Introducing our new touring scheme member, The Theatre Orchard

We are delighted to welcome The Theatre Orchard as a new touring scheme member.  The Theatre Orchard is a network of approximately 20 venues including pubs, community centres,  manor houses, village halls and outdoor spaces.  Working out of Bristol, The Theatre Orchard works largely in North Somerset.

Becky Chapman writes "We are at the beginning, so part of what we are doing is supporting the venues to take the first step in programming and training new venues to have the confidence to choose and promote work. We also helping them to see how working as a group provides practical and economic benefits. In November we worked with Farraows Creative to help them get them on top of things in terms of marketing and social media.

In 2012 we toured four shows: two weeks in June and September and two short weeks in November. This year we are about to tour a week of a In Cider Story, a new show for pubs, a week of Wild Girl to outdoor spaces and a week of music and story telling to village halls. We have started to build new partnerships with a few of the existing venues who are offering us rehearsal space in return for preview performances and with whom we want to work more deeply, bringing artists to work in residence in their spaces.

At the moment we are selecting work and working with venues to broaden audiences. Later tin 2013, we'll be working with Bristol Festival of Puppetry and aim to enable promoters to see puppetry that is outside their usual experience, to broaden their expectations of what puppetry can be and develop the confidence to advocate for that work. Alongside this activity we hope to be running training for play workers to train in puppetry skills to bring the art form into contacct with communities at a local level.

We would also like to enable our North Somerset volunteer base who work on our touring scheme, which is largely comprised of young, unemployed residents, to start to become more familiar with shows that are touring in the SW region so that again, they can become more informed and start to contribute to the programming of work in our area.

Go Sees in 2013 will enable venues to broaden their offer and local people to start building their knowledge and expertise in a wider range of performance. Our network is very new and there is scant history of touring work in North Somerset. Our touring scheme needs to experience diverse forms and staging of performance in order to develop bigger and broader audiences. Any opportunties for them to get out there and see first hand the great touring work available would be brilliant."

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