The book I’m currently reading is the brilliant “We Think” by Charles Leadbeater. I was inspired to read it after I heard him talking at a conference and it has lived up to all expectations. It’s about, on the most simplisitc level, the way that the world we live in and the way we think is being changed by the web and social media, creating a new order where the idea of "We Think" has the potential to be the most important factor governing the way we live our lives and make decisions. What I love about this is that it is all based on the concept of "You are what you share" – that new technologies and online communities have the potential to cast aside the current obsession with consumption and move forward to a more egalitarian way of thinking where your identity is defined by what you share and not by by what you buy and consume. I think this is such a fascinating idea, especially the idea that is focused on in the book of mass collaboration and creativity that is now a possibility and the affect that this can have on the way we live our lives and interact with each other.
All of this raises really interesting questions about theatre and how we make it. I’m really fascinated by how this kind of creative collaboration can be part of the creative process traditionally involved in making theatre. A process that is often kept tightly restrained behind closed doors and that is not made open or accessible to anyone except the team involved directly in the project. Next Monday I start working on a new play and want, in a tiny way, to start investigating the idea of access and collaboration. We’ve set up a blog for the project and we’re going to use this to keep anyone who is interested as updated as possible in the process as we create “The Red Shoes”. I’m really keen that the site is a hub for communication and ideas about the work that is being created, not only from the cast but also from anyone else who feels inclined to join in the discussion. Obviously this is only collaboration in the loosest sense but I am really keen to start developing methodologies of creation and communication in my work that allow me to move towards collaborative creativity in a much wider and innovative sense. Everyone has to start somewhere and I’m hoping that this process will pay a significant part in how I go on to develop work in the future.