Sunday, 31 October 2010

What a night..

I was hoping to be able to write a blog on Thursday, about how preparations were going. 


I do not know how I thought I'd be able to do that! It was so so busy all day. Firstly Cheryl and myself met with Jinhee (lighting designer) to help put up the lights in the space. Jinhee was on the ball. Her lighting absolutely transformed the space. Rehearsals for Blue Blood, Harriet Tubman and Dad(die) were squeezed into the day somehow. I will not try to work out how. Before we knew it, the time was 6:30pm and we had so much still to do - like printing the programmes!


We were so lucky to get a fantastic artist called Tom Bull to create an image for our cover: 





The doors opened at 7:05pm. Literally every actor was grabbing every last second to go through lines, songs... etc. If I remember correctly the cast of Blue Blood found themselves a tiny corridor to do their line run. Not particularly glamorous mind.


At 7:30pm we entered the church - couldn't believe my eyes! It was packed!! And with a really diverse audience in age and in colour. Great. Our actors were fantastic. And the performance poets!  -  Pure Feminine Energy and Saran Green. I had never seen performance poetry. And I have come to the conclusion that I have seriously been missing out. Our directors Fiona Clift, Monique Sterling and Cheryl Gallacher are next generation of directors about to whup this industry into shape. They were fantastic to work with and I was really proud of their contribution and energetic, upbeat attitude.


I can truly say that I couldn't have asked for a better evening. The church was transformed into this performance space where you could hear people laughing and tutting at different themes of the work. 


As for the next event... yowsers. Back to the board people.


Amanda





Sunday, 24 October 2010

Thursday Night is the Night!!

That's right!

Thursday 28 October, 7.30pm at Holy Trinity, Dalston

For a map, click here

To reserve a ticket for only £5, email ourplaceonthestage@gmail.com

We are taking short plays, poetry and performance to Dalston, celebrating the work of Black Women artists writing from the 1920s to the present day.

We are putting on our night not in a theatre, but in a church in the hub of one of London's most diverse communities.

Theatre is for everyone. Stories are for everyone. We're not waiting for anyone else to bring this night to us!

See ya then,

Amanda

Nearly There Hackney

Rehearsals are going really well for all the shows! 

I love first days. Well, I should say I have a love/hate relationship with any read through. There's such excitement in the room because you're about to hear the voices of the characters for the first time but you can also feel the nervousness! It was great to see Harriet Tubman up on her feet yesterday, and the music is brilliant! I have such a love of gospel and negro spirituals, so hearing that for the first time was just perfect!!!


I'm going to be talking about Our Place on the Stage tonight on BBC London radio 84.9 fm between 9-9:45pm.

Hope you can tune in!

Amanda

Friday, 22 October 2010

Well. What do we have in store for you?

Our first event: Our place on the Stage

Two of the first ever plays to be published by Black women playwrights:

Harriet Tubman by May Miller    
Blue Blood by Georgia Douglas Johnson                        

A brand new play by the brilliant emerging playwright Charlene James, who participated in the Royal Court Theatre's Young Writer's Programme in 2008.

Poetry / Music / Performance poets 

We also have a stellar cast, including Keisha Amponsa Banson, Marlon G Day, Stephen Fewell, Marsha Henry, Linda MathisLaura Rollins, Catherine Hammond, Marcia Mantack, Osi Okerafor, Amanda Wilkin, Ava Charles, Belida Fenty and Lance Kirby

OUR PLACE ON THE STAGE: A celebration of work by Black Women Writers
28th October

Holy Trinity Church
Beechwood Road
London
E8 3DY


From our friends at Theatre 503 - this looks great! We'll be booking quickly..



THE CHARMING MAN
A sparkling satire of British politics by Gabriel Bisset-Smith 


20 October - 13 November 2010
Tuesday - Saturday: 7.45pm
Sundays: 5pm (Pay What You Can)

"Nobody knows who to vote for and nobody really cares. All it would take is for someone, anyone with a bit of honesty and charisma to come along and they could clean up."

It's 2015 and British politics is a hot steaming mess. The Green Party could finally be in with a chance, but first they'll need a fresh face to front the campaign. Enter Darren, a black youth worker with integrity, ideals and a winning smile. But in this world of dirty tricks and dangerous egos, change will always come at a price.

