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World Live Performance Conference, Dublin, June 2015

©Tommy Clancy

©Tommy Clancy

©Tommy Clancy

©Tommy Clancy

©Tommy Clancy

©Tommy Clancy

Intense and inspiring. Those are the words that best describe the two and a half-days World Live Performance Conference of the International Federation of Actors. Held in Dublin, Ireland, from June 4th to June 6th, the event gathered some 180 participants and gave the floor to more than 60 speakers coming from different countries and backgrounds – performers, union representatives, industry representatives, etc.

The conference started with a brilliant official opening address by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland. In a 40-minutes long speech, President Higgins claimed his strong connection and affection for performing arts and called for the recognition of artists as workers whose situation is becoming even more precarious and vulnerable. 

The Conference was then divided into 8 plenary sessions; each focusing on different aspects of the live performance sector and on the various challenges encountered by performers and performers' unions in their daily lives. The panels were composed of 4 to 6 panellists and a moderator coordinating the discussion. Questions from the floor were encouraged and led most of the time to very interesting debates.

The plenary sessions:

  • Plenary session #1 – A precarious profession
  • Plenary session #2 – The flight for our rights
  • Plenary session #3 – Fixing the funding leak
  • Plenary session #4 – Global impact of diversity on our stages
  • Plenary session #5 – The price of mobility
  • Plenary session #6 – Safety never hurt anyone
  • Plenary session #7 – The new, new thing
  • Plenary session #8 – Enter the digital age

On the afternoon of the second day, the participants gathered in Liberty Hall theatre and conference centre could also decide to join one of the three workshops organised. The idea was to stimulate the discussion by having smaller groups.

The 3 workshops:

  • Workshop #1 – The artist as activist – Union growth & member engagement in a hostile environment
  • Workshop #2 – Child’s play
  • Workshop #3 – 'Low pay, no pay'

Several well known performers including Ian McElhinney (Northern Ireland) and Thure Lindhardt (Denmark) were kind enough to take the floor to talk about their concerns: the impact of the Troubles in Northern Ireland on theatre and the freedom of expression, the reasons why to become an actor or the impact of economy on culture.

Every participants came back home inspired with in mind the strapline of the conference: ‘Performing live, acting together’.

You can download the conference documents:

Pictures of the event are available on the FIA Flickr account