SSC Performing Arts Officer

Hi! I'm Martin Caforio, your Performing Arts Officer for 2020/21.


Performing Arts Officer 2020/21

About my position

The Performing Arts Officer is elected by students in March each year. I am both responsible for managing the Mermaids Performing Arts Fund and for representing all performing arts societies at the Union level. Mermaids is responsible for the financial and logistical support of over 12 productions a year, as well as a substantial set of productions sent to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We operate as a fund which supports student performance projects that are financially and logistically viable and which have educational and engagement merit. As the Performing Arts Officer, it is my responsibility to represent the interests of the performing arts community at the Union level and advocate for their interests in the decisions made by the Association Councils.

How my position affects you

Mermaids allows students to develop and execute their performing arts / theatrical visions in a completely student-run and developed fashion. It strives to provide experiences in the broad ranges of roles available in a cast, crew, and production team, and we also manage one of the United Kingdom's three completely student run theatres, the Barron Theatre, which is a resource that we make use of to the fullest extent. We also give students the opportunity to perform on the international stage thanks to our sending shows to the Edinburgh Fringe. On Councils, I strive to ensure that the performing arts are given the attention and support they deserve to ensure that all of the incredible societies have the same opportunities to support the specific part of the performing arts world that they capture. Additionally, we support special student projects, which have the aim of filling a particular niche of the performing arts world.

About me

I am originally from Rome, Italy, but I have been living in the USA for some years. I study Arabic and IR, and I have always been passionate about theatre. It has brought be so much in my time before University, and thanks to Mermaids I was able to continue that passion, and so I wanted to do my part in making Mermaids more accessible, open, and transparent.

Groups I lead

I'm the President of Mermaids Performing Arts Fund. This also involves leading Mermaids' Affiliated Societies Presidents Forum. Check out Mermaids' website and Facebook for updates.

My manifesto pledges

Read my full manifesto here, and follow my Facebook page for updates.

As the President of Mermaids, I would work to make that process more transparent and open to more students to ensure that everyone has all the tools they need to propose a successful show to us. This includes:

  • Providing clearer and more in-depth guides on the proposal process
  • Making past proposal forms available for consultation
  • Greater focus on contact with committee members to help students write proposals
  • Better publicising our weekly open meetings
  • Broadening the scope and reach of engagement schemes to more societies and student groups to involve more people and bring in new perspectives to our work
  • Emphasising that Mermaids does not JUST fund theatre, and we are there to fund ANY performance idea
  • Audition workshops
  • Making Mermaids a more social and inclusive society through better designed and less exclusive events
  • Working more closely with affiliates to collaborate on projects and represent their interests
  • Supporting independent productions logistically and materially whenever possible
  • Greater emphasis on committee, cast, and crew wellbeing
  • Anonymous feedback form on Mermaids website
  • Better publicised office hours for myself and the VP
  • Diversifying publicity tools to broaden reach of our events and productions
  • Engaging the Byre Theatre community