Welcome to TaP In ‘20, an online festival of diverse, innovative and timely performance work by our 2020 cohort of BA degree finalists. This year’s graduates are presenting something a little bit different, and the final projects featured in previous TaP Out Festivals, then performed live, have now been moved online. In March - as students were in the middle of shaping their final projects - Goldsmiths, alongside with the rest of the UK, closed its doors due to the pandemic caused by Coronavirus. All summer term face-to-face exams were cancelled, including the TaP Out Festival scheduled for May. Everyone was advised to stay at home. All communication moved online.
These restrictions were no mean feat to overcome to reconfigure this practical assessment for our final year students. It is why we considered them as creative constraints, or creative enablers that became part of the work. Students were asked to reimagine their final projects in an electronic format, embracing the ‘home’ as a site for performance. Groups were asked to collaborate online (sometimes right across the world from the US to Singapore) and include this medium in their projects.
We made these changes as the world around us closed down and cultural institution after another shut shop and began providing content on their websites. Professional creative projects are currently made by individuals working in domestic spaces, finding ways to connect as small creative communities and then with wider online audiences. TaP In ’20 is designed to do exactly that, giving our graduates an opportunity to present their final projects virtually, harnessing their creativity at the centre of this cultural zeitgeist. Each project is a result of a critically informed, research-led performance making process undertaken by our talented and dedicated students. The ideas and principles that inform each project might have begun with a live performance in mind, but our students have risen (and then some) to the challenge of transforming these ideas into the various formats evident in the festival.
As well as celebrating the creativity of our students, we are also proud to present our first finalists for the BA in Performance, Politics and Society and the BA in Comedy and Satire degrees. We are excited to present the first cohort of students graduating from these programmes alongside our established BA in Drama and Theatre Arts degree.
It is with great pleasure that I congratulate each student for their excellent work at this online Festival, their individual achievements on the entire degree and their contribution to making the Department a centre of cutting-edge performance work over the last three years. It is with a great sense of pride - and a whole lot of sadness - that we bid farewell to this cohort of very creative and critically engaged makers and thinkers who have a bright future ahead of them.
I would also like to use this opportunity to extend my thanks to the staff team on Theatre Making 3 and Final Projects, for they have inspired, challenged, supported, questioned, guided and facilitated the students’ learning on this module and this public Festival event.
We hope you, the audience, enjoy the work!
Dr Ben Levitas
Head of Department
Department of Theatre and Performance