Jack Chamberlain of Brick by Brick shares some insight from a recent Assemble Fest workshop.
I fondly remember the moment when I finally understood that running a great theatre company is also about running a great business. It’s a really fun business that produces ideas, imagination and performance instead of something less fun (like, say, socks), but it is a business all the same.
This year's Assemble Fest commissioned companies met on Saturday 15 April to have a chat with Alan Dix, theatre maker, board member of Hull Truck Theatre and all round nice guy. We talked about the next steps for our companies and made the most of Alan’s tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience.
Before the meeting I had often wondered what the next steps are for my own company. I am learning so much about creative processes, but I’ll admit that I too often shy away from learning more about the business side of things. And as we agreed on Saturday, it is a side that will only enhance the art that you create if you get it right.
We were each asked at the start of the workshop to write down one question that we really want to ask during the discussion. These questions shaped the discussion during the workshop and helped cater Alan’s advice to our needs as theatre makers. There were some definite recurring themes and ideas in some of these questions and I thought that was great. I feel that is has united us that little bit more as companies, and allowed us to talk openly about how we move ourselves forwards and ultimately create more art.
I think the most important thing that I took away from the session was to not be afraid of the next step. Whatever stage your company may be at, embracing the opportunities presented by the next step could be integral to the company's success, whether that involves applying for the next bit of funding or honing your direction that little bit more.
I’ve not been doing this whole theatre company thing all that long, but Alan and the other companies made me feel like I am making some real progress. I would just like to thank Alan again for his time on behalf of all the Assemble Fest companies. Cheers, Alan!
Co-Artistic Director of Brick by Brick