Salford Community Theatre Project

Inside Outreach

14 April 2016

When we first began discussing Salford Community Theatre, and what the outreach team’s role would be once rehearsals were underway we all agreed that we wanted to offer the cast something extra - something outside of the focus of the play but with all the opportunities for socialising and challenging yourself. We’d already held three successful workshops in the summer to drum up interest in the play so it seemed natural to want to continue these. But we didn’t want to give people acting-overload, not when there are so many other opportunities to enjoy yourself out there!

So we found other workshops, other community groups, other activities. This saw us visiting the Kersal Kickers line dancing group in March. I think one of my favourite moments of this journey so far was seeing one member of our cast, Brian Peaurt, walk into the line dancing class in full denims and a Stetson, clutching a guitar. That’s when I knew for certain that we’d be having a good night, and I was right. The ladies and gents of the Kersal Kickers were wonderful hosts, dealing with our (my) complete ineptitude with good grace, showing us the steps and laughing with us when we got them wrong. There was a lot of laughing. For some reason, they’ve invited us back, and I’m excited to be attending the opening of ‘Project Shed’ later on in the month.

We’ve also been singing with Salford City Singers – a community choir that focuses on the fun and enjoyment of singing and is talented enough to produce brilliant results. We have one member of the cast hopefully joining the choir when the production wraps and those are the kind of effects we were keen to have when introducing ourselves to other community groups – to show people what’s out there. It can be intimidating to join a new group of people, whether what they practice is something that you already have experience in or something that you want to explore, we’re trying to make those connections now, so that when the play is finished and the community members we’ve been working alongside are brimming with their newly discovered creative energy and talent – they have somewhere to channel it.

Despite throwing themselves into a six month rehearsal process with a week’s run of performances to end on, some of our cast would not class themselves as ‘theatre goers’. Some have literally never been to the theatre. My goal in the Community and Outreach department is that by the end of the project no one will be able to claim this (I’m discounting our own performances obviously, because it goes without saying that the cast will turn up for them …). We had our trip to The Dance House to see Take Back Theatre’s Ten Takes on Capital which was deservedly packed out. We watched ten script in hand performances inspired by the March budget. Stand out performances there from John Henshaw, Danielle Henry and Julie Hesmondhalgh – who I’m pleased to say will be speaking at our discussion on how we can use theatre to build communities and political cultures – link to more information here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/communities-and-building-political-cultures-what-can-theatre-do-tickets-23465638356

 

This is just one of the events we have coming up. The cast have organised their own fundraiser, a night of music and spoken word to raise funds for the production and we have another theatre trip lined up to see our multi-talented directors Steph and Sarah in their own devised theatre piece Prefer Not To Say in May – link to more information here:

http://www.coliseum.org.uk/plays/prefer-not-to-say/

 

With more events in the pipeline, and the production itself fast approaching things are getting very exciting for Salford Community Theatre – and if you want to know just how exciting drop an email to cat.stobbs@salfordcommunitytheatre.org or Rose.fowler@salfordcommunitytheatre.org and we’ll tell you how you can grab a slice of the action too!

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