During its long history, Everyman Theatre ran sessions on all aspects of Theatre, in order to stimulate the membership. For some reason this activity then stopped.
In 2013, some 6 years after I joined Everyman, I felt that the Company seemed to be “levelling out” in terms of its development. Yes – we offered a season of 3 plays at Chapter; Yes – we had a growing Open-Air Summer Theatre Festival; Yes – we held free Club Nights every Wednesday evening, open to all. However, there seemed to be a gap in terms of a Training Programme (involving sessions led by Professional Theatre Practitioners) to enhance the existing skills base, or develop new skills or to enable members to experiment with new theatrical forms and ideas.
This thinking formed the basis of a presentation I made at The University of South Wales, in 2013, as part of my M A Drama course. In December of that year, I put the idea forward to members present at the Christmas Party that year. The response was so positive that I then presented the idea at a meeting of the Everyman Board.
To cut a long story short – after a bid to Arts Council, Wales for £5,000 failed on two technicalities – the Board re-considered the proposal, asked me to establish a Planning Group to develop a programme of Training and also agreed to fund the initiative.
CLUB NIGHTS AND “MELTING POT” EVENTS
What is the difference? Why is there some confusion?
Our Club Nights have a long history – at 8 pm on Wednesday evenings, during our “operating year” (September to May, inclusive), members can offer to run a session on anything to do with Theatre or Performance. These are FREE events, open to members AND the public, currently organised by Jackie Hurley and “hosted” by Arnold Phillips. The FIRST Club Night of each month, however, has been generously reserved for “MELTING POT” for specific Skills, Development, Training sessions.
This was suggested because the Club Room is so heavily used for rehearsals, meetings etc that “MELTING POT” sessions fell on other days, evenings or weekends. This involves the additional cost of room hire and is also dependent upon the availability of the professionals who lead the sessions.
“MELTING POT” sessions have a focus on Theatre Skills, are organised by a Planning Group – currently Chaired by Barry Slack – as part of a fully-costed Programme of Training events which can happen throughout the year. They are provided for MEMBERS of Everyman only. Monthly reports are presented at Everyman Board meetings, on all “MELTING POT” activity. Occasionally, if the fees required by the Professional/s involved and/ or venue or room hire costs come into play, a small charge is made for some sessions. Training sessions are not always held in the Club Room.
A glance at our programmes reveals the following Training opportunities:
Aspiring and new Directors;
Backstage Work – Lighting; Props; Stage Management;
Mask Work and Commedia Dell ‘Arte;
National Theatre Wales productions;
Original plays and Projects;
Royal Shakespeare Company Training events;
Touring Productions – small-scale and full-scale;
Writing for the Theatre.
It is important to point out that:
- “MELTING POT” sessions has a needs-based skills, development, training remit;
- They are for Everyman members only and are generally FREE;
- They are led mainly by Professional Practitioners, occasionally by our own specialists;
- The Training Programme is planned, costed and paid for, by Everyman for YOU;
- Sessions are arranged based on the availability of the professionals involved, the availability of the Club Room and/ or other rooms and venues, where appropriate;
- Generally speaking, the FIRST Club Night of the month – for each month that Club Nights operate (September to May) – is designated a “MELTING POT” session;
- The Training Sessions are designed to deliver experiences which should be FUN, as well as great learning opportunities for all participants.
There is room on the “MELTING POT” Planning Group for new, fresh ideas; there is room for YOU if you wish to be involved. Contact Barry Slack or Ray Thomas in the first instance. Please support “MELTING POT” – for all Everyman members.