Year In Review 2013-14 Part 2

Trying to condense a whole year of Theatre at York St John into one blog post isn’t easy, so we’ve condensed it into three! In this second post we give examples of the amazing opportunities available to theatre students at York St John. We haven’t included everything but instead present a range of projects, events, stories and achievements from the last academic year.

Part 2 – Student Enhancement

 Field Trips

  • Level 1 Students visit Featherstone Castle for three days of site-specific devised work
  • Level 1 Students day trip to Scarborough as part of the Introduction to Performance Writing module
  • Level 2 Students visit Krakow Poland and visit Auschwitz Concentration Camp as part of the module Artist as Witness
  • Level 2 Students visit Matt Fraser performance at WYP and meet the artist afterward for a post-show conversation
  • Level 3 Students visit London for a three-day research trip to meet theatre companies and practitioners to interview. They also see as many performances as possible.

Performing House

Instant Dissidence – Caramel

Our in-house theatre Performing House shows touring work by emerging and established theatre artists.

  • Layla Cole & Aby Watson – Dust yourself off and try again & What a fanny
  • Atom-RThe Operature
  • Jules Dorey Richmond & David Richmond – Terrorists of the Heart
  • Instant DissidenceCaramel
  • Nathan Walker Sneck Stairs
  • Ridiculusmus – The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland

 Visiting Artists:

Chicago-based artists and theatre makers Mark Jeffery and Judd Morrissey/ATOM-R were here in October for a workshop and performance with Level 2 Multimedia students and some other Level 2 and 3 students. You can see an example of their work with our students in the video above.

Artist Ella Finer and practitioner Ollie Smith work on contemporary text strategies with Level 1 Performance Writing students.

Mole Wetherell, director of theatre company Reckless Sleepers, worked with Level 3 Contemporary Theatre Project students

Artist and writer Claire Macdonald delivered a workshop for Level 2 students studying Texts, Scripts & Scores module.

Both Staff and students were fortunate enough to participate in a workshop renowned theatre makers Cardboard Citizens at York Theatre Royal.

Storyteller Shonaleigh performed at York St John University as part of Holocaust Memorial Day

Level 2 and level 3 applied theatre students had the opportunity to work with nationally acclaimed theatre companies Clean Break, Graeae and Cardboard Citizens within their modules.

Greaea in collaboration with the NYCC FUSE project provided a week long training programme to students working with SEN young people exploring Integrated Arts practice.

Cardboard Citizens delivered to students on the Level 2 ‘Schools’ module, training in the devising and delivery of Forum Theatre.

Pests -Royal Exchange Theatre, Clean Break & Royal Court Theatre Co-production of Pests by Vivienne Franzmann. Directed by Lucy Morrison. Cast Ellie Kendrick, Sinéad Matthews.
Pests -Royal Exchange Theatre, Clean Break & Royal Court Theatre Co-production of Pests by Vivienne Franzmann. Directed by Lucy Morrison. Cast Ellie Kendrick, Sinéad Matthews.

Clean Break Theatre offered the opportunity for Level 3 students to  participate in a 3-day residency as part of their prison engagement work around their nationally acclaimed play “Billy the Girl” in HMP Askham Grange. Students also went to the Manchester Royal Exchange to see their latest performance of Vivienne Franzman’s play “Pests”.

Students were also fortunate to work with theatre practitioners Jill Adamson and Stephen Burke, exploring accessible arts practice and devising for Theatre in Education.

York St John University - Performing outside St Williams College as part of the 2014 Mystery Plays
York St John University – Performing outside St Williams College as part of the 2014 Mystery Plays

York Mystery Plays – Directed and performed in YSJU’s Wagon Play Performance of The Woman taken in Adultery and the Raising of Lazarus, which involved undergraduate and postgraduate students and was performed on the streets of York on Sunday 13th and 20th July, as well as a special charity performance at YSJU on Friday 18th

This last semester we hosted Theatre Hullabaloo’s latest play ‘Tiny Treasures’ which was devised  after a research process with young carers, it was to launch their tour and to share their work with York City Council, teachers form York Schools and for young people who are young carers. This was a collaboration project between Theatre Hullabaloo, Inspired Youth and York Young Carers. Students were able to see the performance and attend the drama workshop and Q and A afterwards.

Level 2 students studying autobiographical work on the module ‘Performance of the Self’ were fortunate enough to work with visiting Performing House artists Layla Cole & Aby Watson.

‘Performance of the Self’ students also participated in a workshop delivered by the wonderful artist Adrian Howells.


Adrian Howells (1962-2014)

Adrian’s relationship with us at York St John University nearly spanned 10-years and over that period he has given most generously of his time and experience as a performance-maker who created work that often promoted intimacy, vulnerability, mutual nurturing and genuine exchange with an audience, most notably in a one-to-one, autobiographical, or confessional context.

For those of us who were lucky enough to work alongside Adrian, or were privileged to hear one of his artist’s talks here at YSJU, or simply chat with him over a coffee in the canteen, we can testify to his warmth, generosity and of course wicked sense of humour. It is extremely sad that he is no longer with us, he was a good friend and he will be sorely missed.