Out on the Road with NOW THEN

April 11, 2014    

During February and March, The Future were out on the road (or rail if we’re going to be specific), delivering a series of our NOW THEN talks, meeting some of the North West’s finest students.

NOW THEN covers a variety of topics seeking to aid students in their post-university creative journeys; ranging from job opportunities and routes into the industry, key tips to secure funding and how to build a website.

We started at the University Of Salford, where we were met by a troupe of third year students, studying on a variety of creative courses, all whom had taken time out from final year project prep to attend.  It was great to hear about how active the students were in their extra curricular pursuit of chosen carers- a student radio presenter on Shock Radio, a collective of artists already planning ways of working together post university.

We then went onto UCLAN, and met a mix of second and third year students, housed in the modern, lego like “Media Factory”; a hive of activity- final edits being done in Mac computer suits and rehearsals in full swing.  We learned that the student’s focuses were really varied, ranging from comedy, voice and physical theatre. We made a real day of it, with the evening seeing both works from Lowri Evans and Nicki Hobday and Sara Cocker being presented at UCLAN’s Derelict Live platform, to a full and engaged audience.

The tour was tied up with a residency at Manchester Met’s performance campus in Crewe. This really exciting opportunity saw us takeover the ‘Open Space’ area; a gallery space and busy thoroughfare to the venue for two weeks. Armed with our laptops and trademark tea and biscuit offer we set-up an open office, inviting students to come and chat about their post University aspirations, concerns and creative quandaries. We also featured some lovely work by Clerke and Joy – they have a brilliant resource for students called Clerke and Joy’s Tips for the Real World (or, if you’re not crying you’re not doing it right) 

The space was brought further to life by Future artists Lowri and Nicki who brought in objects from their current shows and left tasks around the space for students to discover and respond to.

In support of our drive to inspire students to follow their creative hunches, we approached well-respected theatre makers and innovators to offer a snippet of advice to be exhibited. We were overwhelmed by the response, our ask received quotes from: Marina Abramović, Tim Crouch, Urusla Martinez, Hannah Jane Walker, Chris Thorpe, Richard Gregory, Melanie Wilson, Gob Squad, A Smith, Blast Theory, Tim Etchells, Stacy Mackishi, Bryony Kimmings, Lowri Evans, Action Hero and Kira O’ Reilly. We were ourselves inspired by their generosity and commitment shown to developing next generation artists.

Aside from producing, Lisa is a graphic design wizard and she created and curated a collection of the quotes to feature throughout the residency. We sat back and enjoyed witnessing the moments of identification, inspiration and reflection that the words brought to the students.

We will be touring to more universities in the Autumn.

Here are some images of the quotes and the ‘Open Space’ at MMU Crewe:

What the Artists Said Tea The Full Space Now ThenNOW THEN Open Office