Community Connection

COMMUNITY CONNECTION 11 PERFORMING OUTDOORS – 24 July 2020

Did you know that July is named after Julius Caesar, I suppose it is obvious.  Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar wasn’t part of the National Theatre at Home season that has been running over the last 16 weeks, but I hope that you managed to catch something that you enjoyed – there certainly was a lot of choice.  Here you can find their message of thanks to everyone who watched and donated.

Here endeth the history lesson. 

Now to the business of making theatre ourselves.  With uncertainty still very much prevalent in the arts sector, particularly around social distancing in theatre buildings and the safety of cast members, I thought it would be worth taking a closer look at one of the alternatives, outdoor performance.  Some of you will have tried this to varying degrees from performing small sketches at local events to large scale productions in collaboration with local partners.  Re-imagined Battlefields, magical forests and comedy troupes have been presented outdoors for many years throughout the history of performance.  But, what does it take to do this in the 21st century.  I spoke to Richard Nisbet from Shakespeare at Traquair, one of our member clubs who specialise in outdoor promenade performances, about their experiences

I have an additional resource sheet available for anyone thinking about this for a future production, please contact me on nda@scda.org.uk and I can send you a copy.

The Scottish Government have not yet given a date for resuming Live performance (outdoors).  Phase 3 only states not before 31 July 2020.  Please find a link here However, I still thought I would look for some examples of events that you might find inspiring.

A company called Slung Low based in Leeds transformed a car park to provide entertainment for local families.  Interesting use of a flatbed truck and the way they created the audience space in the parking bays.  Take a look here.

Illyria are an outdoor theatre touring company based in England who have just announced an extensive tour of  The Wind in the Willows starting 10 August and it makes me wonder how involved they have to be in audience social distancing – maybe that is the sole responsibility of the venues?  

Have you heard of Handlebards?  No, neither had I until now.  Great concept – Shakespeare being cycled across the country – resuming activities in August and September.

These are examples of stripped back productions that are flexible and not too heavy on set and props – is that the way forward in the short term?  

Whichever way you look at it, we are unlikely to see a plethora of outdoor performances in the next couple of months.  Even setting aside the sheer amount of work it takes to meet all of the health and safety considerations, including any new Covid related ones and the weather as we move from summer in Autumn, licences take some time to go through local channels and the logistics make it completely unrealistic.  So, maybe it’s something you are considering for next year – plenty of time to do your homework.

In terms of getting the cast ready for outdoor performance, the advice I have received from some directors I have spoken to seems to be ‘think bigger’ – if you think it, you can do it. 

It’s what I’ve been saying for years, bigger really is better.

I tried to tie in the feel good moment to the theme of performing outdoors, I did toy with the iconic number from Singing in the Rain but in the spirit of positivity here is my choice this week

 

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

Disclaimer

Although every care has been taken by SCDA in the recommendation of these resources, they exist on external servers outwith the control of SCDA and they have not been subject to detailed evaluation. Accordingly no guarantee is given by SCDA as to their suitability. SCDA shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising by virtue of accessing these links.

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COMMUNITY CONNECTION 10 – 26 June 2020

It’s been 3 weeks since my last blog – did you miss me?  Things have been really busy backstage so look out for more resources for members coming out over the summer months.

As we take small steps out of lock down, the weather is predictable in terms of being unable to predict but one thing we can be sure of – there are no immediate plans or guidelines for opening theatres or concert venues.  Whilst this is a blow to all of us, it is perhaps not surprising while we have social distancing in place.  Sardines Magazine have a lively debate going on through their Facebook pages, particularly about whether amateur theatre groups with their own premises are likely to open sooner as they are less reliant on profits to pay staff?   

If you want to join the debate have a look at their Facebook page OR how about a CUPPA AND A CHAT where we can debate and discuss whether amateurs are better placed to restart than professionals?  Drop me an email ndaforscda@gmail.com to register interest and I’ll set it up.  You just need access to zoom, a cuppa and a comfy seat.

How many of you have performed Murder Mysteries?  Here’s a group called Murdered for Money taking it online which you may be interested in taking a look at – is this something your club could do?  

Hands up if you haven’t seen Staged with David Tennant and Michael Sheen.  Shame on you – get onto BBC iplayer now – laugh out loud good fun.  To whet your appetite here is a clip where David is asking Michael to help him plan a meal.

