After a very busy summer and a very busy start to the new semester, we are back!
To start the year off well we have already had our first Performing House of the year with Theatre Blah Blah Blah’s production of ‘Bag Dancing‘. Coming up we have: brand new work from Le Pelle’s Factory ‘Cloudcuckoolander‘; a radical hit work by Clean Break performed inside a prison van ‘Sweatbox‘; Claire Hind & Gary Winters’ incredible studio show ‘Dream Yards‘. Next year storyteller Shonaleigh returns to us with ‘The Diamond Girl’ and Peter McMaster’s incredible all-male production of ‘Wuthering Heights’.
We’re very excited to have all of these incredible companies and performing artists on our campus!
Last week we were delighted to present ‘Sounds Like an Insult’ – byClean 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.
The first of this semesters Performing House series began last week with a performance by graduate theatre company Verb Arts. Performers Amy Camsell & James Norris presented ‘A Mothers Trace’ a work that questions one’s ability to parent – or ‘mother’. ‘A Mothers Trace’ uncovers a traumatic past and discusses the repercussions of parenting from parent to child, Camsell & Norris took a scrupulous and unforgiving look at their own potential as compassionate and caring parents.