Over Easter we have had two coLABorate projects at Guildhall. These projects are devised and run entirely by students, outside of the timetable and performed in the school’s performance spaces during the first week of holidays. These two were Bent, in the Milton Court Theatre, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in the Milton Court Studio.
This production was supported by Stage Management students (as can be seen in the bottom right photograph). Photography by Tom Medwell. The DSM for Bent, Tash, has written the following to describe her experience of working on the production:
“During the Easter holiday, 2 coLABorate productions took place in the theatres in Milton Court and this short article will explain our experience on one of the shows – BENT which was performed in Milton Court Theatre. CoLABorative productions are the chance for students to create a show or project that is student led with a budget of £1000.
Towards the beginning of last term, we got the whole team together for a meet and greet and design showing. This was really nice as both the costumes and set were designed by 2nd year TTA students. That really kicked start this process for all of us. What followed was Sunday rehearsals that we had every week. As I was the DSM for this production, normal duties applied by sitting in the room and being the contact point for all involved.
The big learning experience for everyone came from tech week. Due to where Easter fell and our show week, our time was limited due to the building being closed over Easter weekend. What followed next was fit up day. We worked really well as a team getting the theatre ready and installing what was everyone’s favourite part of the set – a swing that you could actually swing on! (Thanks to Sam Bull for the help on this). As we were in Milton Court Theatre, we were able to take advantage of the automation system to assist with scene changes however of course this adds to health and safety considerations of a show. However we combated this by having Henry and Abby (the TM and SM) spot all automation cues.
On the Wednesday, we then had tech. As we are all students, it was a challenge to keep everyone on track and make sure the time was used most effectively for all. We were able to tech the whole show in 2 sessions which we were all proud of. For me, it was an incredibly busy time to add cues to the book and help Abby keep on track time wise. Finally came show day. This was a very busy day for us as we had two dress rehearsals followed by the performance. We really used the first dress rehearsal to figure out if all of the scene changes were correct and that everything was ready for the performance. We then had the show. This went really well and received a really good reaction from the audience.
Finally we had strike which we were able to complete in one session. I had such a good time working on ‘BENT’ and would recommend trying to get involved in a coLABorate project if given the opportunity”.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
All above photographs taken by Maxim Gamble
One of our second year Stage Management students, Juliet, was the Stage Manager for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and had this to say about her experience on the production:
“The adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream brought the tale into the roaring 20’s. It featured original composition performed live by Guildhall jazz musicians and the cast included people from PACE, Leadership, Acting, Music and Technical courses. It really allowed us to cross pathways with people with may not have otherwise and it was a hugely valuable experience for that. It also gave us TTA students a chance to design, stage manage, production manage etc a year ahead of when we do as part of the course and the relaxed and independent nature of the project gave us all really great introductions to those roles.”