Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Interns and Architecting

We’re taking on an intern. This has worked well in the past, with both Wojtek and Roe being a huge help in the office and learning enough to move on in their chosen spheres. In fact, Wojtek went straight from us to being Administrator at Paines Plough. I think internships have to work in this way, as a genuine exchange, and they have to be a fixed term, allowing that exchange to happen. Otherwise it just turns into slave labour. We put something to this effect in the job ad. So I was a bit surprised on the morning of the interviews to get a very angry email from the first interviewee, saying that he wouldn’t be coming because he felt that unpaid work was morally unacceptable. He’s entitled to his opinion, of course – but I can’t really see why, under the circumstances, he applied for the job at all… Anyway, it puts me on my guard for the rest of the day, and I make sure that all the other interviewees are fully on board for the exchange, and that I am clear what they want to get from it.

I end up offering the internship to a young woman from Sweden, called Annika Magnberg. Annika did a dance training in Gothenburg, and is aware of Teater Eksem. She’s also got a band here, and has done lots of PR and the like. But, most important, she’s passionate about theatre and intercultural dialogue. And has the right sort of energy to be around our office for a few months. Good luck and welcome to her! She may well be writing the odd posting on this blog too.

Long and creative discussion with Gabrielle from Polygon. We’re both very pleased with the work we were able to do together on Origins, and want to continue the association. Some very interesting ideas about keeping Origins moving until the next festival through the education work, and for ways of building on the education aspects of the Trilogy. We’re thinking about linking workshops in China and the UK, so that the interculturalism becomes a direct part of the education work too.

I went to see Architecting at the Pit on Friday. It’s a piece about America’s failures to rebuild itself, after the Civil War and after Hurricane Katrina. The main resource it exploits for this is Gone With the Wind, both film, novel and cult – and it’s all done with wit and intelligence. So this is, in many ways, just the sort of theatre that excites me. But I wasn’t moved. The intellectual side took over so much that there wasn’t a real human engagement with the characters, and many of them weren’t very well acted either. There was a lot of engagement with technical possibilities too – but these also weren’t very elegantly done. Ideas alone aren’t enough – you’ve got to pull them off as well.

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