Welcome to Gen-Fest – Royal & Derngate’s first online festival dedicated to supporting emerging and established artists.
The festival took place from Monday 2 to Sunday 8 November 2020 and showcased the work of Royal & Derngate’s latest Generate Artists – local performers working closely with the venue to create new work – and provided a host of other learning and training opportunities through masterclasses and Q&A sessions to professional artists at any stage of their career.
Read on for more info on the nine live-streamed scratch performances plus 23 workshops, masterclasses and Q&A sessions with companies including Improbable, Hydrocracker and Spymonkey, Nottingham Playhouse and In Good Company on subjects ranging from lighting design, casting and devising and more.
MON 2 NOVEMBER
11am-12pm: Meet The Team
Join host Michaela Blackburn as she introduces you to the Generate artists and to Royal & Derngate Artistic Director James Dacre.
12pm: Rosie & Jones – The Mixtape
A collection of gig theatre monologues, duologues, spoken word and songs that bare all about growing up as a working class late millennial, there’s a relatable anecdote for every man and his dog.
Isn’t that what millennials are known for?
Written and performed by Amy Jones and Rosemarie Sheach.
3.30pm-4.30pm: WORKSHOP – Shift Your Thinking With Mo Shapiro
Topics covered in this stimulating and highly practical workshop:
- Recognise the power of your mind
- Discover techniques to increase mental flexibility
- Stretch your mind muscles for emotional fitness
- Be still and reflect what is happening
5pm-6pm: WORKSHOP – Improvisation with Improbable
Improv? Whacky! Funny! Right? Absolutely. But what else can it be? This workshop with world-renowned company, Improbable, will focus on how improvising might connect to something deeper, opening up a space for the audience to dream into.
As pioneering improvisers, theatre makers and conversation facilitators, Improbable have always made work that makes a difference. Their vision focuses on the changes they want to see for our community, our society and for the world.
6.15pm-7.30pm: WORKSHOP – Lighting Design With Megan Lucas
Megan Lucas will be running a taster session of her lighting design workshop, utilising 3D visualisation of the Royal Theatre, Northampton. This will be aimed at adults interested in understanding the basics of lighting design for theatre whether you are a theatre maker, director or aspiring lighting designer this is a useful workshop.
Those booking will need to download some software prior to the session and will require the step by step guide.
7.45pm-8.45pm: WORKSHOP – Basic Budgeting – With Royal & Derngate Producers Rosie Townshend and Tess Dowdeswell
Join Royal & experienced producers Rosie Townshend and Tess Dowdeswell for some general hints, tips and check lists for compiling your production budgets.
TUE 3 NOVEMBER
11.15am: The Skate-Park
The Skate-park is a new play from Northants creatives Samson Hawkins (writer) and Andy Routledge (director).
At the Radlands skate-park in Northampton, Chloe and Poppy look for a reason to keep friends before they leave for university. El Davo, a goth in his 50s, has been hanging around the skate-park for as long as anyone remembers. Everyone loves the legend that is El Davo, but no one wants to be El Davo.
2.30pm: The Smell
Overnight and in total silence, the small English town of Creaton is thrown into disarray by the arrival of a smell. No-one knows where it has come from or for how long it’s here. For some it is unbearable, for others it’s an improvement, but for all it is a change.
And change is difficult.
Written and directed by Henry C. Krempels, in collaboration with Theatre Anima, The Smell is a twisted, contemporary tale.
5.30pm-7pm: WORKSHOP – Starting Points: Ways To Create And Develop New Interactive Theatre Work With Hydrocracker
How do you turn a good idea for a new show into a real and practical piece of theatre? Hydrocracker, as one of Royal & Derngate’s resident ensemble companies are delighted to invite you to explore how they are creating and developing their new interactive theatre work – WHO CARES? – about the future of social care.
7.15pm-8.15pm: WORKSHOP– The Importance of Networking and Keeping Current! With John Schwab In Partnership With The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust
Networking doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Actor/Director John Schwab will take you through networking basics that will help you to not only survive in the industry, but thrive…even during a global pandemic!
8.30pm-9.30pm: Q&A With Andy Barnes
Andy Barnes has been an independent producer for 15 years. With his partner Wendy he is co-founder of Perfect Pitch, a non-profit company exclusively supporting new British musical theatre. Their production of SIX was nominated for five Olivier Awards and has played around the world including in the West End and on Broadway.
