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York Theatre Royal Has A Vision
People who don't usually go to the theatre are being invited to join an advisory group that will have a say in planning and programming at York Theatre Royal. The Visionari scheme is targeting non-theatregoers as well as those who attend regularly or occasionally.

"The concept is that we invite our community to develop a key understanding of our work and the arts industry for them to then have an impact on the work we create and programme," explains Associate Producer John Tomlinson.

"One of the exciting challenges for us as an organisation with this is to engage those who don't necessarily go to the theatre to have an influence. We want to widely and openly invite non-theatregoers to take part. The more diverse this group is, the better."

The term Visionari is borrowed from Kilowatt Festival in Italy, one of the theatre's partners in the BeSpectACTive European project based on audience development.

The theatre is seeking an initial group of people aged 16 and over to be the first advisory programming group. They will spend a year learning about the theatre, why it exists and how it operates through ten workshops led by York Theatre Royal staff that will be based on topics about the hows and whys of theatre making.

Each session will take place prior to a performance, will be about one hour long and generally be on the first Wednesday of each month. Throughout the year group members will attend workshops and performances at the Theatre Royal and other theatres in the region.

Following the initial year they will become Visionari with the role of guiding, challenging and informing programming decisions at regular meetings.

John said: "We want our theatre to reflect our community and to ensure that its ideas and thoughts are deeply embedded in the work we make and present. The Visionari will be formed to reflect the diverse world in which we live and work. Over the coming years the group will be expanded to ensure that we genuinely reflect the wider community."

The initial commitment is for a minimum of two years. "To start with we are looking for 20 people who are regular, irregular and importantly non-theatre attenders from age of 16 and up. We will consider any applicant and would like to encourage those who feel that theatre isn't for them to come and get involved," he said.

Application forms are on the theatre website or available from the box office at the theatre in St Leonard's Place. Forms need to be submitted by Friday 29 September 2017. Shortlisted applications will be invited to attend an informal group interview. The first Visionari gathering will be in January 2018.

During their first year as Visionari will receive free York Theatre Royal membership.

More info, how to get involved and application details from here.

York Theatre Royal Has A Vision, 11th August 2017, 9:04 AM