Freelancers Make Theatre Work is run by a small voluntary group of freelancers. The group is not fixed but fluid and welcomes participants who are willing to give time. Each week, a different member of the team writes the newsletter...

Last week, next week and beyond.

By Josie Underwood

There is so much to be said for the technical shift we have made over the last year - the ways we have embraced the change that COVID forced on us, the programmes designed for international corporate meetings co-opted for clown workshops and play-readings - but the chance to return to a real theatre space last week had an entire room of creatives (myself included) smiling from ear to ear.

After a year (plus!) of workshops in cyberspace I had the opportunity to attend one of FMTW’s in-person workshops at the National Theatre last week, and it was an absolute delight! I got to spend a few hours with Ola Animashawun in a creativity workshop with other writers, dramaturgs & theatre makers, playing with exercises designed to get us in a creative headspace. At first, the thought of returning to the rehearsal studios that used to be so familiar seemed quite daunting, having sat on my sofa feeling particularly unmotivated for so long, but when I was in the room it was such a joy to share a space and ideas with a bunch of other creatives and to peek a resemblance of what creative spaces used to look like.

Ola took us through exercises that we could use to spark creativity, a much needed cure for the existential artistic block that lockdown seems to have conjured. We thought about the people that inspire us, shared the stories behind our names, investigated how we were feeling in the moment and had the chance to engage our imaginations again and write short poems and plays. We then had the chance to share these, good and bad, with the group, giving us a moment to feel like we were a live audience again, in front of us a live performance.

The main thing I have missed about live in-person theatre is exactly what made this workshop so wonderful – the feeling of the room. The way a space changes when offers are made and creativity is shared. There was laughter and reflection, and a tangible sense of joy.

The past year has taught us a lot. We are extremely lucky to now be in a world where we can combine the benefits of both real life and online creative spaces. We have been presented with a great opportunity to make our industry more accessible and far reaching, which is exactly what it needs! I would be lying though if I said that I am not very excited to be creeping back to a world where we can see imagination in the flesh, and this workshop was a wonderful first step.

Final sessions

Today marks the final day of our free Zoom Boxing and Stage Combat classes. Over the last 22 weeks, Kate Waters (Kombat Kate) has welcomed hundreds of Theatre Freelancers through our digital doors into our virtual gym. Her generosity has been amazing and we can't thank her enough for devoting so much time, energy and enthusiasm to each session. Over Christmas and into spring, Kate also ran free sessions for Theatre Kids each Thursday that were hugely successful.

Kate, you have been a rock and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Next week, will also see the final Dawn Chorus and Freelancer Tea Breaks sessions. We will have run 22 Dawn Choruses and hosted 30 Freelancer Tea Breaks. These have all been free sessions run by Vocal Coaches, FMTW members and volunteers. To each and every one of you, THANK YOU. We have loved every kick, punch, stretch, shout, cup of tea, slice of cake, laugh, cry and on and on. 

Join us this Thursday for the penultimate Tea Break and on Monday for our final Dawn Chorus (details below).

Plans are already afoot for future sessions into the summer months, so watch this space.

The Dawn Chorus - Monday's at 9am
The Dawn Chorus - Monday's at 9am
These FREE 30 minute sessions will help you shake off the past, be present with your voice and get ready to speak to your future.
Dawn Chorus
Tea Break - Thursday's at 11am
Tea Break - Thursday's at 11am
An open invitation to our virtual Green Room for those who have missed checking in with their work family!!! Bring a cuppa and grab a comfortable seat as we find a way to be together.
Tea Break
Useful links
Sexual Violence Support
Sexual Violence Support
Sexual Violence must stop. We have a list of support services for anyone who has been impacted by sexual violence.
Ghost Shows Podcast
Ghost Shows Podcast
A new episode has just dropped today. Have a listen.
Listen to the podcast
Big Freelancer Report
Big Freelancer Report
Mapping the problems facing the freelance workforce and making practical recommendations for change.
Read the report
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Unsubscribe    |    View online