By Freddie Crossley
Open doors, all the doors. Our second Future Labs panel led by Rachel Bagshaw gathered Daniel Buckroyd, Deborah Dickinson, Eleanor Lang, Freddie Crossley, Kate Wasserberg, Louise Gregory, Lora Krasteva, Matthew Xia, Paul Goldsmith, Robert Softley Gale, Susan Kempster and Titania Krimpas to discuss the question How can we engage and invest in freelancers while traditional routes are affected?
As we began, it immediately struck me that just by being in the same room, we start to answer the question. That these gatherings are new and that in order to even begin, we need to question who “we” are. To invest and engage together, we need an equitable landscape. Here we are, our range of voices, experiences, circumstances and powers, listening and talking.
Equity, value, time, transparency, accessibility, inclusivity and legacy. These foundations of the discussion, allowed us to speak on both macro and micro levels. What can we dream of? What can we do within the parameters of what we have available to us? How do we reshape the structures within which we work? How can we share our resources? How can we rewire our funding systems? How do we create a revaluation of the arts in public and societal consciousness? What is theatre if theatres can’t open for upwards of two years? How do we open and keep open our doors in every yet-unimagined dimension and direction?
As we spoke, and now, it becomes clear to me that the a-traditional, of course, lies at the heart of our solutions. Never before could we bring together a plurality of Freelancers, Artistic Directors and Executive Directors. Never before did we have a reason to gather, say, four designers, two directors, three stage managers, an actor, a singer, two vocal coaches, an access consultant, a photographer, a producer and three lighting designers. That these FMTW collections in themselves are disruptive of our form and, through them, we will find voice and activity for change.
As I listened to this Zoom room’s awesome vocal range, I began to compile a list of words to take away for myself, to carry with me. That list became a want, a need, a call. So, with these autumn winds blowing through the swinging doors, it is a call for fearless, collaborative, accountable disruption.
Future Lab attendees – Wednesday 7th October:
Daniel Buckroyd, Deborah Dickinson, Eleanor Lang, Freddie Crossley, Kate Wasserberg, Louise Gregory, Lora Krasteva, Matthew Xia, Paul Goldsmith, Robert Softley Gale, Susan Kempster and Titania Krimpas.
Host: Rachel Bagshaw
Producer: Jack Hudson
Full reports will be released from this and other panels this week.