An Update on Talawa Activity and Looking Ahead

Talawa after COVID-19 

Like everyone facing the COVID-19 pandemic, we postponed productions and work streams. We also chose to prioritise paying everyone for the duration of their contract despite the lock down and suspension of all activities. It was the right thing to do.

We then shifted our focus to the future.

  • Black British theatre artists and creatives remain at the heart of everything we do at Talawa

  • We've used the enforced hiatus to have one-to-one conversations with theatre artists and makers, host a virtual Talawa Café to offer our expertise, explore ideas, and share experiences, hopes and ambitions with artists and creatives.

    Our recent script call out received well over 100 scripts, affirming that Talawa remains the home for Black British artists. The stories are from artists unknown elsewhere in the industry and all demonstrate great depth and originality. We’re currently reading each and every one and reporting back to the writers with feedback, and offering support for further development.

    We’ve enhanced MAKE Online – an online home for Black theatre artists to help them build networks and connections to sustain them as they scale the forbidding cliff-face of the industry. We’ve also invested in our in-house CRM system and training staff to use it as a tool for audience development, evaluation and analysis.

    We are also contributing to industry wide feedback to DCMS and ACE about the post pandemic landscape of theatre.

    Coming up:

    We’re re-programming the Talawa Studio season for 2021 with an exciting mix of work from Talawa, our family of innovative and exciting Black artists, and guest productions from companies we collaborate with.

    We are also planning the revival of Run it Back, the production we hoped to open the Talawa Studio to audiences with in Spring 2020. We're working to secure a production of Archie Maddocks’ A Place for We with our friends at the Park Theatre. Talawa Firsts and TYPT will also bounce back in 2021, revived and richer, and showcasing some of the best, most innovative and exciting new work by emerging Black artists.

    We are also working on an exciting new co-production and festival of new work – of which more later …

    Watch this space for more. Stay safe and stay strong.

    Michael Buffong

    Artistic Director & CEO, Talawa Theatre Company

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