WED 4 NOVEMBER
12.30pm-1.30pm: Casting Q&A/Workshop With Polly Jerrold
Join casting director PollyJerrold for a talk about her route into casting and some of the experiences, opinions, highlights and barriers she has encountered along the way. Polly will provide an insight into the kind of conversations between casting directors and other creatives including directors & producers, and the varied pressures and approaches behind piecing together a production.
Book your 30 minute slot between 2.30pm-8pm: 1-1 Sessions With Polly Jerrold
Polly will work with you on a piece of your choice, or simply have a chat about the industry and the casting process,look over your CV and answer any queries and concerns you have – it’s up to you. Use your time as you wish in this unique one to one.
We are delighted to partner with Nottingham Playhouse and their amazing artist support programme Amplify. This brilliant team will provide a day of workshops and opportunities for artists in our regions.
11am-12pm: Workshop With Adam Penford
Come and join Adam Penford, Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, for an hour-long Zoom workshop on audition monologues. Some of the group will perform a short speech on screen (strictly no more than one minute long), and Adam will give advice and tips on how to present yourself and the text effectively in the audition room.
Please let us know when you book whether you would like to present a speech or just observe the session. We will select those to perform a speech at random and let them know prior to the session.
2.30pm-4pm: Creative Responses – New Ways Into Beginning To Write With Natalia Bruce
In this energetic 90minute session Natalia Bruce, director and participation specialist at Nottingham Playhouse, will play with words, ways into plays and how to move past the fear of beginning.
4.30pm-6pm: Designing Great Workshops And Outreach Projects With Sarah West Valstar
Sarah West Valstar has been a teacher, Head of Drama, facilitator, director of NT Connections groups and worked as a performer in libraries in community settings. In this 90minute session she will discuss ideas for creating great workshops for young people, and how to shape a great community and outreach offer.
6.30pm-8pm: Getting Noticed – Creating A Great CV And Covering Letter With Martin Berry
Bring along your CV and we will interrogate some of them together in detail. Do I add a photo? How formal should I be? Should it be in colour? How large should my name be? A million questions seem to run round your head when writing that letter or CV. Martin Berry has directed and cast over 50 shows, and currently works as Head of Participation at Nottingham Playhouse.
THU 5 NOVEMBER
11.15am: Time For Heroes
Northampton, 2006. It’s post-post Britpop and a spate of alternative bands are playing fast, sweaty gigs in dark, grimy pubs. Indie rock is back and everyone wants to be the next big thing.
Alex has a band. They may not have a name, or any gigs yet, but they’ve got a Myspace page, some battered guitars and a practice room above a carpet shop.
This coming of age comedy drama, written by Tristan Jackson-Pate, has original songs and a dynamic ‘gig theatre’ staging.
2.30pm: Greyfriars Island Project
This project aims to produce a theatre production that helps humanise, empower, and raise awareness of people affected by homelessness in Northampton.
Theatre maker Helen Clifford asks you to join her in the first stage of her development by joining an interview with local writer Alan Moore, participate in a Q&A with experts in this field in Northampton, share experiences and join her facilitated workshop.
5.30pm-7pm: WORKSHOP – How To Make A Self Tape With Bryony Tebutt
Join Bryony Tebutt for this workshop on the technical side of self-taping and online auditions, including framing, eyelines, lighting, sound, costume, camera angles and more.
Knowing why all those seemingly insignificant things are important, how you can manipulate them to your advantage, building your confidence and gaining back some control to get ahead in your self-tape set up.
7.30pm: Every Last Trick
Ahead of Friday’s workshop with Toby Park and Aitor Basuri, we are giving you the chance to watch a recording of Every Last Trick, recorded live at Royal & Derngate in 2014.
For one evening only watch this comic marvel from the master of French farce, Georges Feydeau, Every Last Trick is an ingenious look at the game of infidelity and marriage by playwright Tamsin Oglesby. It is directed by Paul Hunter, uniting the comic talents of Spymonkey and Told By An Idiot in collaboration with Royal & Derngate.
“IF THERE’S A FUNNIER THEATRE COMP ANY OUT THERE, I CAN’T THINK OF IT” THE TIMES ON SPYMONKEY
FRI 6 NOVEMBER
‘You have starved, abandoned and defaced the beauty that once was. You have spat in it’s face, stomped on the offer of love and compassion, you have crushed the heart of the nature that once flourished around you.’
A twisted version of the Grimm’s Fairytale, Georgia Tillery-Randak and Black Sheep Collective’s Rumpelstiltskin will tear up all expectations and uncover the unsettling truth of human deprivation and sacrifice.
