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How can experimentation be funded?

Issue: Can experimentation be funded?

Convener(s): Rhiannon Prytherch and Angela Truby (Sustained Magic)

Dominic Shaw – Urban Angel
Georgia and leon (Coruscale)

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

What do we mean by experimentation? It’s not just experimental theatre but experimenting with how you create a piece of theatre any piece of theatre and experimentation should be embraced by all. No easy routes to the stage!!!
We can fund experimental theatre but we have to often be more creative about that, so fund yourselves cleverly, think bigger and look for opportunities in unlikely places. Look in several places for funding.
Tick boxes can be off putting and limiting but there are ways round them as artists they appear limiting and can be BUT there are orgs that enable experimentation e.g. universities.
A track record is really important and a balance of proven ability because the outcomes of experimentation can be unclear or undefined.
Experimentation by its very nature can fail – is that fundable? But without that process we would not have some of the great works and practitioners of the last 150 years.
It’s managing risk and still being true to your artistic vision.

Things we want from experimentation:
Peer review
audience feedback
development of the art form
development of the artist
organic development

The debate still feels like it’s traditional vs experimental. We feel the arts council supports experimental but audiences and traditional theatres don’t.
It’s great that ACE will support experimental stuff but how do you frame it in the bid? We need clear and defined steps in the process.
It’s really important the, whole group felt ,for the work NEVER to be compromised by the funding application!!

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