Tag Archives: York St John

Storyknowing Festival and Symposium

“Storyknowing’ was a two-day event hosted in April 2016 by York St John University and York Theatre Royal that brought together practitioners, researcher and young people to explore, through performances, workshops and talks, the artform of storytelling with adolescents. Organised by Cath Heinemeyer (YSJU/York Theatre Royal), Matthew Reason (YSJU), Juliet Forster (York Theatre Royal) it incorporated rich and diverse perspectives from arts practice, mental health, education and youth work, as well as from young people themselves, and from socially engaged researchers.

We have made a 13-minute documentary film that tells the story and shares some of the learning of ‘Storyknowing’.

For further information about ‘Storyknowing’ visit www.artsandnarrative.co.uk/storyknowing-symposium-festival/

Gary Winters & Claire Hind exhibit at York City Art Gallery

Gillygate York is a beautiful old street with an evolving attitude and is just outside the city walls. It’s not a well-documented or archived street but it has a catalogue of modern threats of closure and an eccentric artisan past. Once home to a medieval landscape, a small hold farm, stables, 18th century housing, St Giles Church, a skating rink, tramlines and a fully working mechanical garage. Gillygate now homes an eclectic mix of independent trading shops, cafes, pubs, music stores, vintage clothes shops, fancy dress, craft shops, an adult shop, hair salons (among many other independently ran business) and residential homes as well as the Salvation Army (as at the date of writing). Gillygate, bizarre and so homemade.

When York City Art Gallery reopened its doors this Summer as part of a massive re-development project, a new work was exhibited alongside historic paintings and drawings of York. This work, a video and neon text installation is a new contemporary work by artists Gary Winters and Associate Professor of Theatre Claire Hind entitled ‘We Made Something of This’.

'We Made Something of This' Gary Winters & Claire Hind at York City Art Gallery. Photo: G Winters
‘We Made Something of This’ Gary Winters & Claire Hind at York City Art Gallery. Photo: G Winters

We Made Something of This is a portrait of Gillygate as it was during summer 2014 captured on Super 8mm film and using stories, anecdotes and facts gathered from its residents and proprietors.  The film also includes footage of an inaugural feast day performance by the artists held on September 1st celebrating the street’s namesake, Giles – the patron saint of hermits and nocturnal terrors. Gary and Claire have said that “being on the edge of the city, we feel Gillygate still lives up to its patron’s name.” Gillygate named after Giles, the kind and noble quiet one who was nurtured by a hind then, away from it all, saved its life – took an arrow for it and lived on as a Saint.

Our neon light represents the spirit, creativity and determination of those who live and work on Gillygate and those who have risen above the threats of commercialism and the struggles of modern day trading. Our neon light also represents our work, our relationship to the street, the materials we use and the way in which we find serendipity in our projects with and the stories that unfold.

Gillygate for Nina and her garden’s hidden treasures.

Gillygate for Ken and his pie in the oven.

Gillygate for Phil who bakes bread ‘till late.

Gillygate for Paul who wears an arrow through his head whilst listening to Frank Sinatra.

Gillygate for Hamish and his cat.


We Made Something of This is on view at York Art Gallery until March 2016. For more information about Gary and Claire’s projects visit www.garyandclaire.com.

Performing House 2015-16

Performing House Poster


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!

'Bag Story' by Theatre Blah Blah Blah at Performing House (Oct 2015)
‘Bag Dancing’ by Theatre Blah Blah Blah at Performing House (Oct 2015)

Performance and Phenomenology Book Launch


York St John Theatre Lecturer Eirini Nedelkopoulou has published an edited book with Maaike Bleeker and Jon Foley Sherman entitled ‘Performance and Phenomenology: Traditions and Transformations’.

Eirini Nedelkopoulou (L) & Maaike Bleeker (R) speaking at the ‘Performance & Phenomenology’ Book Launch, Grey’s Court Hotel, York

Published by Routledge the book offers a timely discussion about the interventions and tensions between two contested and contentious fields, performance and phenomenology, with international case studies that map an emerging 21st century terrain of critical and performance practice. Building on the foundational texts of both fields that established the performativity of perception and cognition, Performance and Phenomenology continues a tradition that considers experience to be the foundation of being and meaning. Acknowledging the history and critical polemics against phenomenological methodology and against performance as a field of study and category of artistic production, the volume provides both an introduction to core thinkers and an booklaunch2expansion on their ideas in a wide range of case studies. Whether addressing the use of dead animals in performance, actor training, the legal implications of thinking phenomenologically about how we walk, or the intertwining of digital and analog perception, each chapter explores a world comprised of embodied action and thought. The established and emerging scholars contributing to the volume develop insights central to the phenomenological tradition while expanding on the work of contemporary theorists and performers. In asking why performance and phenomenology belong in conversation together, the book suggests how they can transform each other in the process and what is at stake in this transformation.