It wouldn’t be a blog from me without some useful links that I have come across so here goes.

Stagescripts have defined not only what a virtual performance is but how the licences will work for their plays.  Take a look here for this very useful guide – remember that other publishers may have different terms so always make sure you check with them.

Found some great tips on the Theatrefolk website for performing online you can find them here

I think most people know about NT Live by now – I watched Small Island last week which felt so relevant at the current time and I am still thinking about it.  This week their acclaimed version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is being streamed and I have pasted the trailer in here for your pleasure.

Here’s something a little bit different – an exhibition online.  It wasn’t my intention to have another National Theatre item in this edition of Community Connection but I found this so interesting – a mixture of articles, letters, reviews and film clips charting the journey of Shakespeare at the National Theatre.  You can access it here

Feel good moment for this week – a song from Godspell.

Hope you have a good week.

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

Disclaimer

Although every care has been taken by SCDA in the recommendation of these resources, they exist on external servers outwith the control of SCDA and they have not been subject to detailed evaluation. Accordingly no guarantee is given by SCDA as to their suitability. SCDA shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising by virtue of accessing these links.

 

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COMMUNITY CONNECTION 9 – 5 June 2020

‘June is bustin’ out all over’ as the song goes and with the mostly sunny weather we’ve been having the optimism of the song lyrics seem easier to relate to.  Many of us may still be at home but we can start to emerge in a small ways so let’s think of the glass being half full today!

I won’t be doing a blog every week going forward to give me time to collect the best recommendations, but sometimes there are things that are happening soon and can’t be delayed and this is one of those weeks.

Firstly I want to give a shout out to all of the people who took part in my first online workshop last Saturday.  It was so enjoyable working on monologues together.  I am now preparing a follow up session and I can’t wait!

We also kicked off the Reserve Adjudicator training on Monday of this week with a great bunch of enthusiasts.  This training will help us all hone our understanding of theatre in general as well as the adjudication process.  Thanks to Dave Bennet for leading on this.

The In Motion play writing sessions are going full steam ahead.  As a participant myself I am learning so much about how to bring text to life.  Lots of transferable skills for directors and actors as well as writers.

What’s on this week

In 1909, E.M Forster wrote the short story ‘The Machine Stops’. It imagined a world where the human race lived in total isolation underground, shunning contact with each other, except through the machine. The Victorian author could not have envisaged how prophetic his words would be for a 2020 of lockdown and self isolation. Where loving words, reminiscences and even theatre are exchanged across the internet.

Big Telly’s brilliant live online adaptation of The Machine Stops is a rich, creative illustration of Victorian culture and psyche. The complex multiple layers of the era’s thinking just as the western world begins its accelerated journey into modernity.. A steampunk world of Victorian curio, where humans exist in underground isolation, living only through ‘The Machine’. Where normality is bizarre technology, and the world outside the machine a deadly place. But here, amongst the strange and the odd … there is hope.. ‘Because any moment, something tremendous may happen’.

Tickets: £15 per device. Unlimited viewers!

Limited capacity per show. Book early!

Ticket to the event admits you to two special events.

  • Sunday 4.15pm – Meet The Makers Q&A. A chance to meet and talk to the cast, crew and director of The Machine Stops, Operation Elsewhere and The Tempest.
  • Sunday 8.45pm – THE BIG AFTER- DEBATE including VIP panellists – discussing how theatre will emerge from lockdown. Who we are as a society. State vs personal responsibility and the role of the creative arts in paving innovation and hope for the future. Details to follow on www.riversidetheatre.org.uk

Has anyone come across a website called Thespie?  I have just signed up and it is a great place to find filmed performances, artist talks, livestreams, podcasts, and theatre resources.  Here’s a link to their website

Finally, thanks to Dave Bennet again for pointing me in the direction of Unprecedented on BBC 4.  Here you can find more information about this Series written and filmed in lockdown featuring the UK’s most celebrated actors.  Not only great entertainment but some fine examples of what can be done digitally.

Feel good moment – a fantastic version of Earth Song by members of the cast (past and present) of the stage musical Thriller.  Pure quality!

 

Hope you have a good week.

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

Disclaimer

Although every care has been taken by SCDA in the recommendation of these resources, they exist on external servers outwith the control of SCDA and they have not been subject to detailed evaluation. Accordingly no guarantee is given by SCDA as to their suitability. SCDA shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising by virtue of accessing these links.

