An invitation from James Brining, Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse:
Inspired by our co-production with Improbable and Northern Stage, of Opening Skinner’s Box, I would like to invite you to an event that explores how art and science can collaborate. Opening Skinner’s Box is a new piece of theatre inspired by the book of the same name, by clinical psychologist Lauren Slater. The piece is just one example of practitioners working across the traditional boundaries between disciplines. Artists are increasingly using their own ways of working, to investigate the questions thrown up by scientific works, such as this book; Why do we love? When would we kill? How do we learn? If we are all considering similar fundamental issues, then are art and science merely different ways of interrogating these issues?
As a theatre-maker, I find myself asking how theatre and science can have a real conversation and not one that is mostly about fulfilling funding criteria for the artist and public engagement for the scientist? How can each field increase rigour and discipline for the other? How truly honest is the conversation at the moment?
If you’re a scientist, you probably have other questions you’re asking. Perhaps you don’t know how to begin to work with an artist? Or is it more about finding the time to play? What are the main barriers to more effective and productive collaboration across disciplinary lines?
Whatever your questions, issues, ideas, dreams or curiosity, the Open Space format is the perfect context to consider how we can encourage inter-disciplinary collaboration. If you’re new to Open Space or Improbable’s Devoted & Disgruntled programme, then do have a look at this video which explains how Open Space works and how useful it can be. Our previous, highly successful D & D in 2015 fostered truly open dialogue between a huge range of artists, audience members, cultural workers and students. We invite anyone interested in these issues to attend, from lecturers, to researchers, to theatre-makers and everyone in between. All views are welcome, every voice gets heard, nothing is off the agenda. I would like to invite you to join the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Improbable and University of Leeds in considering these questions together.
Tuesday 3 May, 6pm to 10pm
Charles Thackrah Building – 90 Clarendon Road, Leeds, LS2 9LB
This event is free but please book a place in advance here.