New models of programming in 2014
I am writing this blog from London where I’m seeing shows and having meetings. It’s a valuable experience meeting the people that run arts organisations both here and the USA. I’m getting a feel for the international landscape, narrative trends, new works, exciting artists and generally getting a sense of where QTC fits in terms of standards and quality.
My reading of the landscape is that QTC is on par with some of the best companies in the world. Production standards, quality of actors, marketing and administration are all similar or in some cases better. I think the areas QTC needs to improve is community engagement, diversity of artists and stories, and the quality of the writing of new work. All these initiatives take time and resources and I believe you will see a shift in the coming years as we recalibrate our programming to reflect these international trends.
We at QTC are already talking about new models of programming in 2014. We identify there are 4 parts of our business:
PRESENTATION – creating a subscription season for the audiences of the SE Corner
PRODUCTION – producing the works that go into Presentation, building sets and costumes, rehearsing shows etc
DEVELOPMENT – commissioning new works, developing artists, form, new audiences, community engagement etc
TOURING/FURTHER EXPLOITATION – including broadcast, publication, state, national and international touring
At the moment we spend most of our resources doing the Presentation and Production and relatively little on Development and Touring. We are looking at shifting this balance so that our Subscription Season costs us less through co-productions, buying-in acclaimed shows and programming more popular works. This might mean we produce fewer of our own shows and those we do produce would be built for a longer life of touring or extended seasons. This would free money to do longer term investments in new works and local artists.
I have seen this model working in many companies overseas and it does come with pitfalls, but I believe we must look at the level of investment in the work we make and the need to get a bigger return.
QTC is a world class company with great resources and I believe it’s time to reconfigure some priorities and shape the company to face the challenges of the 21st century.
Read other blog posts by Wesley here.