Actions speak louder
26 March 2018
Enough with the thoughts and hope: Naomi Obeng is challenging you to take direct action
Panel discussions are weird. I mean, they’re useful. They're informative. We get new information, a space to hear from experts and professionals. A chance to ask questions. I appreciate them.
But they’re also frustrating. I really didn’t want to go to this one. I’ve been to so many panels discussing ways in which things can change, and they haven’t, in my experience, ever led to much change.
First there’s that inevitable high where we feel like we can change the world. You’re nodding, agreeing under your breath, enthusiastically underlining words in your notes.
Then you step out and do one of a few things: i) you run to your next life appointment and forget all about the epiphany; ii) you realise you’re not exactly sure who "we" is, come to think of it, actually, shit…; iii) you remember that you don’t know what to actually do when you’ve finished talking about what to do.
What to actually do. I’ve never heard a straightforward answer about what actions can be taken. I get it, it’s really hard for a panellist to take responsibility for practical steps, but those are what we need.
You all made such beautiful and important and urgent points. Normally I would, in an article like this, "hope you continue to talk about them". But this time it’s different, I’m issuing you a challenge.
Noises Off is crowdsourcing your actions for change. Practical actions that can be implemented. Not "steps" "towards" "action", not "hopes". Actions. We want you, the visiting artists, Management Team, theatre-makers, anyone, everyone to extend the discussion by sending in actions that you can take in response to something that you want to change in theatre.
We'll make a list and we'll share it. Whether it's sending an email to a local theatre to start a dialogue, or making changes to obstacles in your university structures. Breaking new ground with your theatre company.
We will be gathering ideas and tweeting them, if you have any additional ones please get in touch.
Photo credit: Aenne Pallasca