Last Saturday I was at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for the beginning of the Director’s Weekend – the first event in our new RSC Open Stages project. Directors from nearly 100 amateur theatre groups across the UK had assembled in Stratford for a weekend of workshops, skill-sharing and discussions with staff from the Royal Shakespeare Company and our other professional theatre partners. I spoke at the start of the weekend about the role Voluntary Arts played in developing the original Open Stages project and its importance in helping to raise the profile of the amateur arts and bring the professional and amateur theatre sectors closer together.
I then sat in on some of the initial workshops (on voice & text – with Michael Corbridge, RSC Voice practitioner; and movement – with Struan Leslie, RSC Head of Movement) which shared approaches and techniques that the Directors could use in their amateur groups as they develop the productions that will be showcased through the new Open Stages project.
At lunchtime I spoke to the Directors about our Running Your Group online information services (www.runningyourgroup.org), our Epic Awards scheme (which is open for entries until 30 November, see: www.epicawards.co.uk) and Voluntary Arts Week (which will take place from 9 – 18 May 2014, see: www.voluntaryartsweek.org).
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