Inspired by the illustrations of Marcel Dzama, Level 1 Ensemble Theatre Students present


'Dzamaland' York St John University Theatre
‘Dzamaland’ York St John University Theatre
Tuesday 12th May, 8:30pm
York St John University Quad

Take a walk into the forest and experience Dzamaland first hand. Take in the night time noises whilst you surround yourself with narcoleptic trees, swaying in their dreams. Be careful and beware as the sleeping sickness catches the tourists as they wander. Their eyes watching from every crevice staring you down you as you continue to wonder. Moving deeper and deeper into the ink-stain-dark.

After the crash, the crash that went bang, banging and echoing through every still and single branch and every soft yet shaking paw. The moonshine shone on the souls of the forest and the moonshine will shine again on you, illuminating the pathway that would otherwise be clouded in a cloak of darkness.

As we settle into the forest, we are settling in to the unknown world, into a world filled creatures dancing in the moonshine. Watch reality burn away into the shadows as you stumble along the path that has been stumbled upon many times before, or had it been encountered at all?

You decide what is real and what is not, who to help whilst thinking who would help you…Open your eyes and open your mind as you trickle through a web of misinterpretation.




*Please note this is an outdoor performance

Students perform at East Riding Theatre

Theatre at York St John are pleased to announce DRIFTING EAST, a festival showcasing Four current third year BA Theatre students have been invited to perform at the recently established East Riding Theatre (ERT) in Beverley, East Yorkshire.

The shows will platform new work developed as part of the Independent Practice as Research module that all third year students undertake as part of their studies and will provide a professional opportunity outside of the University.

Performances by Chance Marshall, Clare Marsh,Cameron Morton & Orlando Wind-Cowie will happen on Monday 23rd March at 7:30pm. Free Tickets can be obtained by contacting ERT on 01482 874050 or emailing eastridingtheatre@gmail.com.

Drifting East 2015
Drifting East 2015


Drifting East - J Merrylees - Website Version Image 2 copy



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.

Personal Archive # 1 Exhibition at York St John


Theatre Lecturers Jules Dorey Richmond & David Richmond have exhibited their work ‘Personal Archive #1’ at York St John University as part of the International ‘Cultures of Memory Symposium  II‘. (8th – 11th October) Here they talk about the reasons behind opening up their personal archive:

Personal Archive  - Exhibition & performance 010

We have often claimed that our work occupies the space that lies in the void and the nexus between fine art (the object) and performance (the living body). This work-in-progress is offered as a furthering of a conversation, which began at last years Cultures of Memory Symposium and is conceived in response to a constellation of events:


In an after show discussion we were thanked for opening-up our personal archive, which immediately excited us as we had not thought about our work in this way before.

In October 2013 we journeyed to Zagreb to the Museum of Broken Relationships and wondered what a museum of unbroken relationships would look like.

Personal Archive  - Exhibition & performance 013

This is the first step of our collaborative practice-led PhD. We are interested in the small, everyday detritus of life and the various memories and associations that these simple objects invoke. Whilst agreeing with Kuhn when she asserts that, ‘[T]elling stories about the past, our past, is a key moment in the making of ourselves,[1] we are aware that this idea is problematised within embedded lives. Lives in which time lived together out-weighs time lived apart. Slippages and gaps of memory provoke doubt, contestation, frustration, and, an unsettling feeling of an unknowable and unstable sense of the past and the present

[1] Kuhn, A. Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination (1995) p2

A Linguistic Voyage: One and Other Review Theatre Royal Prize


Meander Indoors 'Arthur Author' at York Theatre Royal Studio
Meander Indoors ‘Arthur Author’ at York Theatre Royal Studio

York-based Magazine One & Other Review Theatre Royal Prize winners Meander Indoors production of ‘Arthur Author’. Read it here.