This_Is_Tomorrow

This_Is_Tomorrow is a three year Arts Council ‘seed funded’ programme led by Warwick Arts Centre, setting out to generate new artistic ideas through artist and academic collaborations.

Warwick Arts Centre is in the unique position of being located in one of the world’s leading academic research intensive universities on the one hand (the University of Warwick), and at the heart of a network of UK and international artists on the other. The aim is to explore and illuminate contemporary thinking and research about the human condition and key issues that face humanity and society across a range of science, social science and humanities subjects.

Now in its second year, residencies for This_Is_Tomorrow have consisted of retreats with the departments of Physics, Maths, Economics, Law, Warwick Business School, Warwick Manufacturing Group and Sociology. Artists participating have included playwrights Alecky Blythe and Rebecca Lenkiewicz, performance artists Chris Goode and Michelle Brown, choreographer Charlotte Vincent, composer Dan Jones, musician Robin Rimbaud and children’s theatre specialist Sue Buckmaster.

Matt Trueman (The Guardian) joined us for the 2013 residency:
“this_is_tomorrow was, hands down, the most challenging and charming week I have had in years. It was brow-bending in its ideas and heartwarming in its spirit. Sitting slightly astride the process, as someone documenting it by joining in, the week serves both parties rather brilliantly. The artists meet ideas and perspectives they wouldn’t otherwise encounter. In turn they ask questions and offer perspectives that the academics wouldn’t otherwise encounter. They also work like bumblebees, cross-pollinating between departments: ‘Oh, you should talk to physicist A or sociologist B.’ It doesn’t all connect – how could it? – but in those instances that it did, the result was an extraordinary current between both parties. It was a privilege to be involved.”
Read Matt’s article for The Guardian about the programme here.
And read his daily blog posts during the 2013 week here.

Bank On It

Bank On It

In 2012 Sue Buckmaster took part in our pilot residency, from this her company produced Bank On It, drawing inspiration from economics to create site-specific theatre for young people about value.

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In 2012 Sue Buckmaster took part in our pilot residency, from this her company produced Bank On It, drawing inspiration from economics to create site-specific theatre for young people about value. Co-commissioned by Theatre-Rites, the Barbican and CREATE, in association with Warwick Arts Centre and the Economics Department of the University of Warwick, Bank On It was presented in London in June/July and then in Coventry in October/November 2013.

Audiences were invited to explore the secrets of a very unusual bank in this exciting site-specific, promenade experience for children aged 5+ and their accompanying adults. Fun, beautiful and thought provoking; the piece explored the resources that money can and cannot buy.

“Theatre-Rites, a company of genuine originality and flair” The Guardian

“Rich in humour and humanity” The Telegraph

“A delightful, stunningly visually inventive show. Worth every penny” Time Out

“Engagingly performed by the cast, this is an astute, and often beautiful show” The Financial Times

Matt Trueman (The Guardian) wrote a wonderful article about the production, read it here.

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Confirmation

Confirmation

Confirmation is an exciting new solo piece from award-winning writer / performer Chris Thorpe working in collaboration with Rachel Chavkin of acclaimed New York theatre company, The TEAM.

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Confirmation is an exciting new solo piece from award-winning writer / performer Chris Thorpe working in collaboration with Rachel Chavkin of acclaimed New York theatre company, The TEAM.
Working with research into the phenomenon of confirmation bias, and a conversation with political extremism, Confirmation is an attempt to have an honorable dialogue, real and imagined, across that gulf. Not to debate the viewpoints, but to find out how we come to believe what we believe, and how, from a common starting point, we can end up so far apart.

As well as an ongoing conversation with various individuals on the far right, Chris spent a week at Warwick meeting a range of academics from Sociology, Psychology, PAIS, WMS, Law, WBS, Economics, and History – all of which proved invaluable.
Along the way we have submitted 2 successful Arts Council England funding bids and the show is currently co-commissioned by Warwick Arts Centre and Northern Stage. It premiered at Warwick Arts Centre in May before a 3-week run at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2014.

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The Paradise Project WEB.jpg

The Paradise Project

The Paradise Project seeks to respond to the very idea of Paradise, and the human need to invent such a concept.

