This week, as our community reflects on the year just gone, and as we all reel again at events around us, we have decided to take a leap forwards. We set ourselves a question: how would we each complete the phrase:
ONE YEAR FROM NOW, I HOPE…
Thank you to volunteers past and present for these dreams, these aspirations and these practical utopias.
“One year from now, I hope”:
…. that freelancers of all experiences can be a part of the conversations, feel as though they have a seat at the table and can be empowered to contribute.
Arran Pallan, Freelance Stage Manager
…. to be choreographing, or movement directing, a group of dancers, or performers, where we can all hug each other! as well as work with physical contact within the production.
Susan Kempster, Dance and Movement Artist
… that a more inclusive, kinder world has emerged from the pandemic.
Neil Austin. Lighting designer
… to live in a world and work in a business and industry where people listen to, empathise with and support one another - every day, without question or bias.
Matt Humphrey, Photographer and co-founder of Curtain Call
… that audiences continue to prematurely go quiet ahead of the start of a show, being tricked into thinking it's about to start, and for me to laugh, every single time.
Jake Orr, Producer
… that we are all being a bit kinder to each other. And ourselves.
Alistair Cope, Actor
… that our theatres will have found exciting, thrilling and challenging new ways to populate themselves both backstage and in their auditoriums’.
Peter McKintosh, Set and Costume Designer
... that our emerging generation of creatives - our vital changemakers - will have validation, plenty of support and all the opportunities that their compassion, vision and courage deserve.
Anne McNulty, Casting Director
… that the work we do across the theatre industry will be more accessible, more equitable, and full of laughter.'
Ella Taylor, Freelance Classical Soprano
… that the events of the previous two years have brought about a seismic enough shift in perspective to refocus attention away from the mechanisms we use to measure value, towards what is actually of value. From money, to the environment, creativity and humanity.
Freddie Crossley, Director
…. that there is an insatiable appetite for live performance across the UK, and that we can reach every community and provide that nourishment for the soul.
Mimi Doulton, Freelance Classical Soprano
… to laugh, hug, someone, cry happy tears, do a tech, build some scenery, watch a paint call, do a scene change endlessly, have a production meeting, meet some new people and smile as I think about doing it all again the next day.
Ben Arkell, Theatrical Production Manager
… we will look back, and be proud that we used this moment of forced pause to make changes that are so necessary to our industry. I hope we will have built a new chapter, a strong future for British Theatre, and one that belongs to us all.
Prema Mehta, lighting designer and Stage Sight Founder.
… that the global rallying cry against racial injustice and the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 were not in vain but a felt and powerful catalyst/call to action; one that sees anti-racism permeate the heart of all society and the heart of our creative industries.
Jess Murrain, Actor, Theatremaker, Poet
… that the majority of us will be practicing respect for one another, not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but prefering others over ourselves.
Esi Acquaah-Harrison, Voice coach, Singer
… more freelancers have been woven into the fabric of theatre organisations at every level.
Andy Whyment, Director
… that Vicki Mortimer is asking me the exact same question as part of FMTW who have become necessary, but not essential.
Steven Hoggett, Director/Choreographer
…that I’ll not be feeling exhausted anymore. That I’ll be feeling excited. That the rooms I walk into will be surprising, challenging, equable and exciting….
Paule Constable, Lighting designer
… to feel all the emotions of avoiding corpsing on stage! And I hope that the power base will have shifted enough for the current moment to have a silver lining.
Steffan Donnelly, Freelance actor and theatremaker
… that every theatre will have appointed an Associate designer (or other craft freelancer) to develop a uk wide network of training opportunities for emerging artists.
Tom Piper, Set and Costume Designer
… that our auditoriums are brimming and our stages are filled with joyous and tragic plays, with stories as eclectic as the freelancers (on and off stage) who bring them to life.
Beth Steel, Playwright
… things will have changed - that we do not return to the world before 2020.
Kelsie Acton, Access Professional
… to have located a central body of accountability within this industry. And if there isn’t one, I’m bally well starting it myself.
Athena Stevens, Director, Actor, Writer
… that you, my dear freelancer, you who wish to share your beautiful vision, to shine your light through creative expression, can do so with the confidence of an industry that wants and needs and pays you - yes, YOU, specifically! - to illuminate YOUR truth and humanity because it is makes all of us better, wakes all of us up, helps all of us heal.
Sally Beck Wippman, Freelance Theatre Maker
… that we can imagine a future where vulnerable people don’t have to choose between surviving in the industry and protecting their own mental health because we have taken realistic, sustainable steps to making both possible.
Emma-Jane Park, Dancer and Theatre maker
… there will an ever growing number of new collaborations with freelancers from all areas of the creative sector working together.
Emma Cameron, Production Manager
… I hope we are working in an industry which embraces the human need for wellbeing and support; that our spaces are resilient, flexible and made for all theatre workers, present and future, not just those who have previously occupied them.
Rachel Bagshaw, Director
… that our industry will be back and thriving, that we have taken what we have learnt from this incredibly challenging year and returned with more creativity and kindness, that we have learnt to trust each other more, to stand together more and to recognise that we have more that unites us than divides us. I hope that we continue to understand and support freelancers, shop small businesses, mentor new graduates, and be more diverse and accessible so this incredible workforce can be richer than ever. And I hope I will be spending less time on zoom and more time in cafes!
Nikki Edmonds, Freelance Costume & Live Events Professional
… that these voices - and those of many others, who during this time, have tirelessly imagined a more compassionate, more generous future - have been heard. I want to be looking around a rehearsal room somewhere and see manifest the richness of Good Change.
Vicki Mortimer, Set and Costume Designer
One year from now, I hope…to still be hopeful
Nafeesah Butt, Freelance Arts Manager