The Traverse was founded in January 1963, not as a theater or gallery, but as a members-only meeting place for artists. Memberships weren't required to encourage exclusivity, but alternatively, as a means by which to effectively sidestep obscenity laws in the UK that would impose censorship on the organization. We got to hear some of the stories from the Traverse's founding including the stabbing of Colette O'Neil in the Traverse's first performance.
In 1988, the Traverse became a public theater, and in 1992 they moved into their new space on a 99-year lease from the Council. Their three missions are Artistic Excellence, Financial Sustainability, and Engagement. Ruth and Noelle discussed with us the nuts and bolts of the Traverse's year-round operations, divided into Spring Season, Festival Season, and Autumn Season. We discussed the festivals the Traverse participates in, including the Manipulates Puppetry Festival, the Traverse Writing Festival, and Traverse 50, a 50th anniversary initiative to break in 50 relatively unknown writers.
The Traverse Theater also conducts engagement programs with youth, universities, and prisons as well as co-producing works that exemplify the Traverse Mission.
Afterward, Tabitha McGrath, who works with Harrison/Parrott Ltd, and formerly worked with IMG Artists, and is a Gryphon Venues partner, lectured us on the Classical Music Industry. She's a classical music manager and was really accessible for some of our students with interests in music production, record labels, and management. She spoke to us about the practical aspects of applying for a job and manipulating your CV to make yourself a better candidate for the positions that you're most interested in. She spoke frankly about some of the struggles she faced in her application process as well as the things she continues to struggle with in her current position. However, her lecture ended on a positive note, as she revealed her 6-month ascent from Artist Administrator to Associate Artist Manager at her current workplace.