 

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COMMUNITY CONNECTION 8 – 29 May 2020

Hello everyone

It’s been 2 weeks since my last blog – I have sent out so much information I thought you might need a bit of time to watch some of it before sending out more. 

Today is a gloriously sunny day in Glasgow and like most of you I am itching to get out of the house.  As Scotland starts to move through the various stages of lifting lockdown, there are still lots of questions to be answered about how we reopen theatres and deliver live entertainment whilst maintaining social distancing – both for our audiences but also for actors.  Many discussions are going on but with The Lyceum in Edinburgh announcing that they will not reopen until 2021 I think we all recognise that this is a marathon and not a sprint.

The UK Government has put a callout for people to contribute to research on the impact of COVID19  on culture and the creative industries.  The deadline for submitting evidence is 19 June 2020 and if you want to have your say you can follow the link here

We are all discovering possibilities with digital and online performance, but I for one can’t wait to get back on my feet in a room with other people exploring drama and having fun.  However, we have to work with what we have and I am delivering my first digital workshop this weekend with 8 participants exploring performing monologues.  Fingers crossed all goes well and this will be the first of many online workshops.

The Hampstead Theatre auditorium

Hampstead Theatre Auditorium

Before I leave the subject of monologues (which are naturally becoming extremely popular at the moment), Hampstead Theatre have a great series of podcasts through Mono Box with some of the finest acting talent across the UK.  As well as talking about a standout play, they perform their favourite monologues – such a treat for the ears.  Feels like a series of masterclasses in how to perform a monologue.  Just gorgeous!!

The Art of Coarse Acting

The Art of Coarse Acting, first published in 1964, has been released as a downloadable podcast. Its narrator is none other than the author himself, Michael Green, who recorded it shortly before he died in 2018 at the age of 91.

The success of Green’s book led to a whole spate of bespoke Coarse Acting plays.  So successful were the Coarse Acting Championships that Green put together a “best of” compilation and took it up to the Edinburgh Fringe where the two-week run sold out on the first night.  It was allegedly the inspiration for the massive West End hit The Show That Goes Wrong 

Green’s catch-all definition for a coarse actor was “one who can remember the lines but not the order in which they come,” though his wonderfully entertaining book contains any number of defining traits, from “bringing down the scenery by forcing a door that won’t open” to “nabbing the early exit parts in order to spend more time in the pub.”

The Art of Coarse Acting 50th anniversary edition is available from Samuel French Ltd. and the podcast is available to download from Audible

Nick Hern Books have published some guidance and recommendations for performing plays online please following this link  The FAQs page is very helpful and makes clear that broadcasting of their plays online must be password protected and not public.  However, you can charge people to view your play.  There are still lots of things you will need to consider but it is a good starting point.  I know that there are other publishers who will have different T&Cs so it is worth looking around. 

It is inevitable that there will be an increase in flexibility for performing plays online until we can move back into performance spaces.  I will pass on any new information that I find out as soon as I can.

Understudy is a brand new online play starring Stephen Fry and Russell Tovey.  The play was released in 2 live events and both are now available to watch.  The cost is £5 in total and all proceeds will be split between Acting For Others, the Equity Charitable Trust, Equity’s Benevolent Fund and The Theatre Development Trust, run by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre.

Thanks to Robin Smith for pointing me in the direction of the Theatre Centre and their project ImagiNation.  19 of the UK’s most exciting writers have written a collection of stories for the nation and there are some great writers here so well worth a look!

West End Live will stream highlights from the last 5 years of their annual celebrations over the weekend of 20 & 21 June.  They will only be available for 24 hours so get the dates in your diary now or you’ll miss out!

Wrning!!  My feel good moment is here – enjoy

Hope you have a good week.

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

Disclaimer

Although every care has been taken by SCDA in the recommendation of these resources, they exist on external servers outwith the control of SCDA and they have not been subject to detailed evaluation. Accordingly no guarantee is given by SCDA as to their suitability. SCDA shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising by virtue of accessing these links.

 

 

 

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COMMUNITY CONNECTION 7 – 15 May 2020

Here is your weekly bulletin and things are busier than ever so excuse me if I get straight down to business.

