Another day, another rant.... what is it about community theatre and 'gatekeeping' ?!  (should be obvious this isn't about 'my' theatre!)

I've offered (free) to provide training to some people in another venue and from the outset have said 'whoever wants to come' and also encouraged younger members and volunteers to come along because, ultimately, they're the future of any organisation (also, younger people - the iPad generation - tend to pick up technical concepts better anyway!)

My view has always been to be open and welcoming of anyone who wants to get involved. In am dram it's (sadly) a lot easier to find people who want to act than who want to press buttons, design lighting, build set etc, and I was very fortunate years ago to have people open doors for me. It feels only right I adopt the same approach as they did, especially when there's so many 'rules' in various organisations now.

I still don't know who is coming, or how many people there'll be, but they want to "restrict the number" and complain that "some people expressed an interest just so they can use knowledge elsewhere and have no interest in helping"

This sort of approach is really frustrating. Especially coming as it does from an organisation which relies entirely on people who have knowledge that they obtained elsewhere and now volunteer their time to help.

Firstly, how can you possibly know that? Who actually says "I want this training, but I won't help you". Secondly, who really gives a damn if people want to use knowledge elsewhere, they might help someone else.

This sort of thing is frustrating and why organisations become these little cliques where 'outsiders' don't feel welcome. At a time when many groups and organisations are struggling, we should be trying to attract as wide a range of people as possible with a diverse range of skills.

With that in mind, following our upgrades that are happening at the moment, I fully intend to run a series of "open to all" technical open days at my own venue at some point later in the year hopefully.

I can do LX, and I'll try and find a volunteer who could maybe do some sound stuff (as I suck at it, and will freely admit that's NOT part of my diverse skills)

Maybe some of the people who attend will volunteer and help out at our venue, that'd be awesome. Maybe we'll get some new members, even better.

Or maybe they're actors that have just have done something different for the day, and got a better understanding of what we do on the other side of the lights, or it inspires some kid to go study technical theatre, or work on a show at their school...

Who knows, but we all started somewhere.

End of rant (this one anyway)