This post is to introduce myself Page One’s new Producer! I am Charlotte Winstone and I have been working with the Page One team since December 2016. I shall be the one who finds lots of exciting and interesting venues and festivals for us to perform at. I am thrilled to have joined Page One and I am looking forward to hearing from you all more often as I shall be writing monthly blog posts to keep you all up to date with what we are getting up to, and all the adventures we are going on!
In other news!
As some of you may know, our fabulous Flossie Waite did a brilliant job producing for Page One. Flossie has now moved into the creative team as our Dramaturg. This means she will be involved in creating content for our shows, alongside our Director and the rest of the creative team. We are very excited to have her!
This concludes my first blog post, and I shall see you all again in May!
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This month we performed Lights Out at the International Youth Arts Festival in the Rose Theatre Kingston. We had two sold out shows, and were over-joyed with the responses we got from audiences of 3-5 year olds.
Leading up to the shows we had two weeks of an intense, surprising and joyful rehearsals, working with two wonderful actors Sundi Scott and Gabriele Lombardo. Our lovely Production Assistant Kritika Arya came all the way from Dubai to work with us and we also had Associate Director Stefanie Sommer over from Austria, so the Lights Out team was a truly international company! While Chloe was busy creating the play with the actors, Kritika and our Design Assistant Hannah were working away to create 16 beautiful bespoke flloor cushions for the children to sit on; sewn into each in the name of a Kickstarter supporter who gave over £50 to support the project. We're looking forward to using these in future productions, as they are now tucked away in our Sound Designer's loft for storage.
As with any creative endeavour, it wasn't all plain sailing. Aside from all the hard creative work that goes into devising an artistic piece, organising the logistics of putting a show together can be just as tricky - from flyering to moving sets (in our case, hindered by a very late van company!), these less glamorous but absolutely vital aspects are all part of the process.
We're now working on a short feedback video of Lights Out, which we will be sharing with you all very soon! We also have some great photos from Ludo Des Cognets to share and are looking forward to getting started on planning a tour of Lights Out for late 2017.
While preparations for the International Youth Arts Festival continued in London, our Associate Artist Flossie headed up to Edinburgh for Imaginate, an international festival for children. Over the course of a week, she managed to see every production on offer; it was particularly interesting to see work from European companies which really pushed the boundaries of what is possible for young audiences. It was also lovely to meet theatre-makers, producers and some of the festival's own team - Imaginate creates a truly inspiring environment filled with people just as passionate about children's theatre! Though Flossie was sad to leave, the festival gave her lots of food for thought and plenty of ideas to take back to the Page One team.
All our planning for the International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) has got us excited about the many children's theatre festivals happening across the UK this year. We'll be attending Imaginate in Edinburgh at the end of May, watching a collection of diverse productions from around the world, and we also plan to pop up to Co. Durham later in the year for TakeOff Festival. But there are so many more we would love to visit, and Flossie collected them all in this blog; from Nottingham to York, and Brighton to Birmingham, there will be a fantastic festival near you soon!
It seems like only yesterday that we were making New Year's Resolutions and eating leftover turkey, but it's already almost the end of February!
Time flies when you're having fun, and we have been having a LOT of fun at Page One this month. We are delighted to announce that we will be returning to the International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) in Kingston this July. IYAF is where we first started developing Lights Out so we can't wait to get back into the rehearsal room to continue creating this lovely piece, and trying it out with the fantastic audiences there.
Also this month, we had a brilliant time at one of our favourite places, artsdepot, running a Colour Me In workshop with their Young Performers. And we started our Page One Play Days, a chance for us to bounce around new ideas and let our imaginations run free.
It's January, and we've got our 2016 diaries ready to cram full with watching, making and thinking about theatre for young audiences.
A great start to the year was attending the first Upfront Performance Network forum. UPN is an artist-led network which describes its aim as "to inspire and support those making theatre for and with people who have learning disabilities and complex needs"; the forum brought together artists, practitioners, venues and researchers working creatively in this sector. As you can imagine, it was amazing to be in a room filled with fascinating and passionate people who had travelled from all over the UK, and we very much hope that the discussions, presentations and practice-sharing will inform our future work.
As to what the next twelve months will bring, we have lots of ideas and plans in the pipeline: we want to take you to the beach, banish your fear of the dark, and explore the colours of the rainbow. How, when and why? Stay tuned to find out!
2015 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for Page One! A few weeks ago, Page One were announced as one of the recipients of the new artsdepot residencies. We will be working in their Creation Space in June, developing an idea based around family and the seaside. The induction day was in January, and we had a lovely time meeting the other theatre companies and hearing about their productions – from theatre for babies to dance, it’s an eclectic mix that we’re looking forward to seeing. It was also great to meet the artsdepot team and find out more about their plans for the Creation Space (and their weekly ‘Biscuit Wednesday’, which sounds amazing!)
We’ve also continued to organize the tour of our new show for 3-5 year olds, Lights Out. Whilst performances won’t be until the Autumn, we’ve been very busy filming a trailer for our fundraising campaign and the show itself, combining children, adults and animation! We’ve also got a party in the pipelines, so keep your eyes peeled for more information…
We hope you had as much fun this summer as we had! Page One have been really busy over the past few months with our latest production, Made Up Stories from my Unmade Bed. We performed the show outside at lots of festivals – Lyric Hammermith Theatre in the Square Festival, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Imagine Watford Festival and Latitude Festival.
At the International Youth Arts Festival at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, we spent a week experimenting with sensory performance techniques for a new indoor production for ages 5 and under. After a week of playing and learning, we invited the public in to watch an open rehearsal, and received lots of really useful feedback that will help us develop the show.
This summer was particularly special as we received some amazing news – leading children’s theatre company Theatre Rites selected Page One for their Mentoring and Development Scheme.
We have lots of exciting plans for the future – we will continue to develop the indoor piece for early years called Lights Out, and are putting together a tour for 2015, so watch this space! At the same time, we are going to be exploring and playing in preparation for another project we are working on, and we look forward to telling you more…