Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Project for Midlands Culturally Specific Artists

Things That Can’t Be Said

r:evolve and Apples & Snakes are developing a 1 hour production with West Midlands-based performance poets. The work will initially tour to r:evolve’s partner venues: the Arena Theatre, mac and Black Country Touring in February 2008.

We are creating one piece of work with 5 artists, inspired by “Things that can’t be said,” where each artist contributes to and tells part of an overall narrative. The work will be more theatrical than ‘regular’ performance poetry. By this we mean it will use theatrical devices which enable it to be more than an artist and a mic. For example it may incorporate gesture, movement, song and dance.

We are very interested in stretching artists beyond their current practise, by enabling them to experiment with voice, movement and structure and by being part of a collaborative spoken word production.

This opportunity is for artists resident in the West Midlands and those of the following culturally specific backgrounds: Asian, Black, Chinese or more recent immigrant communities and refugee status artists.

We are seeking people with some experience of spoken word, a confidence and more importantly a desire to try new things to develop themselves further and to work collaboratively with other members of the team.

We are looking for artists who meet the following requirements:
• Have experience of writing and performing spoken word in front of an audience.
• Have experience of performing at open mic events.
• Have an ability to work collaboratively and supportively with other members of the team.
• Have a willingness to work experimentally with voice, movement and space and are prepared to try new things.
• Have a degree of self-awareness.
• Have a willingness and ability to take notes: to receive and respond appropriately to constructive critical feedback.
• Have an ability to write spontaneously, edit and redraft.

We will be short-listing 8 applicants to attend a workshop audition on Wednesday 12 September at mac in Birmingham. The day will be for applicants to work together and for us to get a sense of their writing, and performance abilities. Applicants will be required to perform 3 minutes of prepared material on the day. 5 artists will be selected after the day to form the team for the production.

As part of the commission, the 5 artists will attend a number of performances by other professional performance poets and master classes, mostly in autumn.

We are planning a two-day residential retreat in September or October (the exact dates are to be confirmed); this will be led by the director. Its aim will be for teambuilding, to develop trust and start exploration in a safe and supported context. In addition, a dramaturge will work closely with the director and the artists on this production.

Artists will be required to write 12 minutes of material each, which will form the production.

Rehearsals start on 21 January 2008 and the first performance takes place on 1 February, followed by a least another two performances and possibly more.

Artists will be paid a fee of £1400 for attendance at the retreat, the writing commission and rehearsal period.

NB. None of the dates stated are negotiable.

In order to apply please do the following:
• Submit a creative half page response to “Things That Can’t Be Said”, through writing. You may want to get away from the obvious and think outside the box. Surprise us with your response.
• Submit two poems that you have written (a maximum of 3 minutes each) preferably in writing, if not, then CD.
• To have taken part in at least 3 open mic sessions. Tell us where and when.
• Submit a (maximum two-page) curriculum vitae or short biography.
• Submit a short (two or three sentence) artistic statement about yourself now and in the future. What do you do now and what do you hope to be doing in the future?

The deadline for the above information is Monday 20 August, 12pm. Please send applications to Dawinder Bansal, r:evolve Project Assistant, by email to dawinder_bansal@yahoo.co.uk or by post to r:evolve, c/o The Old Courts, Market Street, Oldbury B69 4DH.

Short-listed applicants will be notified by Tue 28 August. Unfortunately we are unable to respond to all applicants. If you haven’t heard from us by then, please assume your application was unsuccessful.

If you would like an informal chat about this opportunity please call Bobby Tiwana, r:evolve Project Manager on 07816 679 369.

r:evolve is a theatre development programme led by a Consortium of the Arena Theatre, mac and Black Country Touring, to develop more theatre by culturally specific* practitioners for its venues.

*Asian, Black, Chinese and more recent immigrant communities and refugee status artists.

Apples & Snakes stretches the boundaries of poetry in education and performance by giving voice to a diverse range of challenging and dynamic poets.

This opportunity is a positive action measure under section 37 of the Race Relations Act 1976, looking to redress the balance of culturally specific theatre artists.

Many thanks
Things That Can’t Be Said Team


Ms Baroque said...

Wow, thatg looks like a great opportunity for eight people. I hope I'm not bring churlish, though, in pointing out that one "thing that can't be said" is that gimmicky ":" in "r:evolve."

Jane Holland: Editor said...

You churl! You're not in literary land anymore, Toto. This is performance and spoken word. Here, if you value your street-cred, nothing must be spelt correctly and being unable to pronounce the Ree-in-Vented names of artistes and projects is not something you admit to.

My favourite bit of funding-speke in this call for submissions has to be 'culturally specific artists'.

Define that, if you please.


Ms Baroque said...

Well, I'm not culturally specific. People spend years trying to work me out.

By the way, the reason I thought it looked so lame is precisely because it IS supposed to be "spoken" (sic) word: it's a flipping typographical device! As such, and in its context, it shows a complete lack of respect for the spoken word.

Jane Holland: Editor said...


I agree though that there's an interesting overlap with these typographical devices between spoken word and very different poetries like 'concrete' poetry, for instance. If it's spoken, it can't be seen; ergo, the visual effect of r:evolve must be redundant.

Spoken word and semantics on a dull Tuesday afternoon. Love it!


Ms Baroque said...

Ha! Good luck with your housemove, no doubt already underway.