In February 2019, Julie Spencer, Director of the School of Acting, commissioned two world premieres from leading playwrights Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen and Vivienne Franzmann. Part of our long-standing New Writing project, the development of the plays put our BA Acting students at the heart of the creative process. Lucy and Vivienne worked closely with the students over the course of several terms, drawing on their experiences, interests and concerns to shape the narratives.
In a normal year, the plays, Babel and Kate Spencer Did A Good Thing, would be the final showcases for our BA Acting graduates, working with well-established directors, proceeded by a five-week rehearsal schedule and culminating with performances in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre. As Lockdown loomed, it became clear that a different approach would be required.
In the 101 days since ArtsEd closed its doors, an extraordinary creative collaboration has ensured that this essential strand of the students’ professional development has been maintained. Our BA Acting curriculum is 40% screen-based with self-taping a core part of the 2nd year curriculum. This experience, alongside the expertise within our TV & Film department, means that ArtsEd students were uniquely equipped to take on the challenges presented by lockdown.
When building closure was confirmed Julie Spencer, Director of the School of Acting and Kim Vithana, Head of Film & TV created the idea of digital frameworks for each story. Directors, Ameera Conrad and Mingyu Lin, joined forces with Vivienne and Lucy to adapt the works to these new contexts.
Remote rehearsal schedules saw Ameera and Mingyu work with the students both individually and in small groups, delving into the heart of each tale. At the same time our IT team established the platforms for the finished products.
The resulting screenings have been received with enthusiasm by the industry. They are testament to the commitment, confidence and creativity of the BA Acting Class of 2020 and to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the creative teams and the School of Acting staff.
You can now watch the plays for free online!:
If you would like to hear more about the creative process, then why not listen to our podcasts with the creative teams;
If you would like to find out more about the screenings, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
by Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen
directed by Mingyu Lin
A voyeuristic exploration of the human impact of major London incidents, Babel exposes the tragedy that follows discord and disenfranchisement through a series of intimate personal stories.
Kate Spencer Did a Good Thing
by Vivienne Franzmann
directed by Ameera Conrad
A young man can’t bear to live anymore. A young woman saves his life. Kate Spencer Did A Good Thing explores how technology is used both by us and against us, in the modern landscape of surveillance.