Under the direction of Devinda De Silva, TEAM has been a groundbreaking, sector-leading model of engagement. We have placed people at the heart of our thinking; communities at the core of our work and through TEAM we have been able to constantly revisit the question, “what is the role of theatre in today’s world?” - allowing ourselves to be adaptable and responsive to the ever-changing answers that this question poses. Engaging with people matters; listening matters - acting on the opinions, advice and guidance of the communities of Wales matters - without doing so, we, as a company, are utterly irrelevant.
These voices of the TEAM network have shaped every aspect of NTW, from the work we make to the people we employ, to the places in which we create.
TEAM Panel, a group of artists, activists, creators, teachers and representatives from across Wales who supported, questioned and advised us were the critical friends of the company. Their role was essential, acting as our eyes and ears across the country. Through TEAM Panel we have been able to reach out to communities across Wales, creating opportunities for empowerment, leadership, creative activism, connection and long-term engagement. We have offered an open door to those who believe the world of the arts is not for them, we have offered a platform for artists already doing brilliant work in their areas and we have been proud to promote theatre and the arts as a tool for social change. All of this work has only been possible thanks to our valued relationship with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Change has been central to the work of TEAM.
The transformative power of creativity for communities has been evident in all of our work and this transformation has extended to TEAM itself as we have adapted our processes to the needs of the communities in which we work. The deep engagement that has seen us base ourselves in Pembrokeshire and Wrexham over the past five years has been truly change-making for everyone involved - but now we face a different type of change.
When TEAM was created twelve years ago, the world was a very different place. The amount of work that has gone into what eventually became the NTW TEAM shows, Go Tell the Bees and A Proper Ordinary Miracle has seen us working at a rapidly responsive pace through a politically and socially volatile landscape through which we have experienced some of the biggest global changes for a generation. It is now, therefore, time to pause and to reflect - but also to think collectively to the future of collaborative practice within NTW.
Over the next three months, we will be looking at the role that TEAM plays today.
We will use what we have learned through all of the many connections we have made over the years and we will be open to exploring new possibilities. The voices of TEAM Panel members throughout the history of TEAM will be core to our conversations and we will open our doors to the wider TEAM network as well as those who may never have been involved with TEAM before - we want to hear from and listen to you all.
In true TEAM spirit, we want to celebrate all the things that we have achieved together and open up new conversations as we look to the future.
We will announce events in Cardiff, Pembrokeshire and Wrexham, as well as online, on our NTW website, TEAM Facebook and Instagram pages which will take place between late January and early February - so keep an eye out and we’ll see you there!