Cuppa and a Chat – this is something I would like to continue but I want to create a bit more of a focus so I need you to tell me what you would like to chat about.  Answers on a postcard?  Perhaps the best way would be to leave a comment here or drop me an email nda@scda.org.uk.

Did you know that you can join a zoom meeting by phone if you have limited internet data.  Here is some information from their website

To join a Zoom meeting via telephone:
On a telephone, dial (408)638-0968. …
At the prompt, enter the Zoom meeting ID provided by the facilitator of the meeting and press #. …
To disconnect from the meeting, hang up the phone.
+44 (0) 20 3695 0088

Today is the deadline to sign up for the ‘In Motion’ workshops.  I am also happy to announce that both the Reserve Adjudicator and the Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say workshops are now full and will be running so look out for some stories after these events.

Recommendations for this week

The Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh have a couple of really lovely projects on the go.  You could contribute to Curtain Up – a beautiful project to create a huge patchwork curtain for the re-opening of the theatre or you could volunteer to be one of the army of people who will be needed to sew it together,  They are looking for 1000 squares from people of all ages and here’s Artist Director David Greig talking about the project

 

If that’s not your thing, how about sending a love letter to the Lyceum?  With a selection of letters being read by actors and shared in a weekly podcast and some going on to form part of a special one-off show to re-open the theatre, it’s another great project.  Find out more here

Letters to The Lyceum, Edinburgh

Whilst it is great to see so many people staying connected and being creative, we’ve all hardly had time to catch our breath and plan activities in detail.  Our friends at YTAS (Youth Theatre Arts Scotland) are collating advice and links to resources to help young people stay safe online.  Here’s a link to their website for you to see what they have discovered.  It is definitely worth looking at Company Three’s free resources and templates for safe online activity and the link can be found on that page.  These challenges times have resulted in lots of generosity with companies like this sharing their resources.

Another important thing to think about at the moment is performing rights for online performance.  There are lots of discussions going on in different networks about the implications of the amount of material being streamed online.  You must always check with publishers if you want to perform live or stream recorded performances online. 

Writing and performing your own material?  No problem, just don’t be tempted to use music without consulting PRS amount potential musician performing rights (go to our useful links page to find them).  I am attempting to get some general advice from them but don’t take any chances.  You could write your own music? – and by coincidence we have a song writing workshop that you can sign up to before end of today ….

Get Creative continue to provide lots of opportunities to engage with culture and creativity.  Here’s a link to 4 new masterclasses that you might find stimulating.

Lastly from me this week, the BBC Lockdown orchestra was completed last night and broadcast just before 9 pm.  Here’s a link for you to sing along to, you know you want to – YOU GOT THE LOVE!

Hope you have a good week.

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

Disclaimer

Although every care has been taken by SCDA in the recommendation of these resources, they exist on external servers outwith the control of SCDA and they have not been subject to detailed evaluation. Accordingly no guarantee is given by SCDA as to their suitability. SCDA shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising by virtue of accessing these links.

 

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COMMUNITY CONNECTION 6 – 8 May 2020

Hello readers.

Apologies that there was no blog from me last week – with the exciting news about the In Motion workshops I didn’t want to overload everyone.

This blog is becoming my weekly countdown – we are up to number 6 and I have been working at home full time for 8 weeks – plenty of time to adjust???  I am not sure that it is getting any easier.  There is a lot of conversation at the moment about looking after our mental health as we cope with our fears and the consequences of confinement.  One of the things that I find helps me is connecting to others whether I know them well or they are relative strangers. How about you?

After the success of the  ‘Cuppa and a Chat’ sessions I know that this is hugely beneficial for me – thanks to everyone who has joined in so far.  It would be great to see some new people taking part – what’s stopping you?  We are looking at putting in a bit more structure by having a theme or topic to discuss at future dates and would love you tell us what you would like to talk about.  See you there soon with a cuppa and a biscuit.

This week I am focusing once again on things that are suitable for young people – that doesn’t mean that the slightly more mature among us can’t still enjoy them!

Firstly, a comprehensive free online resource for anyone working with young people.  Thanks to Peter from Ury Players in Stonehaven for sending me the link which you can find here – it would take some time to get through all of them so many choices!  

