In the ever changing climate of theatre, artistes, companies, collectives work to make themselves sustainable and as any true creative there is more than just a desire to make work and of course keep the ‘roof over your head’, there is an integrity that lies within that companies ethos.
Vamos theatre is a company whose work I have managed to see a couple of times and despite the lack of usual dialogue, performances have always moved me to tears.
The statement or mission from Vamos, although brief speaks volumes for this full mask theatre company.
Vamos is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, founded by Rachel Savage it is made up of trustees with a collective legal, financial and artistic responsibilities whose ethos is about the “belief that wordless skills of our pioneering full mask company encourage empathy and understanding in all of us regardless of who we are”.
The company who have operated since 2006 offer so much more than just their touring performances. Yes they do the festivals and usual attractions that one might expect and it’s not unusual now for companies to offer their skills for educational and outreach programmes. These make for a good sound business and tick the boxes that can allow them to create new work. The work they do however is ” rooted in social research”. Very much following Savages vision to bring the human story through the masks.
Vamos have been working in the care sector since developing ‘Finding Joy’ in 2013,their award winning production about dementia. A browse through their web page tells you over 25000 people have experienced their health and care workshops and performances.
This company are clearly successful because of the engaging theatre that full mask work brings and the way that Vamos connects to the audience through the characters storytelling. These stories have been researched with care and explore the complexities of human relationships and situations. Furthermore they have expanded their voice or rather lack of voice by reaching out to the care industry and building positive engagement with those receiving care through workshops, mask making and much much more.
Daphna Attias Co Artistic Director of Dante or Die and Peut Etre Young Theatre.
concentrating on her work with Peut Etre
Artist statement. A short brief insight in to the clear vision they have of themselves.
“Surrealpoetic aesthetic to the world of children’s theatre. Driven by desire to create early theatrical experiences for the young audiences.”
This is something that I can relate with. In a blog with the Roundhouse Attias speaks of what she wants her young audience to get from her productions, she reveals the drive to inspire the young with what they see on stage so they can take it away with them and “do something to express themselves and be creative.”
Attias is also a great believer that if you want to make work then just to get out there and make it.
One of the things I pick up from her and fellow Co Artistic director Terry O Donovan through their other company Dante Or Die which creates “ambitious site sensitive productions inspired by contemporary stories and the enchanting in the everyday.” Is how accessible they are. They make themselves available to direct or mentor students and companies. I dare say a fee is involved but the potential to reach out to professionals that are not aloof and maintain a grounding and integrity that their work promotes and also using charitable status outreach and community groups which feeds into their creativity.
Again success for these companies is the integrity through which they work. Honest accessibility is something to be admired. Artistes using the tools that they have to put more than a performance in the marketplace but looking for community and communication with their market.