AsOne has been talent spotting for our AsCend Physical Theatre touring project. We have been to see two joint productions by student and staff of University Bournemouth (BA Hons Acting), (BA Hons Costume with Performance Design), (BA Hons Makeup for Media and Performance), and (BAHons Digital Media) – and were very impressed with the productions all round. Mentored by the relevant tutors: set, costume, lighting, projected image and make-up is all designed and made by students in-house, a module of their various degrees in different theatre practice. We would eventually like to mentor one of each of these graduates to design,make, produce, direct, and maybe look at other AUB departments, and other colleges for composers, writers, marketing specialists, as well as those who want to be in the direct spotlight.
This year our plan is to give maybe up to three talented, recent graduate actors the opportunity to work with us, a springboard into the profession with a first job on their CV straight from college. They will be honing the craft they have developed in the safety of the University system, now in the real world. The job a bridge; the next step as a real progression into the industry they have trained for three years to be a part of, and to contribute to. Our idea is they will still get plenty of support in this first job; encouraged, challenged – even given a helpful push – all to achieve excellence in the devising, experiment and polishing of the AsCend project’s inventive show by Imaginary Bodies, ‘100’. They will not be alone but on a creative journey with experienced professionals; other actors, a designer, director and, technician with a pilot tour this autumn of 10 venues. On tour they will discover how versatile they must be in adapting their voice, presence and movement of this very physical piece in ten very different spaces – from tiny, intimate spaces with the audience at arms length, to larger venues with the audience further away but equally engaged and affected by the power of their performance. A huge learning curve for first timers!
Although this is our first attempt to encourage progression for some talented newby graduates, ideally we want to continue by discussing a way forward with the university, as grants are required to pay for more than their expenses. Times are tough. Theatres are closing, companies are folding, this government does not seem to appreciate the need for Culture at the heart to benefit a Community’s Health. British, let alone Dorset’s graduates need a chance to use their talents and hone their skills. After three years and at least £35,000 loaned grant investment (they will eventually pay this back if they can work) they deserve a chance, and the audiences deserve to benefit – Art of all kinds is good for the soul; live theatre is rejuvenating, informative but most of all entertaining! We are working AsOne to reach for the creative heights with AsCend and our graduate performers.