Theatre in Wales

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National Theatre Wales’ Assembly programme is developing into a new, three-year programme of work called The Big Democracy Project which will explore how art and creativity can play a part in helping communities across Wales re-engage with the democratic process.

The company has been hosting Assemblies – debate and performance events, often proposed and always led by local communities, and voted for by the public – in locations across Wales since it was launched in 2009.

For the first year of the The Big Democracy Project, National Theatre Wales will work in north, south, mid and west Wales, hosting Assemblies as before, but focusing on how we can create the Wales we want, and examine local political issues with a national, or even global relevance.

The Big Democracy Project is supported by the Rayne Foundation.

National Theatre Wales has a four-point manifesto for its Big Democracy Project, which aims to...
ask big questions about our democracy;
help Wales imagine the future it wants;
make a real change to the lives of people in Wales and beyond; and
instigate action through art.

Each Assembly will include performances by local artists and debates among the audience on political issues, as proposed by the community.

Issues explored could include austerity measures, immigration, climate change, education, or questions that appear less frequently in the news. Crucially, the emphasis will be on action - what can each of the four communities do to move us closer to the Wales we want?

All four Assemblies will be streamed online, meaning a UK-wide and international audience will be able to follow and even engage with each conversation.

National Theatre Wales are inviting proposals from today for the first Assembly of the Big Democracy Project, to be held on 4th October 2014, in north Wales. The deadline for proposals is Sunday 10th August 2014. Full information including how to submit a proposal can be found at

Further details about the second and third year of the project will be made public later this year.

Creative Associate Gavin Porter said: “Almost everyone I know or speak to feels disillusioned, disengaged, disempowered by the state of our political system, and that it’s broken. I’m really interested in politics and our democratic process, yet the first time I voted was this year, 2014 (I’m 38). Personally, I often feel completely powerless and unable to do anything about the state of my community, my county, my planet. Hopefully, The Big Democracy Project will, in some way, enable me and others people to perform, debate and take action on issues that affect all of us.”

The company’s artistic director John McGrath said: “We're very excited to be launching the Big Democracy Project today. NTW has made its involvement with local issues a key part of our work since day one and this project allows us to build on this in a really exciting way. I hope that this will be the beginning of an invigorating conversation about how decisions get made today - and how we can all play our part.”
National Theatre Wales  
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Monday, July 21, 2014back



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