Directed by Paul Robinson
Design by Libby Watson
Lighting by Kevin Treacy
Sound and Music by Simon Slater

Cast: Sarah Berger, Christopher Brandon, Syrus Lowe, Sam Pamphilon, Simon Rivers, Kate Sissons and David Verrey

Tickets: £14/£9 concs
Box office: 020 7978 7040
www.theatre503.com

**EARLYBIRD BOOKING OFFER: First 100 tickets in the first week 19/20/21/23/24 October) JUST £5 when you call 020 7978 7040**

Monday, 18 October 2010

Featured Writer: Isis

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Isis, one of our writers. Isis' talents stretch across a wide range of live performance mediums, and her experience is substantial. Isis has just finished working as an Assistant Director on A Raisin in the Sun at the Manchester Royal Exchange and is currently a Practitioner at Contact theatre, making a performance piece with other young people at the Trafford Centre, in association with the Manchester Science Museum. Isis is also on the Critical Mass Young Writer's Programme at the Royal Court.


Isis' monologue takes inspiration from the provocations of two independent female voices from the Harlem Renaissance, exploring language, race and the absurd dichotomy between celebrity and the developing world as portrayed in so much of our media. Isis' monolgue challenges us to rethink our acceptance of a bizarre culture in which children are viewed as commodities.


Isis' monologue will be performed by an actor as Isis is interested in pushing her work in this direction. Hopefully the result will be as engaging as it was when I first read it on the page.


Cheryl

Sunday, 17 October 2010

**Casting Announced**



Blue Blood
by Georgia Douglas Johnson 


Cast:

Catherine Hammond
Marcia Mantack
Osi Okerafor
Amanda Wilkin

We are so happy to be working with such talented actors! I'll keep you updated with the casting for the other plays as soon as I can.

Amanda


Saturday, 16 October 2010

Having the courage to do it yourself

I have had one of the busiest weeks of my life. I have been casting the two period plays with Cheryl and a fantastic young casting director called Sophie Davies.


Now Cheryl and myself both have the same day job which you would think would be helpful, in terms of swapping ideas on our breaks and nudging each other to get things done. HOWEVER, I can safely say that we must have been brilliant friends before we decided to work together as producers on the show because it is stressful when you attempt something for the first time. But we're still mates and I am so glad that we're attempting this! 


London is a great city - full of culture and a real mixture of different people. I love working and living here. I trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and since finishing I have learnt so much about the industry and the awful figures on how many actors are out of work. It is a tough industry. But no one said it would be easy, eh?


You have to make your own work, take risks, make contacts. And lastly but most importantly, ENJOY


Amanda

Sunday, 10 October 2010

PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE
OPS present
Our Place on the Stage
Dalston Trinity Centre, 28th Oct 2010

To celebrate Black History Month 2010, young people explore fresh visions of Dalston for a one night only performance at the Dalston Trinity Centre, in the heart of Hackney.

Our Place on the Stage launches its first cross-arts performance devised entirely by young creatives under the age of twenty-five. The night will be a heady cocktail of short plays, performance, music and poetry.  

The varied line-up features two early 1920’s short plays by seminal Black Women artists: Blue Blood by Georgina Douglas Johnson and Harriet Tubman by May Miller. Taking inspiration from the provocations of these two independent voices, Our Place on the Stage will also feature new work from acclaimed spoken word artists which include Isis (Contact Theatre and Apples and Snakes) and Pure Feminine Energy (performer at Kat Francois’ Word 4 Word). Live Drumming from the Hackney Drummer Duo will complement the evening.

Our Place on the Stage is a cross-arts collective of emerging young professional theatre practitioners, spoken word artists, poets, musicians and filmmakers. Championing the contribution of Black Women artists to the stage, young participants have had key opportunities to work alongside talented professional spoken word artists; a key opportunity for emerging local talent.
  
Our Place on the Stage is funded by The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the contribution that Black African and Caribbean communities have made both on a local level and across the globe. Our Place on the Stage is one of wide range of events celebrating achievements by these communities in creative art and media by showcasing some of the community's modern day talents, as well as taking a look at contributions made in the past. 

Trusthouse Charitable Foundation 
                                                                 Events Listing
Performance Type: Theatre, Spoken word performance
Date: 28th October 2010, 7pm for 7.30pm start
Location: Holy Trinity, Dalston, Beechwood Road, E8 3DY.
Tickets: £5 each. Available for reservation: ourplaceonthestage@gmail.com

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Poster


















Here's the Poster! Thanks goes to Stuart for designing it!

