Each new piece of work from Quarantine finds its own form – playing with and dismantling conventions about how theatre should be made and experienced. Often it doesn’t look like theatre but we carry our knowledge and interest in dramaturgy into everything we make. It always comes back to the live encounter: creating the circumstances for an exchange between people who might not otherwise meet. Over the years we’ve realised that our job is to create the frame for that encounter and somehow hold it, shape it, populate it – making a space for an active and unpredictable co-presence between the people on “stage” and the audience. We’re trying to make the conditions for moments that might help each of us to understand something about the other, and thus – perhaps – ourselves. We’ve found that what emerges live works best when it’s beyond our control…
We’ve developed a distinctive approach to making work with and about the people who are in it – whether that’s skilled artists and performers, or people who’ve never done anything like this before. These are individuals, each with their own story, rather than interpreters of somebody else’s ideas. We’ve collaborated with philosophers, florists, members of parliament, dancers, chefs, children, architects, plumbers, refugees, hairdressers and dozens more. Questions of representation are at the heart of what we do: who’s seen, who’s heard and who stands in place for whom… If you were to stand in front of the crowd, what would you say?
At heart, Quarantine’s work is about the privilege of witnessing a person responding in the moment, thinking, making choices, knowing they’re being witnessed, trying to ‘be themselves’ in an out-of-the-everyday situation. The awkward, joyous and profoundly generous act of that. Acting, in that other, wider sense of the word….
Quarantine are an Associate Company at HOME, Manchester. We are a registered charity and receive regular funding from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation that contributes to our core costs. We rely on earned income from commissions and touring, grants from trusts and foundations, and donations from generous individuals to make our work. You can support what we do here. We value every single contribution – it helps us to make new things and explore ideas without restriction.