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A Living Experiment in Arts Funding

This marks the first live post of a living, breathing postgrad experiment.

In Summer, 2018, my play Hi! How Are You! How’s Your Sex Life is going on tour throughout the U.K. Fringe Festival circuit.

As a collective of four women graduating this program, we want to create expatriate theatre that still tells an American, female-driven story. Here’s how we plan to do it:

One woman in this collective is moving to London where there is a boatload of money for early-career theatre artists. Another woman is moving to Dublin and will also network and research Arts Council grants.

I will stay behind in NYC for the academic year and use my networking developments to fundraise in America alongside my fellow colleague.

We will apply for the Dublin Fringe Festival, which upon acceptance grants shows rehearsal space, which saves us a great deal of money.

I will move to Dublin in the Summer and from there we will find ways to rehearse and fundraise in ways that combine music and sketch comedy as a way of building our community and audience base. Anyone who graduates college can apply for a J-1 work visa that allows you to live in Dublin for a year after college and find work, therefore none of us will have an issue staying and picking up gigs as needed.

From there, we rent a van and travel. I have enough friends in Scotland after studying in the University of Edinburgh and we all have enough friends in London that we’ll be able to save on housing and focus on gas and parking money.

This is an experiment in the accessibility in arts funding for early-career theatre artists in the US vs. the U.K. This is also an experiment in how to gain exposure across three countries over the span of twelve months.

Something will inevitably succeed and fail, otherwise I wouldn’t call this an experiment. But I believe all theatre is an experiment if you are testing a new hypothesis, which I believe is inherent in collaboration and innovation.

So, comment your thoughts/questions/advice, or let me know if you would like to keep in touch as we see how this experiment unfolds.


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