Public Domain

Public Domain was founded in 2013 as a not-for-profit company by writer/director, Chris Jury, and Producer, Kerry Irvine, to produce theatre and film that engages with communities and audiences primarily in the social and political arena, rather than the personal and psychological.

Although Public Domain projects aspire to the highest professional standards they are conceived primarily as creative community activism rather than political art.

Film & theatre of this kind is often criticised for “preaching to the converted”, but allowing participants and audiences to understand that they are not alone and that their political and social perceptions are shared by thousands, not to say, millions, of others is in a democracy an entirely legitimate and indeed necessary cultural activity – especially in a world in which Neoliberal capitalist values have come to so completely dominate the mainstream culture.

When we refer to ‘community’ with regard to our projects we are often not talking only, or even primarily, about community as defined by geography, we are talking about community as defined by common interests – in both senses of that phrase; i.e. a ‘common interest’ in film, theatre, music, comedy and performing and ‘common interests’ as in common economic and political interests. So for Public Domain a community can be national as well as local and linked by common experience as much as geography and even when geographically situated will most likely be defined by political allegiance rather than place.

Making film & theatre is an intensely bonding experience that can transform communities and inspire both participants and audiences alike. Thus for Public Domain the experience of our volunteer community casts and crews is as important as the audience. For many the discipline, cooperation and courage required to make films, put on festivals and events and create large-scale community theatre, can be a life-transforming experience.

The first theatre project being developed by Public Domain is the The Liberty Tree, written by Chris Jury, which is a large-scale community musical that extols the virtues of community and of collective political action. With echoes of The Wizard Of Oz and the theatre of Ernst Toller & Erwin Piscator, The Liberty Tree uses drama, comedy and music to create a romping, hilarious, feel-good antidote to the austerity agenda and the relentless and depressing fragmentation and isolation of modern society.

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