Some fragments, in the build up to introducing a great opportunity….
- Coming to see Rumplestilsken at the Unity before I’d even started. It was a packed schools show….the children quite literally representing the diversity of Liverpool. Yet on stage we were mono culture – our fantastic cast were all white.
- Jonathan Goodacre, formally of Tara Arts, oft talks about how you can’t achieve quality without diversity.
- Julia Samuels (co artistic director of 20 Stories High) and I chewing the fat around the grounds of Liverpool Cathedral exploring the challenges of encouraging diverse performers to come to auditions in the regions.
- Meeting Purni Morrell and hearing her insistence on not taking any work at the Unicorn which did not reflect diversity in some way
- Somebody else (sorry can’t remember who) saying loudly and clearly If you cant get what you want – your shopping in the wrong shops…
So that’s why this is SUCH a good thing….
As many of you will now know last years Christmas show Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf is returning to Manchester and Kendal this year, with some new cast and a fresh approach to how the show is signed.
But those very fine people at Z Arts and STUN (with a little help from the Arts Council)wanted to take this a step further – launching an Ideas Lab for BAME or Disabled Theatre Makers interested in making work for Children. And what a programme they have put together (which features no fewer than five artists involved in Unity’s Autumn and Spring programmes!):-
- Monday 10th July AM Introduction to Z-arts, the week and to each other with Liz O’Neill and Zoe Pickering; Artistic Director & Programme Manager, Z-arts http://www.z-arts.org/about-us/
- PM masterclass with Sudha Bhuchar (See Sudha’s Child of the Divide at Unity on the 25th Oct) and at Z arts on the 19th and 20th October
- Tuesday 11th July Symposium: Creative Case and Theatre for Young Audiences (Birmingham Rep) Transport and entrance fee paid
- Wednesday 12th July AM Masterclass with Benji Reid http://www.breakinconvention.com/events/pinocchio-breaking-cycles . A new show directed by Benji comes to Unity in February.
- PM Masterclass with Trina Haldar, Artistic Director Mashi Theatre. See Trina’s show Tales of Birbal at Unity on 27 October
- Thursday 13th July
- AM Masterclass with Keith Saha, Co-Artistic Director of Twenty Stories High
- PM Start to explore your own ideas with Nina Hajiyianni, Artistic Director Action Transport Theatre , our co-producers in both Little Red and this years new show The Jungle Book.
- Friday 14th July
- AM continue exploring your own ideas with Nina Hajiyianni
- PM Next steps: pathways to turn your ideas into shows and outline of commissioning opportunities etc from Liz O’Neill & Zoe Pickering
And the best bit is there is still time to get involved. The full call out is below – but the deadline is this FRIDAY – applications should be sent to email@example.com
The official call out reads:-
Z-arts and STUN want to encourage more artists from different cultural backgrounds or artists with disabilities to consider making work for children and young people, with an aim of increasing diverse representation onstage in children’s theatre.
So, we are looking for artists who are interested in taking part in a training week ‘artists lab’ to explore ideas of making work for children and young audiences.
Each day will be led by a diversity focused theatre maker who is experienced in making theatre for young audiences (including Benji Reid, Keith Saha from 20 Stories High, Nina Hajiyanni from Action Transport Theatre) but there will also be plenty of time to explore your own ideas.
You might be an emerging artist or an experienced artist who is interested in exploring making work for a new audience.
You will be encouraged to attend the whole week, to explore your ideas and be supported to identify next steps to make your ideas a reality, including how to look for funding or partnerships.
This is an expenses only training opportunity. Successful applicants will receive £150 expenses for the week, plus lunch.
To apply, please send your cv and a short covering letter saying why you want to take part and what you would hope to achieve by the end of the week to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: 12pm Friday 30th June