Monthly Archives: February 2015

Theatre Graduates and Staff work with NSPCC and Yorkshire County Council

We are delighted to be working in collaboration with North Yorkshire Safe Guarding Board, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Connecting Youth Culture (CYC) at North Yorkshire County Council.

Theatre academics Rachel Conlon and Jules Dorey Richmond have been commissioned to produce a participatory play for the campaign and are employing recent BA Honours Theatre graduates to create and perform the theatre performance to raise awareness, and explore paths out of harmful and dangerous situations surrounding E-Safety. This high profile project will initially be delivered to young people within secondary school settings throughout North Yorkshire, but it is envisaged that this highly beneficial work will be developed for both a younger audience and parents in a bid to stop sexual exploitation of vulnerable young people.

This project is part of the Faculty of Arts commitment to social engaged arts practice, and sits alongside the Prison Partnership Project, the International Centre for Community Music, and Converge.

Theatre Lecturer publishes new book of Performance Scores

Action Score Generator, Nathan Walker, If P Then Q Press
Action Score Generator, Nathan Walker, If P Then Q Press

Senior Lecturer in Theatre  Nathan Walker has a new book of poetic performance instructions published by Manchester based poetry press IF P THEN Q. The book ‘Action Score Generator’ is an exploration of performance writing, performance scores and poetry.

The Action Score Generator book is a print version of Nathan Walker’s website of the same name that runs a JavaScript code. The code produces a text of six words in length for six seconds. Every six seconds the six word text is replaced by another six word text and so on and so, the six word texts disappear. The print version is a sixty-minute performance by a machine writing ten six second texts every minute using only six words at a time. They are ordered as they were produced and remain unedited. The book also features an Afterword written by Dr. Mark Leahy that critically explores the work.


You can visit the Action Score Generator website and might even try performing the instructions as scores or simply reading them aloud as poems. You can by the book here



Theatre Academic research with Yorkshire Innovation Funding

Arts Company KMA is chasing further success thanks to £29k funding from the Yorkshire Innovation Fund (YIF), a project part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Through the YIF programme, the company will undertake its latest challenge: a research development project with York St John University, which aims to re-develop their business model to capitalise on the company’s reputation within the public arts market.  The audience enhancement research will be conducted by Dr. Eirini Nedelkopoulou (YSJ), whose expertise focuses on participatory approaches to interactive and digital practices in art and performance.

The funding follows a joint smaller innovation project between KMA and York St John University one year ago also led by Dr. Nedelkopoulou, which helped the company to examine how audiences react and engage with a particular work. The public and interactive nature of KMA’s work brought about the necessity to expand on audience building mechanisms and experiment with the making and ‘breaking’ of communities within the public sphere. This knowledge helped to inform the company how to design work that reaches more heterogeneous audiences and different markets.


KMA develops cutting-edge technical pieces of film, music, theatre and public art installations which have been shown around the globe, from Shanghai to Trafalgar Square. Their work has included live visuals and interactive projections for the likes of Paolo Nutini and Prince, and they are currently working on a feature-length film adaptation of Macbeth. KMA public works are large scale hybrid digital-performance works of art that are designed to engage the general public with public spaces in new and innovative ways.

Theatre Students work with Graeae Theatre and FUSE on Campus

Fuse Theatre and Graeae with YSJ Theatre Students
Fuse Theatre and Graeae with YSJ Theatre Students

During February half-term over 60 young people from FUSE Theatre, an inclusive & accesible youth theatre project, trained on campus with the London based, nationally acclaimed Graeae Theatre company. Level 2 BA Hons Theatre students from the ‘Theatre and Social Context ‘module had the fantastic opportunity to shadow and work on the project across the week.

FUSE Theatre is an inclusive & accessible youth theatre project delivered by Connecting Youth Culture part of North Yorkshire County Council. Fuse aims to offer young people from across North Yorkshire the opportunity to take part in weekly theatre workshops in seven areas of the county, delivered by professional theatre directors.

Graeae is a force for change in world-class theatre, breaking down barriers, challenging preconceptions and boldly placing disabled artists centre stage. Graeae champions accessibility and provides a platform for new generations of Deaf and disabled talent through the creation of trail-blazing theatre, at home and internationally.

Graeae worked throughout the week exploring their Iron Man production with the young people.

Clean Break Performance & Workshop

Clean Break Performance at York St John University. Photo Jen Todman,
Clean Break Performance at York St John University. Photo Jen Todman,

Last week we were delighted to present  ‘Sounds Like an Insult’ – by Clean Break Theatre Company. ‘Sounds like an Insult’ was commissioned by Clean Break in association with NOMS and the Department of Health and performed by graduates of Clean Break’s theatre education programme. Written by Vivienne Franzmann the show explores the experience of women offenders with complex mental health needs and the challenges of diagnosis and treatment within the criminal justice system. This event was in association with the Prison Partnership Project.

The Prison Partnership Project was conceived back in September 2013 by Rachel Conlon in the theatre programme, within the Faculty of Arts at #YSJ, HMP Askham Grange and the nationally acclaimed theatre company Clean Break. It was born out of the idea and desire to provide a unique, creative arts partnership between education, the arts and the prison service.

The aims of the partnership are to support the already recognised work of Clean Break at HMP Askham Grange, to give York St John theatre and arts students an invaluable, enhanced learning experience of working in the community and to gain real-world understanding of the social impact of theatre and the arts within a criminal justice setting

Clean Break presented the work as part of our Performing House series of programmed performances on campus. Followed by a Q & A and drama workshop with Anna Herrmann (Author of Making a Leap – Theatre of Empowerment) and Head of Education for Clean Break.