Key Observation

The impact of the pandemic – lockdown, shutdown of theatre buildings and cancellation of live performances. An enforced pause/stop to practice has left many feeling the need to question their practice. To allow time to reflect on what has gone before and decide whether those were useful or fulfilling ways of working. 

Questions / topics of conversation 

  • Imagining the future of theatre / performance in post-pandemic times – let’s talk about timescales and the impact to the sector that may be felt. Let’s look at worst case scenarios and begin to prepare for what may happen. What are venues/festivals thinking/planning for? Artists are out of the loop in those discussions.  
  • Articulating my/our values – how do we identify and articulate our values? Reflecting on how we live, what works and what doesn’t work. What is the work I want to do? What are the values I want to meet in the projects I work on and how can I make sure, in future, that I focus even more on the things that matter in the world?  What are our values as human beings? 
  • Looking at how we communicate our work – everything is so word based. In terms of explaining of what we want, we always have to put it into words. Sometimes that isn’t the best way of explaining something. 
  • Collaborating online / in lockdown successfully.  
  • How do we engage the entire sector: artists, arts workers, production staff, buildings, festivals, funders, & policy makers – in a review of the arts ecology in Scotland/ beyond? 
  • Are there tried and tested models that could allow for a less capitalistic/product-led practice for artists?  
  • How do we move beyond product-centred creative practice? What does success look like on our own terms? 
  • How can we develop practice that is more responsive? (I no longer want to make the work I fundraised for in 2019. The world is different now and so am I.) 
  • Peer to peer coaching in small groups of three. 


  • This is an incredibly hard point in all our lives. Many people have multiple pressures and personal concerns.
  • “We’re on a long-haul flight and we don’t know where we are going. I am finding it hard to pace where it is at. I want to know more from venues.” 

Collaborating online 

  • How do you develop new work online and stay creative with it? If you’re working on a number of projects, they all end up on this flat screen and start to morph into each other. How do you keep that delineation between things because you are not working physically? 
  • I really struggle to engage with the idea of theatre making in any other way, including thinking about development projects. 
  • To continue my practice, I would have to radically rethink everything that I have been doing. I can digitise those projects and compromise what I want to be making. It is hard trying to sit it out. 
  • Our main challenge is how we collaborate now? 
  • Not having captioned online opportunities has really enhanced my feeling of isolation.  
  • I will not suddenly pivot what I do. Pivot! 


  • It is like being in mourning. And just like when you are in mourning, you just find it difficult to focus on things. 
  • I really struggle to self-motivate in isolation.
  • I am goal orientated and I really struggle without something to work towards. 
  • I am used to having deadlines and find it hard when they aren’t there. I struggle not working to deadline. 
  • What is the future going to hold? How do I keep things going? Everything has stopped. 
  • Now that we can do that anytime, our motivation has just fallen off a cliff. 

Professional anxieties

  • There is this knowledge that the money is running out. What do you have to put in place for that time when the money runs out? 
  • I am anxious about not applying for things because I don’t know what the future is going to look like. 
  • At first, I felt it was easier to apply for stuff but when I didn’t get it the fall out was much stronger.  

Silver linings

  • Emma Jayne Park’s Daily Dancing 
  • Exercise: I never thought I would enjoy Lycra-clad people shouting at me!   
  • Gardening 
  • Cycling 
  • Listening to sounds of city 
  • Nature coming into urban spaces.