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"we can prepare for when the theatre doors come flying open"

We don't have to occupy the same physical space to be creative, argues Tooth and Sinew's Richard Hilliar, whose Theatre of Isolation is taking shape.

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Theatre of Isolation: Alone and All Together

Date: 25 Mar 2020

The theatre industry is currently struggling through uncharted waters. Nothing could have prepared us for the pandemic and we were powerless to prevent it.

Now there is a great deal of uncertainty, anxiety and even despair across the whole sector and with an impending lockdown and winter approaching it can seem like the future is unremittingly bleak.

However, we can still connect, we can still create and we can prepare for when the theatre doors come flying open.

Tooth and Sinew aims to facilitate networking opportunities, roundtables, readings and play developments throughout this uncertain period until the pandemic is under control. It will be operating under the banner of Theatre of Isolation.

While we cannot be in the same room we are all more than able to occupy the same creative space online. Using Zoom (a cloud-based video conferencing service), Tooth and Sinew will run regular sessions, multiple times a week, for creatives to stay limber, for new networks to be forged and for the development of professional skills.

What is most troubling for many artists at this time is the disappearance of opportunities. Though small, these sessions are an opportunity to show your expertise and potentially land future work.

For a taste:

Writers

We will immediately seek new scripts and works in development for online readings.

Writers in Australia often do not have the time or resources to run play developments or even hear their script aloud before it goes into production (if it ever does). Now we all have much more time to gather online to hear the work, offer constructive feedback and return at a later date to read through the next draft.

Will it then go into production? Who knows. But it will be far more ready to do so.

Actors

You can’t read a play without performers. Not only do these online sessions give actors the opportunity to practice their craft, it’s also an opportunity to meet their fellow performers, all of whom will be cast from the available expressions of interest, and have their work seen during a lockdown.

Explore a new script, a character you may not ever have the opportunity to play in a standard production, improve your skills in voice and textual analysis, form new networks and expand your reach.

Directors

Although initial sessions will be run by our resident director, once the process has become streamlined we are eager for EOIs from directors keen to hear a potential pitch script for 2021 aloud. Cast how you like, choose the most daring piece you can find. Get a deeper insight into the show you want to sell for next year.

Designers

We’re not sure yet! This one is a little trickier due to the form these meetings must necessarily take, but we have some ideas and are very keen to hear more.

Please get in touch and let us know how Theatre of Isolation could be of use to you.

Everyone

It’s not all readings, rehearsals and notes. We are aiming to facilitate roundtable discussions with established creatives on a range of subjects, including how to broaden your audience base, what a freelancer looks for when approached by a no-budget production and the direction theatre might take in 2021 and beyond.

It bears repeating: there is nothing to stop any of us from learning new skills and meeting future collaborators during the pandemic.

We always complain that we never have enough time to be the artist we truly want to be. Well, time is something we now have too much of now so let’s try and spend it usefully.

It goes without saying that these sessions and opportunities are free of charge. It’s a Zoom call, for heaven’s sake.

No one can deny that this is a dark time for the theatre industry but it need not be wholly bleak. When it feels like there are no opportunities left you have to make them and that is what we hope Theatre of Isolation can provide.

If you would like to learn more, contact us on the Tooth and Sinew Facebook page or toothandsinew@gmail.com

We’d love to hear from you.

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