Our participant workshops return for their spring term delivered online via Zoom!
In March 2020 the country went into national lockdown, theatres were closed, and the Octagon’s audiences and participants were asked to stay at home.
At the time, it wasn’t clear how we’d be able to continue running our Youth Theatre sessions and engaging with our participants. And then we (along with the rest of the world) discovered Zoom!
Over the last few months we’ve run workshops, performed some Shakespeare, travelled down a rabbit-hole with Alice in Wonderland and even directed a full length feature film….. all from inside our homes.
Fast forward to January 2021 and although we’re not able to run our participation groups from our swish new building, we will be starting our new term on Zoom- getting together in the safest possible way.
If you’ve been part of our Youth Theatre before, or if you’re looking for something that’s creative and fun to do during this lockdown, then we’d love to see you online for our Octagon online offer.
Alex our Creative Engagement Coordinator getting ready for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party during our virtual Summer School.
What will an on-line workshop be like?
Just as if we were meeting up in the theatre, the emphasis for our workshops are on having fun, being creative and building confidence.
We usually start with some warm up games to get everyone energised and feeling like they are part of a team. Then we might move onto some script work, creating a scene, developing performance skills or acting tasks which can be run in small groups or as individuals.
We make sure that in a 2 hour session, at least part of the session is spent on an offline creative task as we want to make the sessions as varied as possible for everyone. We’re also working in smaller groups so you have a more personal, bespoke experience.
How will it be different from a typical theatre workshop?
In many ways, it’s not actually so different! The emphasis is still on being creative and collaborative and building your confidence as performers.
Of course, the likelihood is that you’ll be in your kitchen, or your bedroom, rather than a theatre. And you’ll be relying on the internet and technology which might not always behave, But you’ll be in a group with everyone else who is in the same boat, and that’s the important thing. Just like performing in person, Youth Theatre online is a shared experience.
Will there be performance/sharing opportunities?
Unlike a theatre building, there’s no limit on audience numbers for a Zoom sharing, and thanks to the ‘mute’ button, its fine to bring a noisy snack along with you.
We’re planning on sharing our achievements with friends and family in some format this term, and the great thing about an online audience is that they can log in from anywhere. It’s a really nice way for families to connect, wherever they are, at a time when we’re all apart.
What do our facilitators enjoy about Zoom workshops?
"What I like about Zoom is that it's so easy to bring people together, wherever they are - lots of the barriers to coming along are removed - you don't have to travel into the theatre and you can go straight down for tea afterwards! I'm hoping we get some new children and young people involved with the Octagon this term that we might not have before!" Joe Gilmour-Rees, Participation Practitioner
“There are a few things I think Zoom is especially good for - for anyone new to Youth Theatre it is much less intimidating to come to your first session from your bedroom, if you think of it as new creative medium you can create some really quite cool theatrical effects with Zoom, and people's pets can make an appearance which makes us all smile - we've had a pug star in one of our video projects!" Amy Hailwood, Participation Practitioner
Our groups start week beginning 18th January. For more information and to book your place click here