Last Monday, following government advice, Greenwich Theatre suspended all performances in both the main house and the studio. However, with most members of both the creative industry and the theatre’s audience now based at home, the theatre has launched Greenwich Connects, an online programme of interactive theatre opportunities for artists and theatregoers to express and expand their creativity and engage with other members of the community through a series of weekly events.
These events are as follows:
Every Sunday the theatre will send out a theme or a style and invite performers to send in self-taped monologues, all of which they will stream across their social media channels the following day. The initiative is being described as an online monologue slam which anyone can watch for free. As well as publicising this mini-glimpse of work to everyone who wants to tune in, the theatre will invite casting directors and agents to watch the monologues and stay in touch with the acting community and all those they may want to represent or employ in the months ahead.
Every Wednesday at 4pm, an expert from the theatre world will take over the theatre’s Instagram account for a one-hour live Q&A. Covering subjects as diverse as running a perfect PR campaign, securing a festival booking for your show, getting the most out of a fringe lighting rig or staging your own writing, confirmed participants include Chloé Nelkin of Chloé Nelkin Consulting, David Byrne of New Diorama Theatre, James Hadley of Musical Theatre Network, Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment and Jemma McDonnell of The Paper Birds.
Every Friday audiences will be able to grab a glass of wine, line up some ice-cream for the interval and sit down to watch some of Greenwich Theatre’s greatest past performances, including acclaimed productions of Doctor Faustus and The Duchess Of Malfi. With a matinee streaming at 2.30pm and an evening show at 7.30pm a trip to Greenwich Theatre is back on the cards despite the current restrictions.
Short Play Submission Sundays
For budding writer with the thirst for creativity, every Sunday the theatre will set a theme for a piece of short writing to be submitted by the following Sunday. The venue’s top picks will have the opportunity to be performed once the theatre is reopened in a sharing event – or even at an online table reading. Themes will range from sight to memory to behaviour and should last no longer than 15 minutes.
James Haddrell, the theatre’s artistic and executive director, said:
“We know that this is a global crisis, and people will have heard from many arts organisations about the impact the closures will have on all theatres and arts venues. For those that are unaware, at Greenwich Theatre less than 10% of our income comes from public funding, so 90% is generated through a combination of ticket sales, bar sales and hire fees – all of which have taken a substantial hit during this crisis. It has been through our community’s help and support over the years that we have not only continued to function but to thrive, but that is now under threat. For anyone who would like to support us during this unprecedented crisis, we are encouraging them to make a donation, to buy a Friends membership or to support our Buy a Brick campaign.
However, this initiative is not about income. This is about the fact that whatever the situation, Greenwich Theatre is here for both artists and audiences. We’re not saying ‘see you when this is done’. We’re saying whatever the situation, Greenwich Theatre is here and serving its users and its supporters.”
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