Our Artistic Director, Barra Collins, (amongst others) talks to The Stage about how working with brands doesn’t have to mean selling out and also discusses potential pitfalls of these type of collaborations.
“Barra Collins (LAStheatre) is a theatremaker and actor. He has worked with a number of brands. Like others, he welcomes the exposure it brings, and the chance to explore ideas. However, he says, it’s important to remember the differences. Unlike the theatre industry, crediting the creatives behind a corporate event is not a default. He adds: “Intellectual property is a tricky one.”
Collins says that theatremakers considering corporate collaboration need to ask themselves how much visibility they want and then negotiate for it. “You’re a brand as well,” he argues. “It’s important that if companies want to work with artists, they should be celebrating that fact.”
Everyone need to be on the same page. For theatremakers, that means deciding if it’s a way of creating work that would suit them – “because, for a lot of people, it wouldn’t,” says Jellis (Bad Physics) – and if so, locking down a contract with the brand. Respect is great, but the contract is often key.
For creatives, this can be a useful process. “The legal side of the endeavour was a real learning curve for us,” says Kraemer (Go Opera). “We feel equipped to make sure that, contractually, everyone involved in future projects – and even our brand – is protected.”