Boundless Theatre announces We Will Probably Never Meet. With support from Bloomberg, We Will Probably Never Meet is the first project within the Delivering Differently programme, which ensures that young adults can continue to access invaluable cultural and creative experiences. Alongside this, Boundless renews its commitment to freelancers and emerging artists by supporting the Freelance Task Force and launches a fundraising drive to match fund support for a vital programme investing in young adults and artists.
Boundless Theatre, like many organisations in the theatre sector has had to radically overhaul budgets, ways of working and projects. Our autumn production of Flies by Charlotte Josephine has been postponed and our European project Extended Universe, co funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union will be extended to 2021.
Since March the lives of teenagers and young adults have changed dramatically following the closure of educational institutions, cultural and social spaces. This moment in time would normally be filled with rites-of-passage for many young people, and these are now being missed by a whole generation. With internships and work-experience falling through, missing out on vital early work experience has set this generation back enormously. Across the country, young people have been feeling lost, having been largely forgotten in this economic crisis. Previous periods of recession have shown that young people are the hardest hit over a longer period of time.
Taking the decision to continue our work and not furlough any member of the team as well as cutting overheads and diverting more resources in to creating additional activity for young people and support for freelancers has allowed us to start looking to the future. Over the summer we will launch our new project for 15-25 year olds in Bermondsey, Spalding, Peterborough and Oldham We Will Probably Never Meet, a new piece of telephone theatre created by artists Ryan Gilmartin and James Monaghan. This will be followed by a series of projects in which young people take control and deliver their own cultural projects as makers, leaders and innovators supported through crowd funding for our Future Now Fund.
Artistic Director of Boundless, Rob Drummer said today: ‘The theatre industry in the UK is threatened with total collapse and young and emerging artists and freelancers have seen existing and future job prospects disappear. Guided by our Advisory Group of 15-25 year olds we are maintaining what feels like a radical optimism and keeping our focus on delivering differently through these unprecedented times. As an organisation we are facing huge challenges but today I am proud of the entire team, our board and all of those in our extended family for their vision, resilience and passion to see more young people supported through access to culture and creativity. We aim to do more and are committed to seeing our work evolve and gain new relevance over the coming months as well as learning new ways to engage meaningfully with more young adults.’
We Will Probably Never Meet
Ryan Gilmartin & James Monaghan and Boundless Theatre
in association with Eastern Angles and Peshkar
Originally conceived through the Boundless Accelerator bursary programme in 2019, We Will Probably Never Meet is the second phase of this project's development. It will see teenagers from Bermondsey, South London (home to Boundless Theatre) and Spalding, Lincolnshire (Ryan's hometown) as well as teenagers in Peterborough and Oldham experiment together through a series of online workshops to explore how they can push the boundaries of what telephone theatre can be.
Over the summer, 20 young people will have a chance to get to know their peers in very different parts of the country as they work with Ryan and James to explore different ways of connecting with strangers through phone calls. This will lead to the trial of a new piece that takes strangers on a journey through an automated telephone system operated by young people.
The aim of the project is to create a template for an experience that can be replicated in different communities, with each performance being bespoke depending on the audience and artists' interactions.
Artist Ryan Gilmartin today said: ‘Coming from a rural, working class area my goal is to shine a spotlight on forgotten people & places. After our first phase one of the young people from Spalding reached out to me and said "that gave me the feeling that I had truly helped the person I spoke to & showed me the power I had as an individual to make change.” Me & my collaborator James are two rural working class kids, growing up you haven't got a National Theatre or a Royal Exchange on your doorstep, you've gotta drive two hours to see a gig. So I've been grateful from the start of working together that Boundless have really got that & they know how much this opportunity means to young people in Spalding & Bermondsey.’
Freelance Task Force
Boundless Theatre is one of over seventy arts organisations across the UK to support the creation of a Freelance Task Force that will see freelancers paid to meet for three months and feed directly in to various industry lobby’s aiming to sustain the sector. Working one day a week for three months from June the freelancer will be paid for their time working by Boundless Theatre and will be supported as required by the Boundless Team.
We work with a great number of freelancers and self-employed workers at Boundless, not just artists and performance makers but producers, graphic designers, video editors and even our Finance Manager. Some of these workers are just starting out and others have been working for a number of years. All are newly vulnerable as Covid-19 and the ensuring economic crisis ravages our industry.
For further information on the freelance task force, visit www.boundlesstheatre.org.uk