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Getting Through The Cracks – A few added extras

Take a look below at the collated information from ‘Getting Through The Cracks’ on the 19th Nov, 26th Nov and 3rd Dec 2020. The recordings for each week can be found here.

19th November

Panellists and organisations:

Nikki Sved (Artistic Director at Theatre Alibi)

Henrik Köhler (CEO of Teatercentrum)

Monique Corvers (Artistic Director of Het Filiaal theatermakers)

and moderated by Erin Walcon (Lecturer at Exeter University, Co-director & co-founder of Doorstep Arts, Member of the board at Theatre Alibi).


Uncancellable Show:

The ‘Down to Earth’ animation by Theatre Alibi

Greenhouse programme for playwrights in Denmark:

Schemes for playwrights in the UK:
Imaginate support a number of writers through their creative development programme through Accelerator and Launchpad.

Theatr Iolo carry out a bi-ennial new writing call out for scripts for shows for children, and support at least 4 new scripts every other year:

Schemes for playwrights internationally:
Young People’s Theatre Toronto has a few programmes every year to support new writing, and now they’re opening some of their programmes to artists globally:

The Arts Backpack UK:

Arts council grants for artists:
*Round 9 will open for applications w/c 21 December. Dates for future rounds in 2021 will be updated on this page soon.


New Victory research reveals the impact of live performing arts on kids:


From Vicky Ireland:
‘At ACA we are piloting the Arts Backpack Uk to mirror the Danish suitcase. Please get in touch to know more’:
Action for Children’s Arts www.childrensarts.org.uk
Arts Backpack UK: https://www.childrensarts.org.uk/campaign/the-arts-backpack-uk/

From Rachel Barnett-Jones:
‘I wonder if an organisation like PYA-UK could set up a matching system between emerging artists and the more established ones. I know I’d be happy to offer some time to mentor emerging artists through writing their first ACE applications, for example…’


What do you guys do to develop new writing for young audiences – any schemes or incentives? – Grant Corr

Do the panellists think this time has allowed them to form deeper links with their own immediate local communities and if so what have these benefits highlighted? – Noel Jordan

Do you think that this pandemic will change the way in which we experience theatre? Will we move away from big scale productions in big venues and move into smaller scale productions? A higher focus on going into schools etc.? Or do you think people will still want the large scale experiences? Could this be a time to exploit the fact that everything may have to be performed on a smaller community scale? – Hannah Simmonds

What advice would the panel give to people looking to break into the theatrical industry, despite the current climate and it all seeming rather bleak – Eloise Mace
What role does, or could, theatre have in children’s recovery from this period of intense change and collective trauma? What are the possibilities? What are our responsibilities (as theatre makers)? – Sarah Richardson

How do we break free of the echo chamber and speak to power about the benefits of Drama and Theatre for young people? How do make systemic change in the UK’s culture so that those in charge understand what we all know already, and as a result invest in creativity and hold it as central to young people’s education ? – Anne Mowbray

In relation to performing for young audiences: has there been a noticeable change in the way young people respond to theatre since COVID-19 became a tangible issue in your area? Does theatre seem to make them more excited or hopeful, or do they seem nervous and quieter than usual? – Lee Lea-Paul

Is there somewhere that lists these ‘best practices’ that are happening (such as cultural suitcases) across Europe and the world? – Alex Kanefsky

There are increasing calls for wider perspectives and a more diverse curriculum in UK schools from teachers and headteachers. Is this also the case in Denmark and the Netherlands? How do the panel think theatre makers can support teachers who are pushing for a wider exploration of experience and identity in the classroom? – Alex Brown

“Just wondering outloud about the creation of new work right now, particualrly new work for young audiences and how we can support one another in that… Particualrly thinking about programming and risk taking, for example, not only taking on shows for families that are adaptations, but also shows that take on ‘trikier’ subjects… And, the importance of theatre’s recovery in that – so that conversations can be had live and IRL rather than in the big wide digital world… Splurge over – cheers for today!” – Josie Dale-Jones

I love that suggestion, that the work in itself brings hope, and it resonates for me as an adult, too. That sense that you can make something and communicate something is itself hopeful. Thank you for this (hopeful) conversation. – Cathy Turner

26th November

Panellists and organisations:

Erica Van De Kerkhof (Education at Artemis)

Heidi Vaughan (Artistic Director & Joint CEO of Travelling Light) https://www.travellinglighttheatre.org.uk/

Dr Elaine Faull (Exeter University, Researcher at Theatre Alibi)

and moderated by ERIN WALCON (Lecturer at Exeter University, Co-director & co-founder of Doorstep Arts, Member of the board at Theatre Alibi).


