I was invited to Live last year to lead an Open Space on the 40th anniversary celebrations. Some amazing suggestions came up as possibilities, many of which you’ll have seen already this year. One of them was this – a cast of Youth Theatre and professional performers, creating a show, in a week, in Open Space, to celebrate the forty years of Live – and its future.
Open Space, more often used in business, allows a group to work together, welcoming everyone’s ideas, from the least experienced to the most, working on those ideas in one large group, several small ones, or individually, creating a great deal of work in a short space of time.
Since 10am on Saturday morning we have been making this show. When we say a play in a week, we mean it. There was no prep or pre-planning – there can’t be in Open Space, the facilitator can have no idea what will be suggested by the individuals in the group. We’re grateful to the theatre crew and tech team who have generously gone along the real seat-of-our-pants nature of this work.
At its best, Open Space exemplifies the truly egalitarian ideals that were part of the beginning of Live – work that is of the people, by the people, for the people. It allows for everyone in the room to have a voice, to not only be heard, but feel themselves to be heard. I admit, it is a harder way to work as a director and as a writer – but as one who believes in the power of the collective over the strength of a single vision – it is far more rewarding
That’s what we’re doing tonight. Sharing with you our collective dream of Live at 40. Some of it is ‘true’ history, some of it is imagined possibility, some of it is hope.
Join in and play, or sit back and watch, as takes your fancy.
Welcome to our party.
Stella Duffy and the Celebration company.