The Making Of Woyzeck - Part One
In a new series of videos and blogs, follow the making of Woyzeck - a brand new large-scale production that features over 100 participants from the local community. Read about the rehearsal process and watch as the participants embark on the exciting journey of bringing Woyzeck to the stage.
The REP has always had community involvement at its heart and this year, as part of their Furnace programme, they are offering a variety of people from across the West Midlands a unique opportunity to work with professionals on and off the stage for their greatly anticipated production of Woyzeck. I had the pleasure of observing the second session of intensive workshops for those interested in being involved.
Everyone was split into two groups: one to work with Roxana Silbert, The REP's Artistic Director, in a workshop focusing on dramatics, the other to work with Rosie Kay, Director of Rosie Kay Dance Company, on a workshop focusing on dance. Being unfamiliar with Furnace I wasn't too certain what to expect, perhaps middle-aged people with some experience behind them, hoping to break into performing arts? To say that my expectations were pleasingly wrong would be an understatement. On walking into both rooms I was struck by the great diversity of people that were eagerly awaiting instructions from Roxana and Rosie. The rooms were vibrating with the excited chatter of people from all walks of life: young and old, disabled and able-bodied, male and female.
In these rehearsal rooms the importance of experience was diminished by everyone's enthusiasm and passion for theatre. Some of those whom I spoke to had worked on TV shows and in theatrical productions on scales much larger than The REP's, whereas some were still at university, eager for their first taste of a theatrical encounter. There were certainly a few nervous faces in the room but any fears were soon dissipated by the witty and friendly comments from both Roxana and Rosie.
Laughter filled the air at regular intervals and it was endearing to see how the more experienced of the groups instilled confidence into those who needed encouragement to throw inhibition to one side and let their talents come to the fore. There may have been several moments when things didn't go to plan - a missed step or a word accidently uttered out of place - but the friendly banter and support of the group brushed away any embarrassment of these moments so that the room was buzzing and alight with energy and promising talent.
Projects like this, which encourage the creative spirit of the community, prove that if you've got a true passion for the arts, the stage can be your home from home.
Woyzeck plays at The REP from 15-23 June.
Photo credit Thomas Compton
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