[Image: The Rep Building, Dundee]
Welcome to Waypoint-1, a Scotland-wide project supporting Early Career Performance Makers (ECPMs)*. Its purpose is to deliver one-on-one mentorship programmes, lasting up to a year. 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, will be supported in his delivery of activities by core staff from partners Dundee Rep Theatre and Scottish Dance Theatre, an advisory panel, 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 are increasingly 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, what the project offers is 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 their own professional development programmes in collaboration with Al. The level of support provided is negotiated with individual participants and can range from a one-off activity to weekly sessions spanning a full year. Where appropriate these programmes may intersect with those of other participants. In this way Waypoint-1 provides a hub for a mutually supportive community of ECPMs.
The ultimate aim of Waypoint-1 is to empower ECPMs and help build their self-sufficiency, while encouraging an openness to collaborative working and partnership. The project also offers a space to reconsider different working models for creating performance, and how the 'success' of such work might be evaluated.