3pm: Sam & Zoe V Evermore
Sam won’t talk to me. We don’t go anywhere. We don’t do anything. We just exist in the same space. I miss him…
THANKS FOR JOINING US EVERYONE…we’re here to play a game…
Join Sam and Zoe as they battle ogres, solve Tolkienesque riddles and rescue orphan princes- but can they slay their own demons in the process?
Tristan Jackson-Pate has devised this play with Jess Lloyd-Jones, Krage Brown and with dramaturgy by Joe Ball of Exit Productions.
5.30pm-6.30pm: WORKSHOP – Spymonkey’s Devising Process
Join Toby Park and Aitor Basauri, Artistic Directors of acclaimed theatre company Spymonkey, (The Complete Deaths, Oedipussy, Cooped, Moby Dick) for a discussion/Q&A session giving you a chance to gain an understanding of their process from early conception through to production.
7pm-9pm: WORKSHOP – Devising With Games
With Wargames Workshop & Rhiannon Flambard
Location – Please note, this will now take place online
Are you a theatre maker? Join Rhiannon Flambard and War Games Workshop as they use various board games, improvisation games, family games and legacy games to inspire your creative processes.
SAT 7 NOVEMBER
11.15am & 2.30pm: Where the Lost Socks Go
Join Milo and Luna on an exciting adventure, as they try to find Milo’s missing sock.
Milo is desperate to find his sock for an audition for Billy’s band, and he wants to wear his coolest pair of socks so that he can fit in, without it, he just can’t!
This is a story about not always feeling like you fit in and celebrating the odd. With the use of live music, original songs and physical theatre Where The Lost Socks Go is written and performed by Under The Bed’s Beth Markey and Joshua Baldwin.
2.30pm-5pm: Surgery Sessions With Royal & Derngate Young Company and Silhouette Youth Theatre
Silhouette Youth Theatre and Royal & Derngate Young Company are supporting professional theatre makers by offering advice surgeries to assist you with the making of your work. You can book small sessions, group sessions, or a larger Q&A session to test ideas, hear thoughts and opinions, or to showcase your work, script or trailer and receive their critical development support. We hope that this will be the start of longer, meaningful engagement with young people in the future stages of your development of theatre for younger audiences.
If you are interested in booking your slot, you must complete a short questionnaire. Please email [email protected].
5.30pm-6.30pm: WORKSHOP – Making Quality Theatre For Schools With Leigh Wolmarans
Making theatre in schools and for schools is never an easy journey as there is so much to consider and lots to learn. As a Headteacher of 19 years, a theatre maker and a drama teacher, Leigh Wolmarans has seen it from all angles and can hopefully provide some sort of insight in to some of the Dos and Don’ts. Leigh truly believes that putting the voice of the young person at the heart of this process is the key so come along and have a listen and explore the concept with him.
7pm-8pm: WORKSHOP – Funding with Northampton Community Foundation
Northamptonshire Community Foundation is one of a large number of sources of funding available, this workshop will teach you how to access this and other funding opportunities. Looking at what you want to deliver, why and how best this can be resourced, this workshop will provide you with a toolkit on how to go about researching funding and provide you with information on additional support and resources available.
SUN 8 NOVEMBER
11.15am & 2.45pm: Locked Down
In a world so perfectly imperfect, Ryan and Rachel find themselves clinging onto a life that once was.
When all love is lost, what is there for them to hold onto? Each other? Hope? Or control? In a raw and gripping narrative YOU the audience must cling onto your gut instincts, intuition and navigate your way through a world that is so perfectly imperfect.
Join Perception Theatre, an emerging, applied theatre and interactive film company situated in the heart of Liverpool, to watch this interactive film, make your own choices, and then take part in a post-show discussion and feedback session.
11.30am-1pm: Workshop – Survive & Thrive Post-Lockdown With Becoming Michaela
‘We’re going through a pandemic and life is slowly going back to ‘normal’. Are you lacking social interaction? Are you feeling anxious about being in social situations? I know I have been feeling both. I will take you through steps and strategies on how to adapt and cope and know that you’re not alone. Let’s take care of ourselves #SELFCARESUNDAYS’
Join Michaela Blackburn as she shares her lockdown project: Becoming Michaela.
6pm-7pm: Schools Partnerships
Creating Partnerships With Schools With Trudy A Bell
Join Royal & Derngate’s Creative Learning Director, Trudy A Bell, as she highlights how artists should work with schools to develop partnerships rather than the argument for schools to invest in arts activity.
7.30pm Onwards: Online Networking Session
Grab a drink and join us for a relaxed opportunity to mix and celebrate the end of an amazing festival and meet the teams.