Theatre has always been at the forefront of change, of evolution, reflecting the world around us, telling stories, providing warnings about human behaviour and aspirations of what the world could be. So in a world where everything is constantly evolving, why have our approaches to theatre not fundamentally changed in years?
We want to make theatre a living theatre. The traditional approach sees the creation of a piece: it’s written, it’s rehearsed, it’s performed, and everyone promptly forgets about it once the final review comes in. Until the next time it’s performed…then, rinse and repeat.
We don't believe in that. So here's what we DO believe in.
Our AlternativeTheatre principles:
Theatre isn’t only housed in buildings.
It’s not just for actors, or just limited to those with experience.
It’s not just for the theatregoers and academics.
It’s not restricted to those with money to spend, either on training or on tickets.
It’s not constrained by curriculums and boxes to tick.
It’s not elitist, or exclusive, reserved only for the few.
We think that there’s a better, an alternative way to creating theatre. A way that puts people at the heart, and focuses on a collaborative, participatory approach that takes away the pressure to reach an end goal. We work together on ideas, with everyone’s contributions encouraged and valued. When work is being created, everyone’s ideas are taken on board and everyone has a say in the direction.
We don’t see a piece of theatre as ever being “done”. Theatre should be ever-evolving, always revisited, always living, so that a piece of work never sees itself memorialised after its performance. We continue to revisit our creations, and the creations of others, mining them for new information, new insights, continuing to workshop, to use them as inspiration for more work, or to address those existing pieces in a new light.
Shaking up the process
We know that a “new” way of doing theatre might be met with resistance – whether that’s from actors, from audiences, or creators. And that might be for a number of reasons – protectionism, gatekeeping and beliefs about what things are and what theatre “should” be; because of self-preservation and keeping a level of ego and public image high; or simply because that’s the accepted way that it’s always been.
We do things a little differently – this isn’t focused on “performance”, or ego, or even talent – the way in which we approach theatre is based in learning, understanding and collaboration.
It might not be what people are used to, but the accepted creative process isn’t the only way.
Set aside what you already know, forget everything you’ve learnt before, and embrace a different way of doing things.
Our work isn’t just about talking about theatre, or how to create a play. It’s firmly rooted in how humanity exists and in how our minds operate. Our process draws on a variety of social arts (psychology, sociology, philosophy, history) as well as literature and theatre, so that we’re considering creativity in a holistic way...a human way.
Theatre for people, by people
AlternativeTheatre is inclusive. It’s different. It’s theatre for all.
We believe that theatre is for everyone, regardless of background, experience, wealth, location, or culture. Theatre is for people, and we want to create an authentic, inclusive community where theatre is celebrated, participated in, experimented with, and enjoyed by as many of those people as possible. Our theatre isn’t exclusive, and it has no egos. We are all humans in a room, and equally capable of creating theatre.
Traditional theatre wants the people to come to it. We want theatre to come to the people.
We want you to be a part of it, to experience theatre without pressure and without competition.
To create, collaborate and tell stories.
So whether you’re someone with theatre experience, someone whose last brush with theatre was at school, or someone who just wants to be a part of a creative community:
welcome to AlternativeTheatre.