Sorry to borrow from a classic…but as a real ” fan ” of the current Hunger Games Movement – I couldn’t help but be inspired by a recent screening of “Catching Fire” as a creative format for the warm up to NT Connections 2014.
Apart from being really GOOD entertainment – the Hunger Games story bears an uncanny likeness in some small way to our plot for Heritage – at the Directors weekend I even mentioned this idea in one of the group discussions and was met with a big “cheesy” grin from Dafyddd our playwright.
I was glad I was not alone in seeing the parallels between the 2 dramatic situations and yet there are other films and books that equally show our “Heritage” characters situation during the action of the play – shades of Nazism , Cultism and one extreme drama or other, along with The Sound of Music and even Cabaret!
I just like the idea of “the Reaping ” – the slightly Quaker feel to things and the fact that they are prepared to die ‘together’ for an ideal they believe in ( all of which are high moments of HG)
And don’t even get me started on the staging…the beauty of HG is that it is so stripped back ( well maybe not in the Capitol) but elsewhere there is a minimalism and naturalism that lets you see the acting and not the set, or flash effects.
As a fan of “the Empty Space” approach to Theatre – this play spoke to me on my “bare stage” level and I could see the arena and watch tower and screen in my head before I had even reached the last page of a first read of the script – I even took a photo in London outside the National Film Theatre of an idea I had for portraying the ‘all seeing’ twins eye.
( obviously the twins are girls and not a guy with a moustache !?… but could this be the Provost sending us a sign?!)
All ideas for my shows come from the most random places – always out of the blue, on a whim , or just a gut feeling.
The ” Eye ” thing is definitely something to keep in mind in this play – Big Brother is always played in some form or other …watching and waiting…( like the firey eye in the feature image)
So using “my creative eyes “to spot this year’s cast – here finally are the dates to look at for your calendar next year – in relation to this project.
(Now before you panic – if you have problems with any of the dates below then please contact Colleen at PACE and she will be able to work out if it is worthwhile you going for this project.)
The Performance Dates
National Theatre Connections 2014 – HOME Performance Dates ( compulsory attendance all shows)
Thursday 13th March – Friday 14th March – Saturday 15th March 2014 – 7.30pm
( Monday 10th- Wednesday 12th March 2014 – are Technical rehearsals )
That week is really your main production week – so you have to more or less clear your schedule then ( except for school of course).
One of those performances will be attended by the National Theatre Connections Representative chosen to judge and critique our performance. There is a post show discussion and feedback given.
Step 2 of our NTC Performance adventure takes place at:
The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh
Which looks like to be a one off performance around the first week in June – exact date to be confirmed – (earlier than last year)
Step 3 – London – National Theatre- The Cottesloe
( but that is something we will not focus on at this stage. )
We need to start fairly soon after New Year. I am aware panto has just finished and school’s back quickly again but this project needs to be started by the end of January – to give us time – to be ready by March. It is very likely we will rehearse over the February midterm school holiday.
The auditions will take place over 4 sessions and will be carried out in the format detailed below – PERUSAL SCRIPTS ( read only copies) are now available in Spires for you to have a look at Heritage.
They are not to be taken away from Spires but if you have any free time from now till end of December ( Spires shuts at 5) then why not grab a hot chocolate/ mocha/ latte/ tea or juice and go in and read them on the comfy Spires communal sofa for an hour! Get you ready for the Round Up.
Those living “outwith” Renfrewshire can perhaps contact Colleen at PACE and she may be nice enough to send the script out to you.
These scripts are confidential and details of text, information or copyrighted themes cannot be posted on any social media sight.
Initial auditions are split into experienced and less experienced groupings – please see group explanation below for information****
Audition stage 1 The Round Up
( general theatre work on the nature of the project)
Saturday 4th January 2014
Group 1 – 10.30- 12.30pm
Group 2 – 12.30 – 2.45pm
Audition stage 2 The Trials
( more specific workshops relating to the text and the storyline)
Sunday 5th January 2014
Group 1 – 12.30- 2.30pm
Group 2 – 2.30 -5.00 pm
Audition stage 3 The Shearing
(The first real selection of contenders for parts – readings and improvised scene work)
Friday 10th January 2014
5.30-9pm – Group ( select)
Audition stage 4 The Cut
(final selection of PACE Youth Theatre eligible for final casting )
Saturday 11th January
12.30-4.30pm – Final ” acting tributes ” to be considered.
Stage 5 – the Cast 2014
Details of the final cast list will be posted on the STED/STS page as soon as possible after the last casting session
There will be a photo call soon after this for the publicity material to accompany the show.
