struggles to not just pursuing a career in the arts but engaging with the arts in the first place.  We will ask lots of questions and interrogate why there are barriers for certain groups or individuals to being represented in the arts. Moving forward, we will discuss how, as an industry, we can work together to continue to break down these barriers.

Panel includes:

Brian Logan

Michael Buffong

Brian Logan

Chris Foxon