The issue is undeniable: there is a severe lack of established, working-class role models in the UK theatre industry.
Class is a subject that established artists are so rarely asked about in significant press interviews, and only recently is the importance of class diversity starting to be actively addressed in the UK theatre industry. This makes it incredibly difficult to learn of the class backgrounds of any established artists, and to therefore feel inspired by those from working-class origins forging revered, respected and sustained careers in theatre.
COMMON: CONVERSATIONS is COMMON’s answer to this.
A series of live hosted discussions and audience Q&A events with the UK’s most revered artists from working-class backgrounds currently working in theatre, alongside high-profile allies of class diversity, openly and honestly discussing their personal relationships with class and the impact this had, or continues to have, on their careers.
These events seek to re-write the past and uncover a generation of established artists from working-class backgrounds whose stories have not been told; who can become role models to working-class artists currently grafting to build sustainable careers, and lighting a beacon to working-class communities outside of the industry who may not believe theatre is open or accessible to them.
To maximise the reach of COMMON: CONVERSATIONS, each live event will be filmed by Digital Theatre.
Screenings will then be offered to regional theatres across the UK, featuring exclusive content, before being published on digitaltheatre.com and its multi award-winning education platform, digitaltheatreplus.com. Digital Theatre + reaches over 4 million students in secondary schools, colleges and universities in 65 countries.
All ticket buyers will also be offered a free month’s access to digitaltheatre.com.
In addition, the audience Q&A segments - which will include questions taken through social media platforms - will be released as a free-to-download COMMON podcast.
As part of our commitment to being inclusive and accessible, COMMON are introducing a Pay It Forward (PIF) ticket scheme to this initiative, where a select number of tickets will be donated to a different partner charity for each COMMON: CONVERSATIONS event.
COMMON are kindly asking individuals with the financial ability to pay for another ticket to do so by adding a PIF ticket to their booking alongside their own tickets. The generosity of those with the ability to pay for a PIF ticket will therefore enable individuals who otherwise wouldn’t have the financial ability to engage with COMMON: CONVERSATIONS to attend the events.
COMMON: CONVERSATIONS is an initiative developed by COMMON, delivered in partnership with Digital Theatre, English Touring Theatre and Stage Directors UK.