Kaleieder is a new organisation which will deliver an artistic and cultural programme for Exeter often in unconventional places for audiences who may not regularly attend theatres. We asked Kaleider's Artistic Director Seth Honnor to tell us a bit more...
In October I wrote an open invitation to discuss setting up a new company for the production of performance in Exeter. You can read that invitation here: Is it desirable or plausible to have a non-building-based producing theatre in Exeter and if it existed what could we do with it that we couldn’t do without?
The attendance and positive response from Exeter’s performance community represented at that meeting was really encouraging. Since that time there have been many more conversations with many more people that have shaped the company now named Kaleider.
Kaleider was successful in securing University of Exeter support followed by Strategic Investment from Arts Council England to deliver a programme of work over the next 3 years for Exeter. So there will be lots of people, particularly in Exeter, wondering what we’re going to do.
Because of the newness of Kaleider the reality is there’s a lot of back-room activity to get the company up and running and we would fall flat on our faces if we tried to deliver a programme too soon. That said three years isn’t that long and we’re working as hard as we can to ensure Kaleider can begin to deliver as soon as possible.
One of our first tasks is to employ a General Manager who can set up and manage the company really really well. This will be a brilliant job for the right person and if it could be you or you know someone who might be interested please encourage them to apply - we want to be persuaded. We care a lot about getting the right person for this role. You can read and download the recruitment information here.
We’re at the beginning of an adventure and so there’s a lot we don’t know, but there is some stuff we do know and so I wanted to share that with anyone that’s interested:
What is Kaleider?
The name Kaleider is a mashup of “collider” (sort of obvious that bit) and the Ancient Greek for “beauty” and “form” (bit less obvious), and like all good names it describes our intention:
We want to bring people together who may not normally collide to create great new art.
And we think it’s important to name the context within which we’re doing it: ongoing fiscal crisis, the challenges of climate change, the end of the oil age and peak minerals.
Besides the activity of tripling the money we’ve been granted we will spend the next three years spending it on making new live performance in, with and for Exeter.
“In Exeter” means just that... although we might also tour and might do some work elsewhere too, but Exeter is our home. “With Exeter” means with as many artists and creatives and organisations and people as want to be involved and that we can sensibly manage into the projects we deliver. We’re up for lots of withness. “For Exeter” means that we’re interested in performance that reaches not just the 115k people who live here but also touches plenty of the 450k who live nearby.
We want more work to be made by Exeter artists so we’re collaborating with partners across the city to open up their spaces for the creation of new work.
Together with Exeter Northcott, University of Exeter and daisi (Devon Arts In Schools) we’ll recruit a company of young people from differing backgrounds and life experiences to create a new show. They’ll be involved in every aspect of making and putting on a new piece of work, and we’ll begin the process with absolutely no idea what we’re going to make, where, or for whom – we’ll decide everything together.
We want to support Exeter artists and companies to take risks. So every year we’re going to run a residency for 4 or 5 companies to work simultaneously across 4 or 5 venues in the city. The Kaleider team will work with the artists to find collaborators who will challenge their artistic practice. We might chose an academic, a designer, a director, a dancer, children, a scientist, another company, an engineer, a teacher… you get the point. There’ll be plenty of churn between companies throughout the residency and some great meals.
We will commission Exeter based artists/companies to produce new performances, and we’ll always work with an additional producing partner, often from outside the city.
We will work with existing and new presented programmes collaborating on programming where sharing our artistic vision can help open up opportunities and develop new audiences.
And we’re going to run a 3 year project alongside all of this. It’s called Ancient Sunlight and it’ll feed off and into all of Kaleider’s work throughout the next 3 years. The project will bring together engineers, scientists, technicians, performers, designers, young people, teachers, musicians, artists, writers, politicians, dramaturges, producers, and all sorts of people too layered and complex to name in a word here, to tackle the question “What would we do with the world’s last barrel of oil?” Over three years we will deliver hundreds of workshops with amateur mixed age and mixed ability groups to create performance. We will work with daisi to engage 1000 children from Exeter in the creation of performance. And all these elements will combine with a core performance team in a large-scale performance playing out a story across Exeter over 4 days in 2015
We are just at the beginning. But we got to the beginning through generous partnership and collaboration not least from Theatre Alibi, Exeter Northcott, Exeter Phoenix, University of Exeter, and daisi. We hope this will continue to broaden and deepen through delivery and as we go forward we will ask and re-ask the question “what can we do together that we couldn’t do apart?”
I promised back in October that we would hold more open meetings to talk together. We must and we will and I look forward to it with great excitement.
Who is “we”?
Artistic Director: Seth Honnor (@sethhonnor)
Executive Producer (through his role as Arts and Culture Manager at UoE): Dom Jinks (@domjinks)
General Manager: To be appointed
Producer: Emily Williams (@EmilyBronwen)
Producer: Monique Luckman (@MAluckman)
Executive Management: Jan Winter
Board of Directors: To be appointed
Kaleider is supported by Arts Council England and University of Exeter.