LONDON, October 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The Theatres Trust's 'thriving theatres' conference report is launched publically today at the international entertainment technology event, PLASA London. Written by playwright Fin Kennedy, the report provides valuable case studies and insight into some of the innovative capital solutions and local engagement strategies being adopted by theatres which are helping them to thrive in these challenging times.
'thriving theatres' was chaired by Vikki Heywood CBE and took place at the new St James Theatre in London on 11 June 2013 in front of a packed auditorium of delegates.
The report's author, Fin Kennedy said "The Theatres Trust's Conference 13 took place at a critical time just before the announcement of the 2013 Spending Review. For some 'thriving theatres' was still a question, for others it was a challenge to which they had risen. We also heard from those for whom it was a statement of fact. Encouragingly we heard from theatres reaching out to broker new connections with those around them. Those that were making a genuine, expansive effort to communities up and down the country were clearly thriving."
The conference looked at four main themes - creating the facilities for greater community engagement, the opportunities associated with 'Localism', theatres speaking up for their value as cultural and community assets in the planning system, and commercially focused capital developments that were helping theatres to be more financially resilient.
Key principles and conclusions from the day are highlighted in the report. These include recommendations that theatres should play an active part in their Local Enterprise Partnerships and Neighbourhood Forums and look to register as Assets of Community Value with their local authorities. The report also recommends that theatres find ways of influencing planning policy locally to harness the benefits of the Community Infrastructure Levy and to avoid being negatively affected by adjacent residential development which, following relaxation of planning regulations, doesn't require planning permission.
Looking forward to the Trust's Conference 14, its Director, Mhora Samuel says, "Localism and planning changes have had a major impact on the way theatres are valued in their communities. Whilst cuts in traditional funding routes are clearly affecting many theatres, there are those that are thriving through harnessing local opportunities which open up new channels to funding. There is also a sea change in the way communities are becoming more involved in providing and running their local theatres. Next year, on Monday 28 April 2014 in Leeds, Conference 14: Community Theatres will look at this very important development and hear from those championing theatres in our local communities."
Notes for Editors:
1. The Theatres Trust
The Theatres Trust is The National Advisory Public Body for theatres. The Trust was established by The Theatres Trust Act 1976 'to promote the better protection of theatres'. Our annual conference brings together theatre owners and managers and the theatre design industry to develop the debate on what makes a good theatre. Each year it addresses a different theme. We are a statutory consultee on theatre buildings in the planning system, we provide expert advice on the sustainable development of theatre buildings, and we help promote awareness and solutions for theatres at risk. We champion all theatres, historic, contemporary and new, in theatre use, in other uses or disused. Our central London Theatreland-based Resource Centre provides access to a specialist theatre building Reference Library including books and architectural plans. For more information: http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk
2. Fin Kennedy
Fin Kennedy's plays are regularly produced in the UK and around the world. He is also an acclaimed teacher of playwriting and community arts project manager, with a particular focus on young people's projects in London's East End. Since 2007 Fin has been writer-in-residence at Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets, where he is co-founder of Mulberry Theatre Company, for whom he has written five plays. Mehndi Night (2007), Stolen Secrets (2008), The Unravelling (2009), The Urban Girl's Guide To Camping (2010) and The Dream Collector (2013) which opens Mulberry's new on-site theatre in October 2013. In November 2013 he will be taking up his new role as co-Artistic Director of Tamasha, working alongside the company's co-founder Sudha Bhuchar for 18 months, before taking over in Spring 2015. Fin writes a well-read theatre industry blog at http://www.finkennedy.blogspot.co.uk about playwriting, teaching and arts politics. In 2013 Fin wrote In Battalions, an independent report about the effect of Arts Council cuts on new plays and playwriting in England. The report was a response to comments made to Fin by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, and is currently being widely circulated within the industry. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Conference 13: thriving theatres
Conference 13 looked at how theatres can thrive as commercial and community assets, build relationships, and develop the spaces and facilities to foster inclusion, sustainable communities and improve people's wellbeing. The conference also considered how theatres can create a more resilient future through using their buildings to achieve financial self-sufficiency through their estate and ownership of their theatres.
The conference was chaired by Vikki Heywood CBE. Keynote speakers: Ruth Mackenzie CBE and Baroness Hanham CBE, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, DCLG
thriving theatres was produced by The Theatres Trust
Conference Organiser: Angela Bond
Conference Reporter: Fin Kennedy
Sponsorship Consultant: Nicky Rowland
Production Manager: Andy Shewan
4. Thanks to our Sponsors
Conference 13 Report was sponsored by the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT). Our thanks go to our Conference 13 Sponsors: Charcoalblue Ltd, Clay Paky, ETC Ltd, Philips Entertainment, ShowTex, ABTT, Artifax, Audio Light Systems, Arup, State Automation, Unusual, Northern Light, GDS, Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design, Harlequin Floors, Theatre Project Consultants, White Light, Wigwam, Stage Electrics, The Society of Theatre Consultants, and St James Theatre. Our Media Partners were Lighting & Sound International and The Stage.
Images available upon request, to register your interest or to enquire further, contact:
Kate Carmichael on email@example.com
The Theatres Trust - Protecting theatres for everyone
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SOURCE The Theatres Trust