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How can small scale venues support writers?

Issue: How can small scale venues support writers and new writing?

Convener(s): Michaela Butter, Embrace Arts

Participants: Tanya Myers Christopher Neil

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

It was noted that whilst a number of people signed up – preferred choice appeared to be discussing  how to work with larger scale venues – discussion around how can small scale venues find a place if expectations remain in only working with larger scale producing theatres as measure of success/prestige………
But larger venues offer opportunities for larger reach and  cross-over audiences?  BUT small scale venues offer more intimate spaces with potentially greater flexibility for risk taking as lower financial risk?
What would writers want from small scale venues?
Commissioning – thinking outside parameters for commissioning
Brokering and Facilitating partnerships and access into the community – using venues community and outreach links to create access to artistic research/creative resource
Value of regular showcase or script reading evenings to foster new talent.  BUT must recognize responsibility in funding research and development – developing professional written word costs money and need to pay writers and artists even if symbolic amount
Some small scale venues can open doors to other partners – universities into research departments, youth groups, social services etc
Importance of providing space for experimentation – free or subsidized
Potential of storage for props and holding space during period of devising work or between touring?

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