On the eve of the CGO Institute

Tomorrow morning, at 10am, 9 aspirational creative producers from four countries will gather in the clouds to start the first Diploma in Creative Producing as the doors open on the CGO Institute.  By the end of the first day of orientation they will have met 7 of our 20 Faculty, and we will have considered learning styles, assignments, mentors and placements.  In just 16 weeks they will all, I hope, move out into the world with some new skills, some new confidence in their own abilities, and some amazing new ideas and collaborations to take forward.

I moved into my new CGO Institute office over the weekend (well the big bedroom rather than the box room). I have staring down at me two framed pics comprising 13 of the first two cohorts that I worked with on the Mountview MA programme which I created in 2015.  A few have disappeared into their own worlds, but in the main I watch with continuing joy as they variously ‘Get Shit Done’ [quote credit EC 2015] and manage other people to make stuff happen. As ‘Dad’ looking at their faces I think of the good they are doing in Selladoor Worldwide, The Park and Donmar Theatres in London, for the global brand of C-o-n-t-a-c-t, Drag Kings, Solo women’s voices, the National Student Drama Festival, a new investment vehicle for challenging UK and international work, and the mid- scale creative companies of Breach, Lung, She Theatre companies and Barrel Organ. 

Tomorrow’s 9 producers will make work in many different territories, in many different forms, and begin that journey in the midst of the global pandemic which is bringing the theatre industry to its knees.  I guess the only way is up.  As a ‘glass half full’ being, I believe they can change the world. There are people all over the world to entertain, educate, inspire, and challenge.  And there is a new blending of live encounter and cloud-based interreactivity. Exciting times.

In the words of Ben Moor, wonderful solo play writer and actor, “I have more trees to climb” and so do they.

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