[Image: The Rep Building, Dundee]
Delivered by Al Seed Productions, Waypoint-1 is a Scotland-wide project supporting Early Career Performance Makers (ECPMs)* . Its purpose is to deliver one-on-one mentorship programmes, lasting a year or more. These programmes can cover everything from developing a creative vision or an idea for a show, to help with writing funding applications.
Project director, Al Seed, is supported in his delivery of activities by core staff from partners, Dundee Rep Theatre & Scottish Dance Theatre, and a team of guest specialists from across Scotland.
*Early Career is a flexible term – to include recent graduates and those who have produced only a limited amount of work; but also, for example, experienced makers who are moving into a new field. Performance Makers can refer to performers, directors, writers, producers, choreographers, dramaturgs and visual, sound & AV designers.
Waypoint-1 was launched in March 2021 in response to our post-pandemic world in which political, economic and cultural volatility are the norm. Performance makers now contend with circumstances which continue to be unpredictable, and where any form of future planning is difficult. Waypoint-1 seeks to offer practical, flexible support to ECPMs that focuses on the specific needs of the individual. This offer is made in support of – and as a deliberate complement to – existing professional development opportunities provided elsewhere in Scotland.
Waypoint-1 has no prescribed programme of activities such as residencies, placements or workshops. Rather, the project offers a space for ECPMs to breathe and be guided in considering positive, proactive steps forward in their careers. Following a simple application process ECPMs are invited to design, with WP1 mentors, their own professional development programmes. The level of support provided is negotiated with individual participants and can range from a one-off activity to weekly sessions spanning a year or longer. Where appropriate these programmes may intersect with those of other participants. In this way Waypoint-1 provides a hub for a mutually supportive community.
The ultimate aim of Waypoint-1 is to support ECPMs in their self-empowerment, while encouraging an openness to collaborative working and partnership. The project also offers a space to consider different working models for creating performance, and how the 'success' of such work might be evaluated.
Waypoint-1 is directed by Al Seed, a performance maker with over 20 years experience. The shows he has created in the fields of theatre, visual and physical theatre, dance, circus, outdoor arts and one-on-one performance have earned him Fringe First, Herald Angel, Herald Little Devil, and Total Theatre Awards. He has delivered projects in Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, and throughout Europe.
He has been the resident mentor at Dance Base, Edinburgh, as well as the artist in residence for the Arches, Glasgow, and the Byre Theatre, St. Andrews. From 2009-2014 he was the founding Artistic Director of Surge, Scotland’s national organisation for physical performance. In this role he delivered professional development activities of all scales, for both ECPMs and experienced makers, and co-produced major events for the London Olympics, 2012, and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, 2014.
Waypoint-1 is based in The Rep Building, Dundee, home to Dundee Rep Theatre and Scottish Dance Theatre, whose core staff support Al in his delivery of the project, which is further enhanced by the collaboration of of guest specialists from across Scotland.