PHILADELPHIA: Jill Harrison, founder of the Directors Gathering (DG), has announced the organization’s first convening, to be held virtually Oct. 15-17. The aim of the Directors Convening is to gather DG community members and directors nationwide for an inclusive, centralized, and welcoming environment for theatre directors to collaborate with those who have a vested interest shaping the ecosystem for theatre directors.
Topics and workshop sessions will include how to aid freelance directors, how to continue building an ongoing community, and how to ensure directors are receiving the resources finances and training that they need to build their success and résumé. The convening will include a keynote by acclaimed director and arts leader May Adrales, who will discuss manifesting an ecosystem for and with directors, and a class on healing practices for directors led by Artists Heal LLC’s founder, Noelle Diane Johnson.
“I’ve always wanted to go somewhere, as a director, to be with other directors, and not necessarily have to turn out a production in two weeks together,” said Harrison in a statement. “But there’s not a lot of space or breath to reflect or to deeply connect on something that is not just a project…We’re seeing more and more co-directorships, which is awesome. But usually, there’s just one of us in a room, so the opportunity to have that professional community is really important to us.”
Added Jerrell Henderson, a DG board member, in a statement: “The spirit behind our inaugural director convening goes to the heart of what makes DG special. So often in our industry, humanity gets jettisoned for weakness, and collective building is placed on temporary hold as we all individually scratch and claw to survive in creative atmospheres which can be unimaginably lonely and alienating. With this convening, we at DG hope to provide a space for directors from all over to come together to begin forming more holistic communities based on recognizing mutual worth. Once we can begin to see each other as more than competition, it becomes possible, or at least more likely, that we will be open to sharing resources.”
The Directors Gathering is a membership organization, offering community skill sharing among peer directors. DG advocates for their members and the extended directing community, and encourages members to do the same for one other. Memberships are available for those whose careers span early to veteran directors, to those who are just beginning their career as a director and to those who don’t identify as directors but want to collaborate with directors in the community.
The Director’s Gathering is funded by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, individual donors, and DG convening partners, and is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas. Tickets for the convening are available for purchase at https://www.directorsgathering.org/.
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