The Chorus Project

The Chorus Project Workshop Week – Info

Dear all,

I’m so excited about starting to work with you all on Beneath the City next week. Thank you so much for expressing an interest in being a part of it!
This is just to give you a heads-up about how the week beginning the 19th August is going to work; if you’re not going to be able to make it for any of the days don’t worry, but feel free to skip to the end where we’ll have some information about the evening sessions and some key dates.

The Workshop Week

Places and Times

We’ll start on Monday 19th August. Please come to the REP Stage Door on Cambridge Street at 10.30am, and I’ll take you up to the rehearsal room. We’ll work till about 1pm when we’ll break for lunch, then take an hour for lunch, finishing the day by 5pm. We’ll expect to keep these timings every day except for Friday, when I’m aiming to finish at 4pm.

What We’ll Be Doing

It’s the first week of devising for Beneath the City, a new show which we’re making at Birmingham REP as part of The Chorus Project. You can expect a combination of: games, discussions, movement workshops, a bit of storytelling, some conversations about Ancient Greek tragedy, potentially some interviews for our Chorus Project Podcast, and more! We’re hoping it’s going to be a really fun and varied week.

What to Bring and Wear

Please note we can’t provide lunch. There’s food available to buy at Marmalade bar in the REP, or the Library of Birmingham cafe, as well as lots of places to eat within easy walking distance. Or, of course, feel free to bring your own food from home.
On some of the days, we’ll be doing exercises that involve physical movement. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing – sportswear isn’t necessary, but you’ll need to be able to move around easily. If you have any problems with mobility, just let one of the team know.

Who’ll Be There

The Citizen Chorus (that’s you) is going to be made up of a combination of people: Young REP and Lightpost members aged 18-25; Adult Drama Company members; and people who’ve come to the UK as refugees or asylum seekers. We’re expecting to have a slightly different combination of people each day, but we’ll all be working hard to create a welcoming, fun and challenging environment for everyone, and it should be a really great opportunity to meet some new people as well as being part of an exciting project.
As well as the Citizen Chorus, there’ll be me, Tom Mansfield, who’s directing the project; Zodwa Nyoni, the dramaturg who we’re working with; Hannah Tookey, our producer; Duncan Grimley, our sound designer; Astrid Behrens, our set and costume designer; and some other team members who we’ll be inviting in throughout the week. Some of our colleagues from Birmingham REP’s Learning and Participation team will also be around.

Can I Bring a Friend?

Sure! It’d be great if you could let me or Hannah (hannah.tookey@upstart-theatre.co.uk) know in advance.

What Happens Next

After the end of the workshop week on Friday 23rd August, we’ll be meeting every Monday evening from Monday 2nd September. It’d be great if you could make as many of those sessions as possible.
We’ll be increasing the number of sessions in the run-up to Christmas, as we’ll start rehearsals with our professional actors on 9th December. There’ll be no sessions on the 23rd or 30th December.
We’ll resume rehearsals on Monday 6th January, and perform in the Studio at The REP on the 16th-18th January. Tickets are already on sale, so if you’d like to encourage friends or family to book, you can do so here: https://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/beneath-the-city.html.
And that’s it! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Tom

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