THERE IS NO WEALTH BUT THE COMMON WEALTH
Common Wealth are committed to non-theatre audiences and widening our audience from day one of our process on every project. We start with interviewing people and build a verbatim text, we ask about experiences, opinions, favourite songs. The sites we choose are as a result of us thinking about the cities/towns we’re working in and how the site is placed within the local community – who already uses it / has ownership of it and how we can include them in the making of the work. Because we’re site-specific and work thoroughly with artists we start our set build / rehearsal process as early as we can and have an open door policy throughout so anyone can pop their head in. We knock on neigbours doors, introduce ourselves, put flyers and posters in places that people go, we find it more useful to put flyers in a GP surgery than an arts centre.
Common Wealth work with cast and crews from all types of backgrounds – some have been working in theatre for years, others have never performed, others lend a hand with stage management or set design. In The Gurnos in Merthyr, we did one to one workshops, knowing we might lose people if they felt under pressure in a group. We always had something for people to do, to feel part of it – whether that was making signs, face painting or a quick writing exercise – just something to get on with so that next time we see them we could know them more.
Alongside our main shows, we make work in Markets, Mela’s, schools, city centres, public greens, basically anywhere that will have us, knowing that people might stumble across us in many different ways. We work extensively with local services and organisations, as they know the places we go best – Housing Associations, NHS, Council, Police, community groups and schools – all have been a massive help to us so far and we continue to look out. We present high-quality work with multi-disciplinary artists and are always seeking to push contemporary theatre practice further – in our experience non-theatre goers are interested in experimental work that engages relevant issues of our time. Please get in touch if you want to work with us in any way: email@example.com