April 20, 2008

Downstage Proposed Direction Industry Consultation

Markus Stitz       posted 21 Apr 2008, 08:56 AM

We have put Briar Monro’s final industry consultation report online to download at our website www.downstage.co.nz/media

Have a look in it and discuss. Just as a background: This is a report to Downstage, not by Downstage. Feel free to discuss either in this forum or in our forum, which we created to give us direct feedback. Just click on this link here

John Smythe      posted 21 Apr 2008, 10:55 AM

Congratulations to Briar Munro, the Downstage Theatre Trust Board and all who participated in the process.  This report is an invaluable document not only for its core purpose (of helping to chart Downstage’s future) but for the NZ-wide theatre community as a whole.  There is a lot to digest and I encourage people to make time to read it thoroughly.

The conclusion reads as follows:

“The consultation indicates that Downstage has the potential to be a significant force in the building of distinctive, internationally recognised NZ theatre. Now, more than ever, there is the need for an organisation able to house and facilitate the development of the practice of NZ’s leading theatre makers.

“But this cannot be done in isolation from Wellington and New Zealand audiences. Theatre is a dialogue between practitioners and audiences – it is a live presentation of ideas and stories of importance to the communities within which the practitioners exist. And it is to the interface of audiences and practitioners that Downstage needs to focus its vision.

“There is a call for Downstage to step into the unknown and respond to the changes presented by both audiences and practitioners – a space for diverse genre and forms and for the formatting of different theatrical experiences and points of engagement.

“If this transition is to be successful and sustainable it needs to be thoroughly researched and well managed. The challenge of any change of significance will stand on the comprehension and commitment of the Downstage Theatre Trust Board to this process. Having the expertise and adequate time to lay solid foundations are of the essence.”

But before you react to that – and please do post your responses, comments, questions and answers – do read the whole report.

I would like this forum to focus on the way forward, with past issues and experiences included only as things we can learn from. Please remember our motto: communication is conversation as contribution. 

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