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The Paradise Project seeks to respond to the very idea of Paradise, and the human need to invent such a concept. It explores the differences between heavenly paradise and earthly utopia and asks what would be paradise to us as people now.

Following the internationally successful theatre piece What I Heard About the World, and the durational performance and online research project StoryMap, Third Angel (UK) and Mala Voadora (Lisbon) are collaborating for a second time and spent a week at Warwick working with academics from Psychology, Maths, CIM, Sociology and History.

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Coull Quartet

Joe Cutler/The Coull Quartet

Commissioned by the University to compose a piece for the Coull Quartet (in residence at Warwick for many years) to celebrate the 50th Anniversary.

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Commissioned by the University to compose a piece for the Coull Quartet (in residence at Warwick for many years) to celebrate the 50th Anniversary, Joe Cutler was in residence at Warwick for a week in Feb 2014. Joe took the question ‘What is a University?’ as the starting point for a series of fascination conversations with academics from Physics, Sociology, Economics, WMG, WMS, Maths and Social Sciences as well as staff from Estates and University House. Joe also spent some time with the World@Warwick group to reflect on the Universities increasingly international profile.

The piece is due to premiere in 2015 and we look forward to seeing what Joe makes of the whole experience…

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Major Tom

Hair Peace

In autumn 2013 Warwick Arts Centre began work on a project by the wonderful Victoria Melody – a kind of live-art/theatre* Louis Theroux* who makes really interesting work about her time embedded in various groups/tribes around the UK.

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In autumn 2013 Warwick Arts Centre began work on a project by the wonderful Victoria Melody – a kind of live-art/theatre* Louis Theroux* who makes really interesting work about her time embedded in various groups/tribes around the UK.

The show will explore an interest Vic has developed in the global trade in human hair. In her own words:
“I make one-woman theatrical shows, performance interventions and films about England’s pastimes, passions and tribes. I immerse myself into communities and become a participant. In the past I have become a pigeon racer, a northern soul dancer and more recently a championship dog handler and a beauty queen.
During my reign as Mrs Brighton a hairdresser gave me real human hair extensions. This prompted me to ask where the hair had come from, the hairdresser didn’t know. Last year HM Revenue and Customs recorded more than £38m worth of human hair entering the country. Right now obtaining that high maintenance preened and pruned and big haired “The Only Way is Essex look” is big business in the UK. But then why is there little or no information about where and who the hair comes from and if it is ethical? I plan to trace the hair on my head back to the person who grew it and to start a cross-cultural conversation.”

Vic’s initial week at Warwick saw her spending time with academics in PAIS, History, Biology, Sociology, Physics and Key Forensic Services over on the Science Park.

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8. Early Days (of a better nation), image by Ryoko Uyama.jpeg

Early Days (of a better nation)

This new show from theatre mavericks Coney is a response to the political turbulence of recent years where new forms of citizenship, protest and participation have taken centre stage in broadcast and social media.

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This new show from theatre mavericks Coney is a response to the political turbulence of recent years where new forms of citizenship, protest and participation have taken centre stage in broadcast and social media. With a dynamic combination of theatre and a playing audience, Early Days (of a better nation) explores the possibilities of nationhood and democracy in a political game of unintended consequences.
Following an exciting period of research and development with academics from Warwick University (PAIS, History, WBS, Maths, Centre for Studies in Democratization) Coney have been working together to understand the variety of world-views that inform the world we live in, weaving these ideas in the narrative and structure of an interactive show.

The show is co-commissioned by Warwick Arts Centre, National Theatre Wales and Battersea Arts Centre with production development supported from University of Warwick and the Cultural Institute at King’s College London.

It is not yet known what other outcomes of this initiative there might be. One thing is for certain, this is an exciting time for the artists involved, the academic community and Warwick Arts Centre as it embarks on a brand new phase of igniting ideas and commissioning works that will resonate with the world today. Watch this space!

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From the Start until The End (working title)

Dan Jones is currently working with Warwick Arts Centre to develop a music/sound installation for Cathedrals that grew out of his time on campus.

