With work for theatre creatives in short supply, many practitioners have turned to sharing their skills with others.
The range of workshops and training materials available online is mind-boggling from the National Theatre's free recordings and learning resources for schools to impro workshops and collecting weaving to beat isolation.
It would be impossible to do justice to the variety and scope of what is on offer, so here is just a handful to stimulate the tastebuds:
Long-time supporter of new writing and emerging writers The Jack Studio Theatre is presenting Past Present Future, a series of six online writing workshops in March. The 90-minute workshops take place on Saturdays, which will help those wanting to develop their own skills but who have to spend the week home-schooling their kids instead.
The workshops are delivered via Zoom and cost £5 each (no fees). Open to all 18+, the topics are:
- Writing Monologues with Gemma Mills McGrath, who has an MA in Screenwriting and is a past participant of the Red Rock Writers Academy and TV writing programme The Tribe. Mills McGrath work includes Botticelli’s Angels and Reunions which had a sold-out run at Theatre 503.
- Creative Writing in Music: ‘Vibe and… Repeat’ with singer-songwriter, lyricist and producer Damélola whose performing credits include Senegal Urban Women Festival, Mighty Hoopla and Cross The Tracks.
- Exploring extended metaphors in poetry with spoken word artist Kassandra Lauren Gordon. She is a poetry facilitator for Writerz and Scribez and part of the ‘Home is’ poetry collective. Gordon has created poetry videos on her YouTube channel and her poetry performance credits include the iDENT Festival.
- What have you got to say? (character development) with writer and performer Chantelle Dusette, a participant of new writing and story development programmes at The Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly. Her writing credits include Click and Ev(E)olution, longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award 2020.
- Soliloquy with award winning Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, a British-Ghanaian theatre-maker whose work includes Sweet Like Chocolate Boy (Jack Studio & London Tour) and directing Little Baby Jesus a Orange Tree Theatre.
- Finding A Character with award-winning writer Lin Coghlan. Her play Apache Tears Clean Break won the Peggy Ramsay Award, her screenplay First Communion Day was winner of the Dennis Potter Play of the Year Award and Some Dogs Bite won the Audience Prize at the Nantes Film Festival. She has British and Irish television credits.
We may be halfway through the month but February still has a lot to offer.
From HOME Manchester comes Home Is Where The Art Is, a disability arts workshop presented as part of nationwide arts project Here and Now. The discussion is led by Nickie Miles-Wildin who is associate director at Graeae Theatre Company and head of young people’s programme at the Royal Exchange Theatre. It will look at finding solutions to the barriers faced by disabled artists and, whilst presenting HOME as a model, aims to start a nationwide conversation on the changes needed in the industry before it can call itself an inclusive space for all. The next Home Is Where The Art Is event is 16 February.
Theatre company Squint is back with another series of writing and devising workshops. It is not too late to join the one-off sessions which run into the summer; they are £10 each with a limited number of free places for applicants on low incomes and discounts for multiple bookings. They are divided into Get Writing for those who need a jumpstart, Keep Writing addressed at writers with a play in progress and Get Devising for directors and theatre-makers to explore fresh devising practice.
- theatre director and Squint artistic director Andrew Whyment; he is an associate of the National Youth Theatre and was resident assistant director at Leeds Playhouse. In addition to a range of directing credits, he has worked on projects including at refugee camps with Good Chance Theatre and in prisons with Synergy Theatre Project;
- writer, dramaturg and facilitator Lee Anderson, whose writing credits include Long Story Short, Molly and Skin Deep; as a facilitator, he has worked with a variety of companies and theatres including Arcola Theatre, New Diorama, The Mono Box and Guildhall School of Music;
- actor, writer and facilitator Sid Sagar, whose writing credits include Dark Faces which won the Rose Theatre Kingston’s Writing Festival; he is currently associate writer at Middle Child;
- Kane Husbands, a theatre director and facilitator specialising in movement and choreography; currently, he is artistic director of The PappyShow and an associate of the National Youth Theatre and of The North Wall. He has worked with, among others, the NT, The Old Vic New Voices, Sheffield Theatres, National Theatre of Scotland and Kiln Theatre;
- drama teacher and facilitator Louise Roberts, whose acting credits include Six Boroughs, Long Story Short and Molly.
London Playwrights’ Workshop offer a range of courses including:
- Writing for Audio 2—Developing Your Work for Pitching and Production
- Pitching Your Play
- Making an Impact in Your Opening Scene
- Writing Horror for Stage!
- Writing for Zoom
- Writing Compelling Dialogue
The duration and price varies between each. Although it is a membership organisation, London Playwrights’ Workshop members get significant reductions on workshops and other benefits.
Writing in different forms at London's Bush Theatre is sold out.
I love a good adverb and can take no credit for "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" which is a quote from Stephen King.