Visiting Arts, in partnership with the Dramatic Arts Centre of Iran, delivered a workshop focusing on the role of creative producers in theatre management to Iranian theatre artists from 27-31 January 2010. It was delivered in the context of the International Fadjr Theatre Festival, Iran’s main international theatre platform featuring work from Iranian and international theatre companies.
The workshop was delivered by a team of four trainers from the UK:
- Roger McCann, independent consultant and training co-ordinator
- Gavin Stride, artistic director Farnham Maltings
- Julie Ellen, director Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland
- Kate McGrath, director Fuel Theatre
The workshop was the second in a series for a cohort of artists who attended the Visiting Arts introduction to theatre management that was delivered in January 2009. Twelve Iranian artists who took part in 2009 joined us for this second workshop, which took them through the process of creatively producing a show from idea conception to realisation on stage.
Ideas for work were arrived at in collaboration with UK and Iranian artists who took part in the Contemporary Myths workshop that ran from 21-25 January 2010, the week before the producing workshop. Artists from Contemporary Myths joined the workshop group on the first day to share the experience and ideas that had come out of their five-day practice-sharing opportunity. The artists in the producing workshop then put these ideas to the test in a five-day process, going through the steps of what it would take to produce the idea as a stage play.
The workshop put both cultural groups through an intense learning experience. While the Iranian artists were offered a different perspective on theatre management, particularly the role of a producer which is a rare and undervalued position in the Iranian theatre world, the UK trainers were introduced to the context of theatre-making in Iran and were challenged to rethink the processes they used in the UK within a new cultural domain. The opportunities to see work in the evening after the workshop was invaluable to the UK training team in terms of their understanding of the landscape of theatre practice in Iran, and many new relationships were struck up.