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Dan Jones is currently working with Warwick Arts Centre to develop a music/sound installation for Cathedrals that grew out of his time on campus.

Seven Small Airships float in a cathedral Nave producing recorded voices which converse with each other between musical interludes. The voices will form an ever changing conversation about the beginning and the end of things, the limits of the time or space in which something exists. It is a reflection on start and end points, of beginnings and endings.
The voices in the conversation will emanate from different autonomously controlled balloons which move slowly through the central space (nave) of a Cathedral, opening up an airborne acoustic landscape around the listeners below, different points of the conversation echoing across the space.

This project is very much ongoing, to date Dan has been working with academics from WMS, Physics and WMG and through WMS Dan spent a few days working with staff in hospices in Stratford and Birmingham. We hope to premier the piece in Coventry Cathedral before exploring it’s potential to tour the international festival circuit.

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Kingscliffe Waste Watchers

Alecky Blythe is a playwright who, with her company Recorded Delivery has pioneered an innovative verbatim technique, originally created by Anna Deavere Smith. Deavere Smith was the first to combine the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance.

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Alecky Blythe is a playwright who, with her company Recorded Delivery has pioneered an innovative verbatim technique, originally created by Anna Deavere Smith. Deavere Smith was the first to combine the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance.

Blythe was inspired by a conversation with Prof. George Rowlands to write a play contrasting the more “objective” view of nuclear power that a scientist might hold with the “subjective” view of a community who were facing the arrival of a low level nuclear waste dump near their homes.
There is still a great deal of interest in this project but (as is the nature of verbatim work) we are currently at the mercy of current affairs – watch this space…

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Artists in Residence 2014

Artist biographies to let you know a bit more about the fantastic talent taking part in this incredibly exciting pilot project.

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Camille O’Sullivan

When she sings it’s as though her breath is soaked in paraffin; one spark, and the whole room would ignite” Daily Telegraph

Born in London of a French mother and Irish father, Camille moved to Cork, Ireland when she was a child. Prior to running away with the ‘_Circus_’ ‘_The Famous Spiegeltent_’ and ‘La Clique’ touring the world, she took a circuitous route to becoming a performer. She studied Fine Art Painting for a year and then went to UCD and graduated as an Architect, winning the prestigious Architectural Association of Ireland Award in 2000. She lectured in University and exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy as a painter.

As much storyteller as singer, Camille has a respected international reputation for her interpretations of the songs of Jacques Brel, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Kurt Weill and shows a fearlessness in her work with her emotional intense performances. Chameleon like on stage, each song has a different character with its own story to tell and emotion to inhabit.

As an actress she has appeared in the films Over the Edge, November Afternoon (Director Once: John Carney). After being spotted by Ewan Bremner (Spud from Trainspotting) in La Clique, Camille appeared in the Oscar-nominated Mrs. Henderson Presents alongside Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins and Will Young directed by Stephen Frears. Theatrical productions include of One Night Stand, Tonight Lola Blau and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at the gate theatre, Dublin. She has been a special guest panelist several times on John Kelly’s arts programme The View (RTÉ One).

She recently toured with Shane McGowan and Sharon Shannon. She appeared in the Barbican alongside Jarvis Cocker, Mary Margaret O’Hara and a tribute to the music of Nick Drake performing with Martha Wainwright, Graham Coxon, Beth Orton, Harper Simon, Vashti Bunyan and Stuart Murdoch. She also performed recently at the Barbican tribute to Jacque Brel with Marc Almond, Diamanda Galas and Momus.

For a full biography please visit: http://www.camilleosullivan.com/

Tim Pears

Tim is the author of seven novels: In the Place of Fallen Leaves (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award), Wake Up, Blenheim Orchard, In a Land of Plenty (which was made into a ten-part BBC TV series), A Revolution of the Sun, Landed (shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2012 and the 2011 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, winner of the MJA Open Book Awards 2011) and Disputed Land.

Born in 1956, Tim grew up in Devon, left school at sixteen and had countless menial jobs before studying at the National Film and Television School. He has been Writer in Residence at Cheltenham Festival of Literature, and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, and has taught creative writing at Ruskin College and elsewhere.

