Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Feature: Laurel Green on ATP's Raucous Caucus

The Rowdies
by Laurel Green

Laurel Green is the Artistic Associate at Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP) in Calgary where she works in new play development and literary management for the company. As Production Dramaturg at ATP’s Enbridge playRites Festival of New Canadian Plays, Laurel’s credits include: a two-hander Bollywood musical (Same Same But Different), a new translation (You Will Remember Me), a hip hop musical (Ash Rizin), a Bacchanalian rock 'n roll cabaret (The God That Comes), and a new play by Joan MacLeod (The Valley). As a freelance dramaturg, she’s currently working on: The Distance Between You and I with Humble Wonder Theatre, and Attack of the Pine Beetles! with Evergreen Theatre. Laurel is an active board member for the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. You can follow her on Twitter @LGYYC

We started an Emerging Artists Assembly during the 2011 Enbridge playRites Festival; a small mini-conference weekend that welcomed students and young artists to the Martha Cohen Theatre to watch all four Festival plays, network, and meet guest artists. One of the most popular events was called ‘Raucous Caucus’ –this was a rowdy panel discussion hosted by Ghost River Theatre’s Eric Rose where participants were encouraged to weigh in on topics that were important to them. We realized that the whole weekend should be a ‘Raucous Caucus’, a chance to ask questions, share ideas, get inspired and raise your voice. In 2012,  I worked closely with the Youth Education and Outreach department at Alberta Theatre Projects to expand Raucous Caucus into a jam-packed three-day long symposium built around having lots of chances to participate and network. We wanted to build a fun event for the next generation of Canadian theatre artists, and we’ve had plenty of them turn up each year from all across Alberta! 

curious, driven, sharing their passion for theatre

I think that being an emerging artist has less to do with being at a certain age and is more about your perspective. All artists continue to learn and explore new territory throughout their career – it is fundamental to our practice. At Raucous Caucus it’s exciting to meet artists from diverse backgrounds with a range of experiences who are like-minded: curious, driven, sharing their passion for theatre. 

For this year’s Raucous Caucus we are drawing inspiration from the great line-up of shows in the upcoming Enbridge playRites Festival of New Canadian Plays to program the weekend. We will be hosting a Bollywood dance class in honour of Same Same But Different by Anita Majumdar and play with some awesome video games before seeing Games by Linda Griffiths. We’ll meet the cast of Legend Has It, a new live action fantasy quest where the hero of the show each night is a different member of the audience. I’m putting together a workshop called “How to Ask Really Good Questions” which is all about how we as artists can use our inquisitive skills to motivate, inspire, and ultimately change the world. 

It’s always a whirlwind of a weekend, and I really get caught up in the energy. This year is the 28th and FINAL edition of the Enbridge playRitesFestival at ATP, so it will be a party you don’t want to miss out on.  

Registration is now open for Raucous Caucus, March 28 – 30, 2014

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