Manchester arts venue HOME is to take new, live experiences from the homes of artists into the homes of audiences during the coronavirus outbreak. Homemakers is a series of new commissions to art makers to create new works at home, for an audience also at home. These fully-funded commissions will challenge the notion of what is “live theatre”, whether through live streaming, recorded performances, games, interactive stories, personal encounters – or something else. Artists commissioned so far include Bryony Kimmings, Javaad Alipoor, Ad Infinitum, Chris Thorpe, Yusra Warsama and Plaster Cast Theatre. All work will be available on HOME’s website on a “pay-what-you-decide” basis, and will reach the widest possible audience through captioning, audio descriptions and by providing “relaxed” versions where appropriate. This project is possible thanks to HOME’s Response Fund, set up in the wake of arts venue closures due to coronavirus and designed to protect HOME’s financial stability and allow it to support artists. The reaction to the fund has allowed Homemakers to be announced less than a week after the theatre closed its doors. HOME associate director Jude Christian said: “Homemakers is designed to evolve, and we’ll be collaborating with our colleagues across the industry to expand the project. The aim is for the first work to be available in early April, and more information will be shared as plans develop. “We are working with a ‘pay-what-you-decide’ model because we want to acknowledge the value of our artists’ work and give audiences a chance to support them by paying what they might expect to pay in a live venue. But we don’t want to create any barriers to access, and this provides everyone with the opportunity to engage with all of our work for free.” Bryony Kimmings said: “I’m excited to see how I make work digitally, I’ve always focused on human bodies living, breathing and feeling, together in a room. What happens when you take that away? Is it possible to still create that connection remotely?! Who knows! We’ll have a bash.” More information here, along with details of HOME's other online resources.
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