For those who were not at the FEATS forum in Antwerp, here’s a quick summary of the news and topics discussed.
The EU’s new regulation on data protection means we are required to have explicit consent from individuals to allow us to store information on them. If you have taken part in FEATS, or if you subscribe to the newsletter, this means you! More about this in due course.
The steering committee is concerned that our communication channels are diverse and not well-defined. There is the “permanent” website, feats.eu; usually an annual website, which may have a lifespan of only a year, such as the 2018 site created by BATS; the Facebook page; the newsletter, which is sent out in electronic form and also in print in a few cases; and, from time to time, a Twitter account. In addtion, there is FMS, the FEATS Management System, used by participating groups to exchange information with the host group. At best, maintaining all these sources of information involves duplication of effort. At worst, FEATS participants and public alike may be confused and fail to find what they are looking for.
We should therefore like to set up a small study group, consisting of the FEATS webmaster, the FMS developer and, ideally, a non-specialist representative of the FEATS community. This is where you come in: if you’d be willing to be that third person, please make yourself known. The contact form is the best way.
As regulars know, selection of participants is made on a rota basis, with groups divided into three geographical lists for the purpose. With the passage of time, however, some imbalances have arisen, with more groups in the German list than in either of the other two regions, and a number of groups that choose to participate infrequently, so causing a faster rotation in certain lists than others. The steering committee has therefore decided to amalgamate the lists into one, with effect in FEATS 2019, maintaining the rankings at the end of FEATS 2018. The published lists will shortly reflect this change.
The steering committee has decided to limit the number of original scripts to a maximum of four per festival, with effect in FEATS 2019. The four scripts will be chosen be drawing them from a hat. Groups will be warned that if they propose an original script which is not selected, they should have a fall-back plan to produce an alternative play which is not “original” in the FEATS sense. (The terms are more clearly defined in the rules, a revised version of which will soon be on line.)
Not forgetting …
Other topics discussed included:
- the format of FEATS, prompted by a prepared statement from John Brigg, in which he questioned the reliance on traditional theatre forms and the competitive nature of FEATS
- attendance at FEATS, size of venues, target public – would a questionnaire addressed to audience members give useful information?
- greater use of photos to make websites, Facebook and so on more visually attractive.
Finally, Jenni Mikulla from Entity (pictured), was invited to speak about next year’s FEATS, which is to be held in Munich for the first time. Jenni painted an attractive picture of the venue and the amenities available in and around it.
FEATS 2019 takes place in Munich from 30 May to 2 June (Ascension weekend). A date for your diaries!
2 thoughts on “Forum topics”
I’m disappointed to read that the number of original scripts will be restricted, especially with them being drawn at random. We risk missing out on a great script from someone. I think I’ve seen as many bad scripts done well as good scripts done badly…
I agree with Conrad. As I was not present at the forum I am not sure what sparked this discussion but the decision and solution to put original plays into a hat seems odd. If it is from marketing point of view thinking that we need known playwrights to attract audience outside of the FEATS community, I would like to point out that a layman would possibly not recognise any of the authors of this years published plays. If we are trying up the quality then this solution doesn’t solve anything. There are also a lot of awful published plays! Could someone share with me what the discussion is regarding original plays?