INTIMACY DIRECTORS INTERNATIONAL UK
(formerly Theatrical Intimacy)
HISTORY & VISION
Intimacy occurs in many productions and is not just limited to scenes of a sexual nature but to build different relationships between characters such as a parent/child or close friends. Theatrical Intimacy not only wants to improve industry regulations but also to create authentic, dynamic relationships and storytelling on stage by using the frameworks developed from our research to allow artists to find intimacy safely.
In 2016 an article in the Chicago Reader told the story of a theatre company where performers were abused both mentally, emotionally and physically. As certified stage combat teachers we were all appalled. The article provided an incredibly powerful insight into the dangers of working without standard industry practices regarding intimacy in the theatre.
Can we make the performing arts and media safer in the The UK ? The answer - YES. We do indeed have "nudity clauses" and "sexual act" clauses but nowhere do we have a framework or guidelines to protect performers in our industry when regarding scenes of an intimate nature - and this is a real problem.
Not only does this lead to unconvincing intimate moments or relationships but also opens our performers up to very real physical and emotional trauma. There are countless stories from performers who have experienced either intentional or unintentional trauma resulting from a lack of industry guidelines surrounding intimacy on stage or simply from being unaware that intimate work can be dangerous work.
The role of the Intimacy Director or Intimacy Coach is not new. Tonia Sina of IDI was one of the first to establish this role back throughout her research but it became public knowledge during her time at The Shakespeare Festival, Ontario. Her company Intimacy Directors International (USA) has slowly been changing the way the industry operates in the USA and Canada for the last 15 years - and the vision is to start changing it for the better here in the UK. With their support we launched Theatrical Intimacy - an educational company designed to share ideas and concepts discovered during previous research and to continue growing and shaping the future of Intimacy on stage and screen.
We strongly advocate the use of an Intimacy Director and will offer a certification programme for it in the near future.