Arcola Conversations - Arcola Theatre
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Arcola Conversations

Arcola’s new series of free, online discussions, #ArcolaConversations, provide a chance to reconnect with the community, explore big ideas and imagine the future together at this time of historic upheaval.

Each hour-long conversation grapples with a big and vital issue. One or more visiting speakers will share their perspective, followed by an open discussion. Everybody is welcome to contribute their thoughts, or just to listen in.

Register for each event you’d like to attend – there’s no limit or max capacity. You’ll receive a link to join the conversation via Zoom.


LGBT+ RIGHTS & QUEER CULTURE
PROTEST ACTIVISM THEN AND NOW
Saturday 27 February, 3pm

Marking LGBT+ History Month and the publication of his new book GLF at 50: The Art of Protest, Dan de la Motte discusses the art and activism of the Gay Liberation Front. How can their struggles inspire us to take action today? Dan is a performer, activist, researcher and presenter. He has appeared in shows with the Arcola Queer Collective including Qtopia, Fine and Dandy and They, Them, We, Us.


THE FUTURE OF THE ARTS
Monday 15 March, 7.30pm

On the anniversary of Arcola closing its doors due to Covid-19, hear from campaigners and join us for a discussion on the future of the arts. What impact has the pandemic, and the UK’s exit from the EU, had on our arts sector? What can we do to ensure it recovers fully and fairly – and how might it be different? 

Hear from Sally Beck Wippman (Freelancers Make Theatre Work), Giovanni Bienne (Equity, Chair of LGBT+ Committee), Lora Krasteva (Migrants in Theatre) and Mei Mac (Public Campaign for the Arts & Rising Waves).


YOUNG PEOPLE AND CHILDREN: OUR FUTURE, OUR HANDS
Thursday 1 April, 7.30pm

On the last day of the spring term, we consider the outlook for children and young people. What have been the impacts of the pandemic on their education and life chances? To protect their futures, what needs to happen now?

Hear from Assistant Headteacher Sarah Drummond, Immediate Theatre’s Projects Manager Nadya Bettioui, and multiple Youth Theatre members.


LETTERS TO THE EARTH
Thursday 15 April, 7.30pm

A week before Earth Day, theatre-maker and activist Kay Michael leads a discussion on the climate emergency and the Letters to the Earth project. How can we address our planet and the crisis it faces?

You can buy the Letters to the Earth book here, which brings together over 100 letters from people around the world.

#LettersToTheEarth.


THE GREAT BRITISH BREAK-UP?
Saturday 1 May, 7.30pm

On 1 May 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland were “United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain”. 314 years on, has Brexit and Covid laid the grounds for divorce? If the union were to break up, what would it mean, and how would we feel about it?

Hear from Dr Martin Farr, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary British History at Newcastle University; Caitlin Skinner, Artistic Director of Stellar Quines Theatre Company, an award-winning Scottish theatre company that celebrates the value and diversity of women and girls; and Brian Logan, Scottish Artistic Director of Camden People’s Theatre.


A FAIR SHARE?
Thursday 13 May, 7.30pm

The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities that were already severe. From the free school meals scandal to a proposed return to austerity policies, how can we understand the implications, and rebuild a fairer society?

We will be joined by writer and performer Mark Thomas and Executive Director of The Equality Trust Wanda Wyporska.


BLACK LIVES MATTER: HAVE ACTIONS MATCHED WORDS?
Tuesday 25 May, 7.30pm

On the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, join us for a discussion about combating racism. A year after individuals and organisations stood in solidarity against state violence, how much progress has really been made? What actions must now be taken to oppose racism and white supremacy in our communities, society and around the world?

We will be joined by: Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott; cultural theorist George Shire; and creative entrepreneur and author, Bea Udeh (Chair).


ACCESS DENIED?
Postponed. New dates to be announced soon.

As society begins to ‘reopen’, what barriers remain? This discussion explores what venues operating with varying budgets can do to become more accessible and how visitors can ensure that their needs are being met.

Speakers to be announced soon.


MENTAL HEALTH DURING RECOVERY
Postponed. New dates to be announced soon.

Lockdown and the pandemic has taken a major toll on mental health. After being forced to adjust to a ‘new normal’, we will need to adjust again as society unlocks. How can we create a culture of care to support people and their mental health?

Speakers to be announced soon.


IS COVID TAKING WOMEN BACK TO THE 1950s?
Tuesday 22 June, 7.30pm

Seven in ten workers on the frontline of the pandemic are female. In the last year, more women have lost jobs, been furloughed and taken on unpaid care than men. Have women faced a disproportionate emotional and mental burden during the pandemic? Have we lost some of the gains made towards women’s liberation?

Speakers to be announced soon.


Become a Supporter

Since we announced our plans to build Arcola Outside last autumn, and our drive to raise £75,000 to make the project a reality, we have been humbled and amazed by the support we received from our community.

We’re thrilled to say that we have now raised over £70,000 of our target. Thank you so much.

If you haven’t already, you can sign up to support Arcola’s future plans for as little as £4.17 per month. Our supporters are invited to a series of monthly Supporter Zooms, with special guests and readings from our postponed 2020 season.

Make a donation

While Arcola Conversations are all free to attend, we invite you to make a one-off donation to ensure that we can continue to flourish into the future.


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