Next up, the annual Young Poets of the Year competition for writers aged 11 – 17 has just been launched.  With the possibility of being published at the end of it, this is a great one to get involved in and you can find details here

Chichester Festival Theatre have released David Walliams The Midnight Gang and it looks brilliant.  Here is the link.  Suitable for ages 7 up this is one for the whole family to watch together

For ballet aimed at children, look no further than The London Children’s Ballet 2012 recording of A Little Princess which can be found here – joyful!

Not to forget a couple for the adults!   I start with a question – have you signed up for Lockdown, the Sardines Magazine weekly newsletter?  I know I’m repeating myself but it is so good and with people from amateur drama clubs from across the UK sending in their news, there are lots of ideas that you might want to steal.   Why not share what you are doing?  Follow my link here to their Facebook page where you can access all the editions so far.  I really enjoyed the recent rendition of Seasons of Love from Rent that was showcased, performed by Woodstock Musical Theatre Company based in Sheffield – come on Scotland let’s get some of our talent out there!

And lastly, National Theatre of Scotland have put up a couple of short tutorials which I thought you may be able to use.  One is about how to light yourself for home filming and the other how to make a film using your mobile.  Enjoy!

Hope you have a good week.

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

Disclaimer

Although every care has been taken by SCDA in the recommendation of these resources, they exist on external servers outwith the control of SCDA and they have not been subject to detailed evaluation. Accordingly no guarantee is given by SCDA as to their suitability. SCDA shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising by virtue of accessing these links.

 

 

 

 

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COMMUNITY CONNECTION 5 – 24 APRIL 2020

ORKNEY WORKSHOP – 2017

As we should have been in Orkney for the Scottish final of the One Act play festival this weekend, I have chosen a picture for this blog from a workshop I delivered there in 2017.   See you next year Orkney!

I hope that you are managing to enjoy the sunshine whether it is on your daily walks or spending time outside if you have access to a garden.  

Our first ‘cuppa and a chat’ ran on zoom last week with 5 of us chewing the fat.  It was great fun so the 2nd one is already scheduled for this Sunday, 26 April, at 11 am.  If you want to come along please drop me an email on nda@scda.org.uk and I’ll send you the link.  I will try to pick a selection of days and times to be accessible for anyone who may be working shifts or juggling child care and homeschooling.

I got in touch with Dave Bennet from SASDA this week (you may remember that he recently delivered the Reserve Adjudicator training for us) and we have agreed to trial a further session online.  It will only run if we have sufficient numbers so you need to get in touch with me to express an interest for us to take it forward.

Continuing the theme of training for SCDA members, I am going to deliver one of my workshops ‘Say What you Mean and mean What you Say’ online to see how it works digitally.  The session will focus on monologues.

You will find more details in the e-news due to come out next week but in the meantime you can drop me an email to express your interest from today.

I’ve been continuing to check out the every growing array of online activity on your behalf this week and here are my recommendations.

In case you haven’t heard National Theatre are extending their programme, you can find more details here With the casting of Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead roles of Frankenstein –  you can even watch both versions to compare their performances over a two week period.  I saw them both through NT Live and would be interested to hear which version you prefer.

Before I leave the subject of National Theatre, you will see that there are lots of additional resources from behind the scenes that are well worth a look on their YouTube channel.  I watched an interesting interview with Sam Mendes talking about his rehearsal process here is the link.   I particularly enjoyed his description of trying to ‘make the strange familiar and the familiar strange’.  Perhaps this resonated with me taking into account the situation in which we find ourselves at the moment.

Have you heard of the Chichester Theatre?  No?  In recent years many West End productions such as Guys & Dolls, Private Lives and Gypsy started out there before successfully transferring to the West End.  I have heard really good things about a play that they are streaming called Flowers for Mrs Harris.  Apparently you should settle down for a good piece of theatre and make sure you bring some tissues. (available until 30 May)

Staying on top of what is available can be tricky – here is a useful  link to a website providing up to date information about free performances.  It’s nice to see what’s on from other venues apart from the National Theatre.

Did you know… that you can read up to 4 articles a month on The Stage website without taking out a subscription?  You can find the website here but if  4 doesn’t satisfy your appetite for theatre news it isn’t too costly to subscribe. 

Looking for some new skills?  As well as the Open University that I talked about last week, why not try Class Central who have a good selection of free online short courses.  Although many of them are related to film, there are some for theatre makers,  particularly if you have an interest in Shakespeare but wouldn’t put yourself in the ‘expert’ category. 

