Everyone's A Playwright Project with Alexandra Palace
We are over the moon to announce that we received our first Arts Council funding for Crouch End Youth Theatre and Film Company.
EVERYONE'S A PLAYWRIGHT - DR CINDERELLA PLAYWRITING PROJECT - HAS NOW FINISHED
"Jonny Siddall's approach is accessible, entertaining and really does work." Roy Williams - Playwright
What Happened - What was it?
Last week saw the culmination of a month long project produced by Crouch End Youth Theatre & Film Company with Alexandra Palace. Funded by Arts Council the project was EVERYONE’S A PLAYWRIGHT and led by me as Director of Crouch End Youth Theatre & Film Company. The project grew out of the work I have done at Hampstead Theatre and whilst Artistic Director at Redbridge Drama Centre and The Kenneth More Theatre. Each future playwright had 3 sessions with me and a combination of a professional writer or local playwright and TV script writer Sumerah Srivistav. These either took place at our base at Yoga Junction for those aged 11 - 18 or in Weston Park, Bounds Green and St Marys Primary Schools. Around 250 took part and each created a short script. I believe that everyone is creative, and everyone can create a play script, its a direct form of telling a story relying on listening and looking at what people say and do. You don’t need to spend pages describing an atmosphere!
In my experience this has opened up writing to lots of young people who previously thought they couldn’t write, in fact I know many writers who struggled at school with Dyslexia and now earn their living from writing.
It proved the case on this project with teachers telling me that pupils who usual struggled to engage with writing were silently writing non stop. After 3 sessions around 6 hours we then selected 5 from each class and all the secondary school writers. This is where Alexandra Palace Creative Learning Team stepped in and offered the use of their theatre and studio space for the script in hand performances. I spent a couple of days rehearsing the plays with 5 actors, 2 of which are locally based Carole Stennant, Susie Wolff, together with Josh Eldridge- Smith, Darren Hart and Jack Sunderland. Then on 22 June the primary school pupils came to see their performances in the fantastic theatre and then on 5 July the other students saw their work in the Creativity Pavillion.
The range of subject and style was breathtaking leading to 35 5 minute plays - you were constantly surprised, enthralled, amused. The photos here so some of the performances and some of the audience reactions.
The support of Alexandra Palace was vital to taking this project to the next stage and the performances were for many of the actors the first time setting on stage for 14 months ( and what aigret place to start) .
Some of the comments we received were:
"It inspired me”
“It was the best drama experience at school I have and I looked forward to every wednesday”
“the theatre and actors were awesome.”
“It inspired me!”
Crouch End Youth Theatre continues to develop new opportunities for young people in an inclusive, creative way - we believe that talent is universal but opportunity is not. No need for a T -shirt - so why not give it ago.
In the summer holidays we have half day courses for the week of 26 July and 2 August in Film and Theatre Acting.
In the Autumn Youth Theatre Companies meeting after school from September as well as a writing group. All details here!