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New work, Older talent

Issue: New Work, Older Talent

Convener(s): Emery

Participants:  Will Morris, Ava Hunt, Terry Squibb, Chrissie Hall, Phil Coggins, Kevin

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:
There appears to be a mismatch between new writers not necessarily being young writers. 18-35 might now be 18-25.
People might change career later in life but have no help in starting their creative careers.
Getting involved in the creative process may hep keep an active lifestyle and promote good physical or mental health and social connections.
Restricting new work to 18-25 may cut out opportunities for cross pollination between age groups and the opportunity to learn from each other.
Wider perspectives for both the parti and in the subjects covered.
There may be alternative funding for older theatre that could come from different sources such as a primary care trusts, the WI etc.
“You can’t be an emerging talent over a certain age.”
We are in an aging community.
Was there a disproportionate cut in more established arts companies with older creative talent?
Disjoint between the age of decision makers, business MEN, politicians being older and creative talent and commissioners being younger. Does the art reflect the power in society?
People get interest in their work on email and when their grey hair is seen the enthusiasm cools!
Who are the audience?
Diversity of age in the arts – monoculture of age is a creative cul-de-sac.
Accessibility – will older audiences travel to see events and will they travel at night? Does the work need to go to their local communities? Rural theatre – everyone turns up, including people who might not go to a trad theatre event.
Benefit of being older performer is that there is less competition for parts – but are there fewer parts?
Should there be adult drama outreach?
Audiences are cyclical – new older audiences will come around.
Do older creative people have the forum to try and fail – youth only schemes may exclude them from the creative nursery of talent.
Funding is attached to youth.
Could an older people’s theatre company emerge?
Would an older people’s theatre company create an opportunity for new streams of theatre to emerge that are currently un-imagined?
Older creative people need to get organised and see who wants to create a new creative network.

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