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HITN e-Bulletin

ISSUE 3 – July 2006

Welcome to the third issue of HITN’s e-Bulletin. This month’s edition focuses on the Northern Connections project. If you would like to unsubscribe from receiving this bulletin in future, please use the link at the bottom of the e-mail.

Northern Connections Workshop – Ullapool, Saturday 3 December 2005 “End of day group discussions and summary”

Northern Connections Project

Report on the outcomes of the recent three day meeting in Skellefteå 7-9 July 2006 at Vasterbottensteatern.

Following on from the Workshop sessions held in Ullapool in December 2005 and those held in Umeå in April 2006, Robert Herrala, Brigit Hageby, George Gunn, Matthew Zajac, Ulla Karlsson, Jan Karlsson, Med Reventburg, and Muriel Ann Macleod met in July 2006 to discuss and finalise the proposed Northern Connections project content, structure and delivery.

Project Content

The defined project is proposed as being inspired by the story of Kasper Hauser and involves a unique process of development involving many collaborations within a creative structure to produce a series of episodic scenes enlivened by the cultures of Sweden and Highland Scotland. It is an archetypal story that can be used in many ways, with themes of socialisation, this individual is blank the society around him wants to put their own ideas on to him. (summary of story:- Kaspar has been locked up for many years, he is found, groups of people want to form him/educate him. There is an issue on who has the right to mould him. He has no sense of morality, he can do mean strange things without knowing, he has no idea of codes of behaviour, he does not understand his sexuality and in the end after much misunderstanding is beaten to death).

Creative Team

Discussions on the Creative Team concluded that the group wanted to use the already involved artists as far as possible. To this end, the following Creative Team has been proposed:

Director: Mia Westin

Writer/Dramaturgy: George Gunn and Birgit Hageby

Composer: Cay Nyquist (lead artist with team Andy Thorburn and Lena Karlsson)

Set Design: Ulla Karlsson with assistance of Dave Smith for work on projections

Choreography: Frank MacConnel to be offered this role (Frank MacConnel was one of the selected artists but was unable to attend initial meetings)

Lighting Design: third country participant

Actors : Alistair Satchel, Gregor Ottosson, Matthew Zajac, Muriel Ann Macleod, Alyth McCormack (also Singer), Jan Karlsson, Jackie Goode, Goran Hansson, Benedicte Stendal Hansen, Margarita Niss, Lina Hognert, Birgit Hageby, Gunnar Eklund.

Note: There are 13 actors in the list above. We recognised the desire to use performers from the original Northern Connections exchange and understand that there may be issues of availability when it comes to the execution of the project.

Musicians: Andy Thorburn and participants from third country

Student assistant placements: Lauren Mckie and a student from Umeå

Ian Brown with assistance from a University of Umeå Post graduate student will record the project with a view to producing an industry publication in Swedish and English.

Project Delivery

Discussions on the delivery of the project concluded:

  • That a minimum of 10 actors and 5 musicians should be involved 15 performers approx.
  • That indoor arenas (seating around 250-300) should be found at least in 4 locations in each country and possibly a third partner country. Proposed locations in Sweden were Umeå, Luleå, Lycksele and Vilhelmina. Locations in Scotland were Thurso, Stornoway, Inverness, Kirkwall or possibly Portree.
  • Estimated 12-15 performances in each country 300x 30 = 9000 persons
  • Minimum 3 performances in each area with other educational outreach activities.

Finance Schedule and lead Partner

It was decided that Vasterbottensteatern should be the lead partner in terms of Finance. As the biggest organisation they were best placed to undertake the financial administration with HITN assisting with the Scottish element. Applications would continue to be developed by Muriel Ann Macleod and Robert Herrala with the first Northern Periphery deadline being the 6th of October 2006 where applications have to be made in both countries.

Matching funding applications would continue to be made in both countries.

Timescale for the Project – provisional

From now to December 2007 – Funding applications, project development, partner funders developing links between artists in each country.

Early 2008 1st block development meetings

Other stages during 2008 with break for summer

Delivery Autumn 2008 opening in Sweden.

Audience and Outreach definition

It was envisaged that a thematic way of working with schools and with local communities could be found and that a long term development of educational tools to engage with communities at many levels would be an outcome of our collaborative working. Vasterbottensteatern would view this as one area where they could learn from practitioners in the Highlands. The project would seek out good and possible ways of engaging with the particular communities in both countries.

For further information about the Northern Connections Project, please contact:

Muriel Ann Macleod, Projects Development Co-ordinator, HITN
57 Westview Terrace, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2LD
Tel: 01851 700475, Mob: 0774 8087371, e-mail: [email protected]

For further details about HITN please contact Stuart Brownlee on [email protected] or Muriel Ann MacLeod on [email protected]

The Highlands and Islands Theatre Network is a company limited by guarantee Sc No 290889