Today sees the launch of The Coterie, a brand new London-based theatre company which will champion the work of playwrights who innovate, challenge and are not afraid to take risks. The company, which is lead by Caitlin McLeod as Artistic Director and Martha Rose Wilson as Producer, aims to foster an environment that provides support as well as creative freedom. For their first year they will be working with three of the most exciting voices in theatre: EV Crowe, Bea Roberts and Sonali Bhattacharyya.
Caitlin McLeod said: “I believe art and the artist are both unfinished entities. Their strength lies in the fact that they are living organisms, ever-responsive to the world. So instead of asking an artist to define themselves by prematurely creating a product (as so often happens), we are asking artists to define themselves by their process. As soon as you decide what a piece of work is, or indeed what an artist is, you kill it. As The Coterie our strength lies in the fact that the outcome is unknown; it’s alive. The traditional commissioning model for playwrights can have its limitations; The Coterie will offer time, financial support and practical resources to create something that is truly remarkable - that could be a play, a cabaret, a musical or a performance piece. The focus will be on process over product. We believe that the more attention and space you give an idea, the more robust the final piece will be.”
Martha Rose Wilson said: “We are operating in an unequal world; working with female playwrights is our way of actively addressing that imbalance. The Coterie follows Stella Duffy's belief that, ‘we have a responsibility to make the world a fairer place, and sometimes you have to do a little social engineering to make that happen’”.
Over the course of 18 months The Coterie will collaborate with each playwright separately, drawing on devised theatre methods to road test their work as it being made.
The Coterie is supported by Sky Academy Arts Scholarships, The Old Vic and the RSC. Find out more at www.thecoterieplatform.com