Digital Residency: Feedback and learnings from the participants

What & where & when

Theatre in Palm Digital Residency on 6-10 February, 2023 with 5 emerging artists and a mentor in each participating country working for one week onsite and virtually with duo-country partners and three times online with the whole group of 72+ participants. The groups worked together to prepare an online performance at the end of the residency.
See more about the residency.

As this was the first concrete activity we organized in the project, we were super keen to learn how the participants experienced the residency. Firstly, we asked the participants what was best about the experience. Many appreciated getting new skills and making connections. Here are some mentions from the participants.

Best about the residency was…

…future opportunities. Learning from others. Making new connections, both locally and internationally. Digital explorations. Working physically with other artists, after such a long time. Playing with improvisations. Learning from our similarities, and differences. Connecting through art, even from a distance. The skills in the room. Creating a theatre piece from scratch, in a very short time. Co-creation with more than 60 participants all over Europe.

Many of the artists also mentioned they valued freedom of expression, getting inspired, creating together and overcoming challenges. Someone told us that watching other groups work online gave them a lot of new artistic ideas. Another comment highlighted it was beautiful to see how the topics and languages diffused across different countries.

Here you can see how many of the participants agreed with these claims: 95% said they were glad they participated, 84% said they developed their professional expertise, 73% got new professional tools and 71% new professional opportunities. Amazing 100% (62/62 of the respondents) said they are interested in participating in another Theatre in Palm event.

Learnings from the Digital Residency

Often the best way to learn is to learn from your mistakes, or getting feedback on what you could have done differently. We got some really valuable feedback on how to do even better in the future. Most of the comments in this category pointed out how important the technical knowhow and support is in putting together a performance. Next time we will need to put more effort in ensuring technical training and support is available and making sure the tools, software and connections are working well. This way less time is spent on getting visuals, audio or just the internet connection to work, and there will be more to time to work, create together and getting to know each other better.

Photo: Espronceda

Other points that were raised where the importance of clarity on what is expected from the work, where it is headed and what the end result will be. This will allow better focus on the work and the assignment itself. Some also missed the live connection with everybody participating in the residency. They wished to have the opportunity to meet everyone in person and spend more time together. As often is the case, communication could always be done better. In international work, some also felt that the different time zones created bit of confusion.

On the positive side, few wished for a possibility to regroup with the local team to continue to develop the creative seed they planted together in this short time (30 hours over 5 days of residency).

Hungry for more

What makes us most happy is that all participants (well 62/62 responders of our feedback questionnaire) said they would like to participate in another Theatre in Palm event. That is the best reward for the work so far and will motivate us going forward. Here are some of the feedback we got from the participants, in their own words:

“I feel grateful, gratitude, hope, creative, alive, free, excited, proud, creative.”

“It was a good step for next international collaborations.”

“I am glad I participated. I gave me a new set of tools and inspiration in my artistic work.”

“I leave this residency full of energy and with stronger need of ACTION in the performing arts regarding this topic. I feel part of a strong collective experience, there are no borders on the theatre space.”

“You can learn so much and be inspired from people that have a different background than yours!”

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to join this wonderful project and hope to be able to join again in the future, hopefully even to be able to expand this project to other countries.”

“Thank you for this incredible opportunity. It was great! I feel myself full of hopes in the new generation of artist. I want also to make my congratulations for the organization of all the event. Great job!”

“It was important to be part of this intense experience and to talk about urgent topics through our different artistic languages.”

Generally, the feedback was very positive and felt genuine. We feel like we are on to something really good and meaningful, for a lot of emerging artists out there. Hope to see more of you and do great stuff together with you. Watch out for new actions, events and open calls and join the journey!

Making brave dreams come true – across Europe.

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