Theater Artemis – ‘Not Yet Discovered Animal’ performance: https://artemis.nl/en/art-projects/thee-day-performance/

Book recommendation by Erica Van De Kerkhof:
“This book almost wasn’t written” written by Hester van Hasselt, based on interviews with Jetse Batelaan, published by De Nieuwe Toneelbibliotheek.

Article and Chapter by Dr Elaine Faull:
Look out for a ‘short’ chapter on memory of a performance which will be published in the Routledge Companion to Audiences and Performance in Spring 2021.

Article by Dr Elaine Faull  –  ‘I don’t have nightmares anymore’ –  Exposure to arts and culture as a way of alleviating emotional distress in children:

Article by Dr Elaine Faull


Hi! I have a question about content. We spoke about asking teachers what they want. However, how do we separate theatre and its impact on young audiences from hard-core education and the work a theatre does as being just another addition to the curriculum? – Sarah Samuel

Those of us who work in schools will know that there are always schools who will not engage with theatre / arts activity. Does the panel think that the experiences of the pandemic will result in these schools being more willing to engage, or, if they don’t, how do we persuade them of the importance of our work? – Lisa Hudson

How do you grapple with the double-speak required to sell ideas to adults/headteachers etc when, as Elaine has described so well, your audience predominantly is the children sitting on the floor? – Pippa Marriott

I’m struck by the innovative way that artists deal with uncertainty, holding to integrity while also being pragmatic and entrepreneurial and I think Heidi and Erica have begun to articulate a language that deals with that and doesn’t set the pragmatic in opposition to the artistic vision, quality against quantity. I wondered whether Elaine can talk about the challenge of communicating this way of thinking about an uncertain future to authorities invested in a language of quality and quantity? – Cathy Turner

Hi, building on Cathy’s question above, a question for Elaine, how would she present her quantitative evidence to a school leader who is interested in hearing about curriculum specific outcomes? – Michael Judge

3rd December

Panellists and organisations:

With Boomer Stacey (Executive Director of IPAY and PACT)

Peter Higgin (Director of Enrichment and Joint CEO at Punchdrunk) https://www.punchdrunk.org.uk/

Pamela Walker (Imaginate senior producer)

Anna Derricourt (Theatre in Schools Scotland, co-panellist)

and moderated by ERIN WALCON (Lecturer at Exeter University, Co-director & co-founder of Doorstep Arts, Member of the board at Theatre Alibi).


Theatre in Schools Scotland performance ‘Potato needs a bath’:

Various Imaginate projects:

The Punchdrunk Learning Collective

Punchdrunk’s Teacher-led work:


‘A Show exchange scheme where one company teaches their show to another (similar size/ style) company who are local to the festival (and vice versa) would be a really interesting way of lessening environmental and economic impact whilst also being a really exciting development opportunity from companies to learn from each other. Does this exist already?’ – Tamsin Fessey


Hi (I’m a student from Exeter University). Quite a general question – what would you say is the most important thing that we should take moving forward from the pandemic? What have we learnt which is useful or innovative for future practice? – Hannah Giles

Some provocations – Isnt it too much of accessibility for open audience when everything is on internet now for free? Wouldn’t it devalue arts, theater, proving that arts do not cost, that all culture should be available for free? – Birute Baneviciute

Great conversation. Thanks so much. Love to hear about how are you dealing with providing content of impact and inspiration to those families and schools who do not have digital access or lack the devices to access virtual programming? – Peter Brosius

Pamela, would you share some of the ideas you’ve got around environmental sustainability? Rural audiences can be small and I have a fear that because numbers are small they won’t get the ‘production’ experiences of other places with larger audiences. – Mair George

Everything Boomer said in terms of access and gatekeepers is spot on, opportunities need to be open to everyone at every level (and there is so much work to do here as you’ve already mentioned).I guess I also wonder how – when and if you’ve managed to be part of a festival or showcase through an open submission – the process of the festival itself and the reasons behind it (often to book a show, for example) can reflect that change to support programmers and artists… – Josie Dale-Jones