On March 29th, we will be hosting a celebration of 30 volumes of STUDIES IN THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE and a launch of the special issue, Vol 30, No 1, which centres on the AHRC funded project ‘Writing Space’.
This will be held at the University of Winchester, John Stripe Studios 1 and 2. Drinks and tea from 2.15, event starting at 2.30. To be over by 4.00.
The event will include short performances from Emma Bennett, Stacy Makishi and Philip Stanier, as well as contributions from Professor Peter Thomson as long-standing editor of the journal and from Cathy Turner, as editor of this special issue.
This issue focuses on a project that set out to explore an inclusive approach to working with theatre and performance writers. The issue contains performance texts by seven of the participating writers (Emma Bennett, Steve Waters, Tanya Ronder, Sarah Dickenson, Stacy Makishi, Claire MacDonald, Cathy Turner), essays by Steve Waters and Michael Pinchbeck and an interview with students, alongside wider-reaching articles about writing for contemporary performance from Cathy Turner, Claire MacDonald, Karen Juers-Munby, Mary Noonan and David Lane.
Please contact Cathy Turner if you would like to attend. The event is, of course, free, but we’d like to be prepared for numbers.
Parking and Travel: The University is a 10 minute walk from Winchester rail station. Winchester is about a 60 minute train ride from Waterloo with two to four trains per hour. There are also easy connections by road and rail to Southampton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Reading, Oxford and Birmingham. Visitors’ permits will be available. Maps found at http://www.winchester.ac.uk/?Page=3023
Writing Space will be the subject of a special 30th issue of Studies in Theatre and Performance in early 2010, edited by Cathy Turner.
The issue will contain texts written for the project alongside additional material. The aim is to focus a discussion about encounters with a diversity of writing practices and processes and the possibility for dialogue across an expanded field.
I hope that the issue will offer ways into discussing formal experimentation that can engage researchers and students interested in a diversity of practices, proposing a ‘radical inclusivity’ (MacDonald 2007) as it attempts to demonstrate and facilitate a productive, rigorous yet generous dialogue between those interested in ‘playwriting’, those in ‘performance writing’ and those whose artistic practice involves, but is not identified primarily with writing.
Expected contributors include: Emma Bennett, Sarah Dickenson, Karen Juers-Munby, David Lane, Claire MacDonald, Stacy Makishi, Mary Noonan, Michael Pinchbeck, Tanya Ronder, Cathy Turner, Steve Waters
Cathy gave a paper at ‘Writing Encounters’, York St. John University, Sept 11-14 2008, entitled ‘Something to Glance Off: Writing Space’. This paper discussed the project in relation to wider issues concerning the importance of dialogue, networks and collaboration in the development of new writing.
Writing Space aims to develop new models towards the development of writing and writers across an expanded field of theatre and performance.
Writing Space aims to be ‘radically inclusive’ (MacDonald, 2007), by which we mean it hopes to facilitate dialogue between performance and theatre artists whose writing practices are based across different genres, media, methodologies, artistic roles, performance traditions, geographies, ethnicities, politics, constituencies. All projects take as their hypothesis that such differences may be the source of inspiration and insight, leading to a cross-fertilisation of ideas and practices, or simply to new perspectives on existing ones.
Writing Space will operate as a series of linked research projects, each of which has a different focus. All will hope to encourage conceptual and formal risk-taking, whatever that might mean for the individual artist. Projects will involve curating and commissioning new work, alongside critical reflection and dissemination of the research through academic and arts organisations.
The first Writing Space project has just been completed. It was run in association with thespacebetweenwords and Writernet and was funded by the AHRC, with a small research grant under the practice-led and applied research scheme. The writers involved were Emma Bennett, Sarah Dickenson, Claire MacDonald, Stacy Makishi, Michael Pinchbeck, Tanya Ronder, Cathy Turner and Steve Waters. First year students on the Performing Arts Dramaturgy module were also involved in performing and discussing new work.