Looking for something more physical, why not learn how to juggle.  I’m sure that there are many different online tutorials out there but I picked this one  I found the tutor clear and it is the first of a number of classes from the same person in case you want to learn impressive tricks once you have the basics.  Just between ourselves I have tried and failed on many occasions, maybe I should give it another go.

Lastly, if you haven’t signed up for the Sardines newsletter, Lockdown, you will have missed our feature which appeared this week.  It’s a really good selection of news and opportunities which I highly recommend.  Here you can find their Facebook page with a link to this week’s edition.

Hope you have a good week.

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

Disclaimer

Although every care has been taken by SCDA in the recommendation of these resources, they exist on external servers outwith the control of SCDA and they have not been subject to detailed evaluation. Accordingly no guarantee is given by SCDA as to their suitability. SCDA shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising by virtue of accessing these links.

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How to Run a Playreading Event

Tips on how to set up an online play reading event

Find a play

  • Cressrelles are releasing a play a day on their Facebook page. Simon is extremely helpful and you can contact him for a pdf copy that he is happy to be used for play reading purposes

  • Here’s another option, you can find short plays here written in direct response to the times we live in and they are free to download – Josef Weinberger

  • Thinking about pantos already? Ben Crocker Pantomimes is the place to go for a reading copy and he is very helpful and accommodating.

 

Find a cast

  • Why not use this time to mix up your cast hearing different voices reading the same lines lines

  • Don’t have enough actors? People can take on more than one role or put a callout through the SCDA social media to enlist from other clubs – great chance for new collaborations

  • Too many actors? Try a couple of short plays or double cast (each actor reads alternative character lines) or don’t cast and read round robin style

 

How does it work?

  • Take a look here at the blog on the SCDA website to read about a couple of different online platforms you can use from my perspective (not recommendations just sharing my experiences). The best way to find out what suits you is to just try it

 

Top Tips for success

  • Someone has to lead the session. Discussion needs to be managed – talking over each other can be problematic so find your own solution – most of these platforms have ways of digitally raising your hand or you can use some kind of visual aids.  Remember to get everyone to mute their microphone when they aren’t speaking – background noise can be deafening.

  • Speed times can vary between participants as well so there may be some unexpected pauses – just go with the flow

  • If someone’s audio is coming and going, leaving the call and returning might resolve it and If using a phone it often works better if you download the APP

  • Don’t forget to have fun!

 

AND … if this isn’t the right thing for your club but you would like to get involved Nick Hearn Books are running a Playgroup. You can read and discuss one new play each week for free and pose your questions to the Writer in a Q&A. Find out more information here  OR you could post a request on Facebook to join a play reading event with a different SCDA club which could be a lot of fun!

 

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

Disclaimer

Although every care has been taken by SCDA in the recommendation of these resources, they exist on external servers outwith the control of SCDA and they have not been subject to detailed evaluation. Accordingly no guarantee is given by SCDA as to their suitability. SCDA shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising by virtue of accessing these links.

 

 

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COMMUNITY CONNECTION 4 – 17 April 2020

Here we are with the 4th news blog.  How has your week been?  Did anyone use any of the recommendations from last week? 

I had my first cuppa and a chat online meeting today and it was great to see some familiar faces from different parts of Scotland.  I am planning to make it a regular occurrence so look out for that.

I feel like I am slowly getting into my rhythm now and starting to collect my own thoughts about what we can/should offer you at a National level.  This has been helped by an unexpected opportunity that came along this week.  Through my contacts at Voluntary Arts Scotland I was connected with someone at BBC Radio Scotland – they want to put together a piece about communities in Scotland and were very interested in how drama clubs are responding to the current situation.  With very little time to collect information I put an urgent call out on Facebook and 16 clubs have been in touch to tell me about the wonderful breadth of creative activity going on.  This is so useful as it has enabled me to 

  • Open up the conversation with the BBC hopefully leading to a broadcast about our community
  • Share some of the information here for other clubs
  • Hone down my own plans so that I am not duplicating what is happening locally

 

I’ll let you know when it will be broadcast if the BBC project gets off the ground.

In order to provide you with a brief summary of everything happening I have rewritten the words to the Modern Major General song from Pirates of Penzance (for anyone who doesn’t know the song here is a link to a clip from the film version – it starts about 2.5 minutes in)

orchestra starts..

