It isn’t often I feel moved to blog about the same drama school twice in seven days. A real credit, then, to Central School of Speech and Drama that it has so many vibrant and interesting projects running just now.
The one which has caught my eye this week is Acting Out, a lesbian, gay, bisexual youth performance project which has received a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund. CSSD is looking for young people aged 16-25 to take part from next month.
It’s a two week intensive drama project focusing on experiences of coming to terms with sexuality and the reactions of families and friends. During the two week rehearsal period the group will devise a piece of theatre, from the writing process through to a studio based performance at CSSD’s headquarters in London.
The idea, a spokesperson explained to me, is that the final performance will be “a vital key in the sharing process between the LGB actors/writers, their peers and families.” He continued: “Coming out is an experience unique to LGB people, whether that be to friends, family or the prospect of it ahead. It can often be daunting, traumatic, terrifying, funny, enlightening but is rarely boring.” They plan to use dramatic techniques and performance/communication skills to articulate and translate these stories to a broader audience.
The project will run from March 22, 2010 to the performance date of Friday, April 9, with a six day break for Easter. Participants should be available for all these dates. All experiences are welcome, the spokesperson said, stressing that you don’t need to be a performer to take part.
Ben Buratta, Acting Out’s project leader said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this grant from the Big Lottery Fund. It is so important for young LGB people’s voices to be heard at a time when homophobic bullying and incidents of gay hate crime are on the rise. Participants don’t need to be actors. They could be interested in writing, lighting, sound, costume design or any other aspect of the performing arts. Central is committed to providing a safe space for participants to share experiences, make friends and provide a creative outlet to express themselves with like minded individuals.”
Bruce Wooding, Head of the School of Professional and Community Development at CSSD added: “One of my first jobs in my formative years was as a lesbian and gay youth worker and I am delighted that we are able to establish this initiative at Central.”
Bravo. What an enlightened and enlightening idea. Ben Buratta is the contact (020 7449 1576 Mobile: 07977 124448, Email: email@example.com) if you want to know more.