In April 2012 Tim’s novel Landed was shortlisted for the prestigious IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, which recognises the highest quality literary writing published around the world.

Since 2011 Tim has been published in hardback by William Heinemann and in paperback by Windmill Books.

For a full biography please visit: http://www.timpears.com/

Tom Creed

From 2011-2013 Tom was Festival Director of Cork Midsummer Festival, one of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts festivals. He was nominated for an Irish Times Irish Theatre Award in 2012 “for original and dynamic use of local spaces at Cork Midsummer Festival”.

His extensive work as a director over the past ten years includes productions for the Abbey Theatre, Gate Theatre, Rough Magic, his own company Playgroup and a range of independent Irish companies, which have played in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the USA. He was nominated for Best Director at the Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2007.

Recent productions include extensive work in new writing, including Trade by Mark O’Halloran, which won* Best New Play* at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2011, and Shibari by Gary Duggan, at the Abbey Theatre as part of the 2012 Dublin Theatre Festival.

He has a first class honours BA In English and Philosophy from University College Cork. He has studied directing at the National Theatre Studio in London and the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, and has been a participant in the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme at Aldeburgh Music since 2010.

Forthcoming productions include Sondheim’s Into the Woods for the graduating acting students at Dublin’s Lir Academy, a new music theatre piece on the subject of famine by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy for the New York-based music ensemble Alarm Will Sound, and a new opera by Belgian composer Annelies van Parys inspired by Hitchcock’s film Rear Window, which will be produced by Musiektheater Transparant and tour extensively in Europe in 2015 and 2016.

For a full biography please visit: http://bit.ly/tomcreed

Christopher Haydon

Christopher is the Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre in London and was formerly an Associate Director at the Bush Theatre.

He studied at Cambridge University, and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, the National Theatre Studio and with Cicely Berry at the RSC. In 2007 he received both the inaugural Chichester Festival Theatre Heller Fellowship and the Channel Four Theatre Director’s Bursary at the Salisbury Playhouse.

Directing Credits include: Twelve Angry Men (Birmingham Rep and West End); Grounded (Gate Theatre/Traverse Theatre, Winner of a Fringe First Award); The Trojan Women, The Prophet, Wittenberg (Gate Theatre); Sixty Six Books, In The Beginning (Bush Theatre/Westminster Abbey); A Safe Harbour for Elizabeth Bishop (Southbank Centre); Pressure Drop starring Billy Bragg and his band (Welcome Collection); Deep Cut (Sherman Cymru/National Tour); Monsters (Arcola Theatre); A Number (Salisbury Playhouse); Grace (British Council/On Theatre, Theatre Du Poche, Brussels, Belgium); Notes from Underground (Arcola Theatre).

Christopher is also an award winning journalist and has written for: The Guardian, Financial Times, The New Statesman, The Independent, The Scotsman, and Prospect Magazine.

He is the co-editor of three books: Conversations on Religion, Conversations on Truth (both published by Continuum) and_ Identity and Identificiation_ (Black Dog/Wellcome Collection).

For a full biography visit: http://www.unitedagents.co.uk/christopher-haydon

Ruth Claxton

Ruth lives in Birmingham and works with a variety of media, in particular reconfiguring or altering pre-existing objects in order to create objects and installations which consider what it is to look, see or experience.

She has shown widely in the UK and internationally including solo shows at Site Santa FE (USA), Spike Island (Bristol, UK) and Ikon Gallery (UK). Other shows and projects include the Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Contemporary Art (China) Undone, Henry Moore Institute (Leeds, UK), Remake, Remodel (National Glass Centre, Sunderland UK), Wonders of Weston, Weston Supermare for Situations, The Figurine Dialogue, Crystal Palace, (Stockholm, Sweden), Known Unknowns, Gallery Loop (Seoul, Korea) and An Archaeology,_ Zabludowicz Collection_ (London, UK).

She is Associate director of Eastside Projects, a public gallery in Birmingham which is being imagined and organised by artists. Her work is in various public and private collections including the Arts Council Collection.

For a full biography please visit: http://www.ruthclaxton.info/

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