There’s reading plays and learning songs and dressing up in fancy dress

There’s watching shows that stream online and quizzes where you take a guess

There’s building props and learning lines and painting where you make a mess

And everybody’s grateful when they meet online, (short hold of breath) well more or less

In short in matters drama with the amateur societies we’re using being playful to respond to our anxieties

huge round of applause!

 

I have also discovered that whilst some clubs would like to hold play reading events they are not sure how to get started or where to find plays.  So, I have created a guide which I am putting up in a separate blog on the website.  I am very happy to help a club get started if you get in touch – although I am still wearing ‘L’ plates I am getting lots of practice.

Recommendations for this week..

Sardines, the magazine for amateur theatre, are publishing a weekly newsletter called Lockdown with lots of interesting articles and links.  If you want to subscribe here’s a link to their website.

Online tutorials

Has anyone taken any of the classes on masterclass.com?  There are some big names from film and television.  Some of them are more focused on acting for camera but the Helen Mirren one for instance covers acting for stage.  They have a time limited subscription offer on at the moment so it may be worth a look here

On the subject of taking online courses, did you know that the Open University has over 1000 free online courses?  I plan to start with Approaching Plays but they cover such a wide range of topics that I am sure there will be something for everyone.  Here is the link

Who’s visited the Social Distancing Festival?  This is such an eclectic mix of cultural activity from across the world – maybe you have something you would like to contribute?  I try to dip in for a short pick-me-up – you can find it here

That’s me signing off now so that I can go and work on plans to launch my first online workshop for SCDA.

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

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COMMUNITY CONNECTION 3 – 10 April 2020

Here we are, week 3 already of Community Connection.   What have you been doing since last week.  No, seriously that is a real question. I have no idea if anyone is reading my musings so please leave me a comment – even it is a single word or sentence to let me know that you are with me.

Clip Art Confused

Is anyone else beginning to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things online.  I have a feeling of guilt sometimes that by now I should have started to learn a new language, knitted a spaceship and painted every wall in my flat. That’s despite the fact that I am still working full time across both my jobs even though I am home-based. In this weekly missive I try to limit the number of things (believe me I could triple it without even blinking) so that I don’t add to that burden.  I am curious to know if anyone looked at the YouTube video with the learning lines technique?  I want to know if it works…

Ones to watch this week

Exciting News!! Get Creative have launched their website this week and, surprise surprise, it’s gone digital.   With lots of information about how to run an event this is the only toolkit you will need.  All activities must be free or low cost.  Charging people to participate can only be justified if there are costs to be met for instance for materials, digital related costs or staff such as artists.   Here’s the link Another exciting element to this community based National event is the partnership with the BBC – it will be included in their Culture in Quarantine programming.  Take a look at the range of things already on offer as well as what is coming up – your event could appear here

Here’s another website with ideas for people who want to create local events to connect the community – could be useful if you want to participate in Get Creative.  There are resources and suggestions for things you could do now and also for when we are able to physically reconnect again.  Here’s the link

If you want to keep you finger on the pulse as and when new releases come on line for viewing filmedonstage.com may be a good one for you 

Cypress Avenue is a hard hitting play currently being offered by the Royal Court Theatre which I saw recommended by a member of an SCDA club in Edinburgh.  It was directed by Vicky Featherstone who used to be the Artistic Director of National Theatre of Scotland before moving to the Royal Court.  There is a content warning on the website so it may not be for everyone but take a look and see if it is your cup of tea.

Here’s the link

Any Alfie Bow fans out there?  He will be performing in a concert from home via the Albert Hall on Sunday 12 April so this weekend.  It’s free but I suggest that you follow this link and click on the Notify Me button. 

See the source image

Finally, here’s a motivational article on how to use the current limitations as a way to clear the old and bring in the new.  Be brave and don’t worry about this being the time of the ‘best’ work for our audiences but the time for something new and different. 

***BIG NEWS*** I am planning to launch one of my workshops online in the coming weeks – starting with Say What You Mean and Mean What you Say focusing on monologues!  Watch out for the announcement as you will need to sign up if you want to take part – it will only be available to SCDA club or individual members. 

 

Stay Safe, Stay Connected and Be Creative

Carole

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