The Read Through
This will take place on Friday 16th January 2014 – complete scripts will be issued to the Connections 14 Cast prior to this. Time to be decided.
Nb. There may be a short character workshop on Sunday 19th January ( tbc)
The HERITAGE 14 Rehearsals
Rehearsals begin fully on Friday 24th January 2014
Rehearsal times for the Connections Project will generally be:
Friday nights and Sunday Mornings – extra rehearsals days may be added closer to the show. This will be a 7 week project. Connections cast are held in name till recap rehearsal for stage 2/3performance dates.
(A rehearsal schedule and call sheet will be issued to all cast at read through ) Sundays will usually be whole cast sessions.
Any administrative questions/ workshop attendance queries , regarding any of the above information should be directed to Colleen at PACE
Any creative/ artistic questions concerning suitability for the project or blog issues/ specific Heritage casting/ audition workshop subject matter should be directed to me.
*****Information on Group 1 and 2 for “the Round Up” and ” The Trial “
A note to all…
I am keen that some new PACE members and younger less experienced (in terms of plays of this nature) are given the opportunity to experience at least the audition stages of this project early on.
It may be you would be “put of” auditioning with some of the more experienced Spires Theatre Scene members because of various issues.
This is understandable – a workshop with very confident PACE and those that have maybe done this before – is always daunting – but it seems a pity to miss out on an opportunity that may actually be within your reach in some form or another because you are not quite there in your own “personal confidence” level – and nothing really to do with your ability to act or not.
The first round up and trial sessions on the 4/5th January for Group 1 are there for you to “try out” this new way of approaching a show and to experience some of the subject matter of Connections 2014.
When you are younger or less experienced in terms of your suitability for a project there is no guarantee that you will progress beyond the first couple of rounds but there is also the chance that we may recognise something in you that could really be developed for the future or even that can be used in other ways for the Heritage project itself.
Connections “round up and trials” are open to all (13- 19 )year olds with Consolidated drama skills – ( 12+ are only eligible with very good experience. They should get in touch with me to check their suitability for this work at this time. ) The subject matter of the show is mature.
Consolidated means that you show a more natural confidence in your body and voice in theatre work and demonstrate a clearer and more focused understanding of what is involved in bringing a good performance to the stage. (Not shy , willing to really have a go and really love acting.)
Stage 3/4 of the auditions – ” The Shearing” and “the Cut” processes demand something “more” in terms of acting – something that may or may not appear in the initial audition “workshops roundup and trials”.(
That is now for you to be brave and take a chance on and for me to recognise because something will just click in my show mind.
Connections is a Celebration of ” Good” Youth Theatre. If you know you are good PACE youth theatre then why not remove the doubt and fear and sign up for “the round up and trials” of this Connections project?
You have nothing to lose if you want to act and everything to gain in trying a new style – it may even help you see performance in a whole different way ( very handy for this terms other projects in STS)
If you are more experienced in terms of your play/ show and theatre experience – then you should attend the second of the workshops – in each case( group 2 )
You are Group 2 when you do not “hide , copy , avoid or fear” drama workshops of any kind …and you will understand what I mean by that only if you are now beyond this stage in approaching a theatre workshop.
Group 2 would consist of previous Connections participants, Firefly Module students , intermediate Drafonfly ( s3+ with Gold */ Faberge status ( age restriction applies )
Group 1 would consist of Chrysalis, Drafonfly
silver*/ gold/ gold* status ( age restrictions apply and only s2 + dragonfly and chrysalis can audition)
Members of Mother Goose Chorus ( s3+only) ( Citizen Chorus ) may audition in Group 1 auditions – but only with panto tutor recommendation and a gold*/ Faberge status – speak to panto tutors if this is something you are interested in doing and they will let you know your end score. You can contact me if confused.
Select Members of Studio Time ( s3+ only) may audition in Group 1 auditions but only but only with a strong drama worker / project director’s recommendation ( Christmas show) – you should contact them personally about this and they will advise you on your suitability for the Heritage project.
Do not go for a group 2 audition slot unless you are very confident as a performer. Group 1 will give you a better chance of being seen.
(This way – everyone gets a fair crack at the theatre whip.)
There is a lot to take in here so an email will follow from Colleen clarifying all of the above information and details of how to forward your name for this audition process in January
Everything you need to know for the audition process is in the posts and in the script
Be brave , be bold , be proactive in your learning and remember…
“See you in the Heritage Arena!”