Tara Theatre’s Associate Director, Natasha Kathi-Chandra explains what is Constellations, what artists will get out of it, and what audiences can expect to see in the Constellations Showcase on 23-24 March.
What is Tara’s Theatre’s Constellation Residency?
Constellations is a 3 week program at Tara Theatre featuring 1 week of masterclasses by industry experts who have made waves in their fields and 2 weeks of paid time, space and resources to rehearse and develop an original idea at Tara Theatre.
What is the shape of the programme?
Taking place over February and March, the Constellations Residency includes 1 week of masterclasses taking place at Tara Theatre. Then the artists will embark on 2 weeks of paid research and development, applying the skills learned in the masterclasses to develop an original idea. Working closely with dedicated producers and with support from the Tara team, this will culminate in a public sharing taking place on 23-24 March 2023 with invited industry guests.
What is the inspiration behind it?
The Constellations Residency aims to address a gap in the industry that affects particularly theatre makers at an early to mid stage of their careers, particularly those who identify as South Asian or global majority. We are providing a safe and supported space for theatre makers to aim for the stars without the pressure of “getting it right”. This programme takes the pressure off of the artists, giving them an opportunity to experiment and even fail. Artists need more spaces to trial and fail, learn, grow and thrive, spaces to explore and experiment with their practice, and spaces to meet, create and network. The Constellations Residency is exactly that – a space where our experiences feel included, relatable, welcome and respected.
Why is artist development integral to our industry?
Artist development is integral to the evolution or some times even a revolution of our industry. Without artist development, our industry will stagnate. The playing field remains unequal with many people still not being able to afford or access formal routes of training to get into the industry – opportunity distribution and representation are changing but still have a long way to go- Artist development is important to providing this access and growth of skill, knowledge and confidence in order to thrive and navigate in a traditionally very competitive industry.
Why is it important for Tara Theatre to host these types of events?
Tara Theatre continues to be a hub and a home for artists to incubate ideas and experiment, network and connect with each other and establish a relationship with our venue. We are dedicated to expanding the canon of work by South Asian theatre makers and increasing exposure and representation across the board. We want to be the change we want to see, and so it is important for us to host these types of events.
Why should artists get involved?
Because you are part of the evolving industry and your voice is the future of this industry.
What can audiences expect to see and who is it for?
A showcase of new and experimental ideas ranging from writing, physical theatre, digital and or cabaret style work that the artists are trialling and testing out to an audience.
In addition to industry professionals, we’d love to see anyone interested in theatre and new work, young people, and local community groups. Engaging with bold new work in development can be an exciting way to be exposed to new ideas and experiences, making the experience of theatre more meaningful and thought-provoking.
Describe the project in 3 words:
Playful, experimental, nourishing.
What are you most looking forward to about the event?
I’m excited about meeting different theatre makers and seeing their journey from idea to showcase.