Tickets

We are offering tickets at only £5 each! Bargain.


It's pay on the door. So, to reserve your ticket(s) please email us at ourplaceonthestage@gmail.com with you name, number and how many you need. If there's a large number of you let us know and we'll advise you of our fantastic group rates.


Get booking, I don't want you to miss out!


Cheers,


Amanda

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Paperwork

I went to Hackney services Centre today. Huge waiting room. Took my ticket and sat down. I was there to hand in my temporary events notice. Administration is not really how I envisaged this project. Pretty funny how unprepared you really find yourself! I never thought this would be easy - but seriously this is BIG!




But we like challenges.


Admin. Hopefully the last.


Amanda

Saturday, 2 October 2010

24 days to go

It is the 2nd October. the 2nd.


Where did all the time go? Is it really October? 


Planning is going well. We're meeting on Sunday with a couple of directors to show them the space, and unleashing the promotion of the event over the next couple of days!


And... we are actively seeking for actors who want to be involved. Anyone interested should email us their cv at ourplaceonthestage@gmail.com




Cheers,


Amanda

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

How do we celebrate work?

So, after a lot of discussion, we've set some of our programming for the evening. Phew!

We're going to perform Harriet Tubman by May Miller and Blue Blood by Georgia Douglas Johnson. These short plays were written in the early 1900s, and were a part of a wave of the first Black women to have their plays published. 

SO. How often to we get to celebrate this kind of work, to even watch this work at a theatre? How many times do theatres dredge up yet another production of Hamlet, or The Crucible? Yes, these are great plays (in fact a couple of my favourites) but don't we need to programming to take risks and show us as an audience some variety? At the moment theatre audiences are dominated by the white upper class, and we need to tackle why people from other cross-sections of society are not embracing this art. Perhaps the under represented audience are looking for a play that speaks to them about their experiences, and a local or familiar space in which to sit comfortably in whilst watching a show. There are many different opinions, and we should wrestling over them in order to have an honest debate.

It's one thing to just complain about something (which I hope you don't think I'm doing) and another to actually do something yourself!

I am really looking forward to hearing the plays read at the read through.

Exciting stuff!


Amanda

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Going where we haven't gone before...

It's been a crazy couple of weeks! We've been arguing over plays and poems - it's so hard to pick and choose when you've only got one night! The truth is, that there is such a wealth of work by women writers, which is of course great news.


I am so excited about reading the new plays when they come through. The deadline is on Monday, so if you're still interested then there's still time. We're hoping to organise a post show talk also on the night so that the audience has a chance to pose questions about the work.


Dalston - we're coming!




Amanda

Monday, 6 September 2010

Welcome!


Welcome to the first blog of Our Place on the Stage. We are a collective of theatre practitioners, artists and musicians, bound by our commitment to producing exciting theatrical events that aim to give a voice to the left behind, and ask the questions no one else dares to. We actively seek to reach our communities and promote that theatre is for EVERYONE. 



Formed this year, Our Place on the Stage will host its first event during Black History month, in one of London’s most diverse Boroughs, Hackney.

Our Place on the Stage: A night of short plays and poems by Black Women writers
Thursday 28th October 2010, 7pm
Trinity Centre, Dalston

We are seeking to:
·         Produce work by some of the first ever Black Women to be published
·         Produce new work by emerging Black Women writers
·         Attract both new and regular theatre-goers, particularly people living in Hackney



The first wave of Black female playwrights wrote protest plays. These highly politicised and controversial works placed robust women at the heart of the narrative. Performed in intimate, busy and sweaty community venues such as Black-run social clubs, Church Halls and even sitting rooms, these plays explored the realities of women’s place in society.

We want to re-create the dangerous, high-stakes environment in which these plays were first performed. Can this even be achieved in 2010?

Put the date in your diaries, and erm.. SPREAD THE WORD!



Amanda


p.s


Our Place on the Stage are seeking submissions from Women playwrights who identify themselves as of Caribbean and/or African heritage. We’re offering writers the opportunity to have their work performed alongside two of the first plays to be published by Black Women writers during a unique and exciting night of plays and poetry.


You can register your interest by emailing us at ourplaceonthestage@gmail.com to be forwarded the writer's brief.

We are also seeking spoken word artists, poets and performers. If you would like to apply as a spoken word artist/performer please submit examples of your work (cv, weblinks, video etc)