Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre takes its acting and script-writing classes on line - how to book

Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre has started to move its popular OutReach classes online, starting in a week's time.

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 1:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 2:31 pm
Writer Nick Lane
Writer Nick Lane

The first classes to go online will be:

Beginner’s playwriting course: for five weeks from Tuesday June 9, from 11.30am. Led by playwright Nick Lane, who has written the Stephen Joseph Theatre's Christmas show for the past four years as well as the hugely popular adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes story The Sign of Four, which visited the theatre last spring.

Nick says: “Has lockdown got you feeling locked up? Have you had enough of seeing/posting pictures of homemade frittatas on Instagram? Are you looking for something creative to do before you watch the whole of Netflix again?

“Well, if you fancy trying your hand at playwriting, the SJT's got you covered with a course for first-time writers covering everything from character to dialogue to plot, through structure, editing and rewriting... that you can do from your own home.

“You could even do it while watching Netflix and making a frittata.* The course is simple, it's fun and it might just help you uncover a talent you didn't know you had.

“*Not recommended. Seriously; you might burn yourself.”

The course costs £35 for all five sessions.

Rounders – the Stephen Jospeh Theatre youth theatre: for five weeks from Tuesday June 9, the Stephen Josep Theatre's associate director for children and young people, Cheryl Govan, and associate director Chelsey Gillard will deliver three free sessions per week online, from 4pm to 5pm:

Tuesdays for eight to11 years

Wednesdays for 15-plus years

Thursdays for 12 to 14 years.

Cheryl said: “For all our current members, we've not forgotten about you! Rounders will be moving online too. It won't be the same but we can assure you it will be fun and a great chance to catch up with all your friends for some virtual Rounders nonsense. Make sure your parents check their emails: we'll be in touch!”

Script reading classes: for five weeks from Wednesday June 10, from 11.30am to 1.30pm. These fun and friendly sessions will explore the work of playwrights from the restoration period.

Participants will read aloud texts from the period, and work with the theatre's associate director Chelsey Gillard to look at their themes, stories, writing styles and the historical context.

Digital copies of plays including The Man of Mode by George Etheredge and The Rover by Aphra Behn will be provided and participants will be given a link to join each weekly session.

These classes cost £5 per week or £20 if you book all five.

Chelsey said: "I’m very excited that we will be exploring this unique era of playwriting which delighted audiences when theatres reopened after an 18-year ban. Theatre became a way to celebrate and reflect on society so it's the perfect inspiration as we wait to also re-open our doors."

Script surgeries: These special script surgeries provide individual feedback on scripts in development. Scripts will be read by professional literary consultant Suzy Graham-Adriani, best known for creating the National Theatre’s Connections Programme.

She was responsible for commissioning and developing the first hundred plays and musicals from writers such as Alan Ayckbourn, Bryony Lavery, Mark Ravenhill, Dennis Kelly, and Simon Armitage. Suzy will give detailed feedback and a one-to-one Zoom session to explore ways to take the script to the next draft and, if appropriate, ways to take it forward.

Script surgeries cost £100.

Cheryl says: “We are, of course, really looking forward to re-opening the theatre and welcoming our community back to our popular classes.

“But until that’s possible, we hope that as many people as possible will join us online, We’ll be adding more soon.”

For more information on the online classes: