I don’t know too many people who are opposed to collaborating within the arts and to the point, in theatre. To those who don’t like too many cooks, collaboration to them stifles creativity and dilutes the process, which I think isn’t a strong enough case. When roles are clearly stated, different experiences, art forms and skills are being brought to the table and resources are being shared – then collaboration is a beautiful thing.
I am working on several collaborations at the moment. One with Beyond Face and Plymouth Music Zone on a musical production, where I am writing the script about mental health amongst young people. And another with Soho theatre and nitroBEAT on ‘nbBites’, which is a cross between a play reading, a scratch night and a poetry slam. Both of these collaborations are bringing together creative partnerships with aims to bring something exciting to the audiences and for me – just equally as important – to the venues as well. What is great about these collaborations is that they are both addressing the lack of diversity and changing the default in what is being performed on the stage. They are also making the venues take notice: the producers, casting directors and of course, the artistic directors. nitroBEAT’s collaboration with Soho Theatre came about after a conversation between the director, Diane Morgan and Soho Theatre’s executive director, Mark Godfrey and the result was nitroBEAT’s residency. This new collaboration has already shaken things up with the magical, mystical and somewhat esoteric immersive musical production that was The Passion of Lady Vendredi.
Another collaboration I am involved in is one with Central Saint Martins where I am doing my MA in Dramatic Writing, Oberon Books, The Bush Theatre and London Writers Week. This was due to a competition I won recently, The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting award. In July, myself and the four other winners will be writing a piece in which we will all contribute about being a student in the UK.
A collaboration that I am really excited is another one with Beyond Face and the charity I work for, Reaching Higher. In August, we are running workshops together and putting on extracts from our plays, Mixed Grill and Down Hair. It is apart of Rich Mix’s Youth Takeover. My partnership with Alix Harris, Beyond Face’s artistic director has been one where we are both at a point of jumping in feet first and seeing where we land. So far it has been paying off as sometimes that whole blind-leading-the-blind thing actually takes you to a fantastically unexpected place.
Collaborating for me as an emerging artist has been a way to build my networks and relationships with people in the industry as well as work on really exciting and challenging projects. It has pushed me to think big creatively and learn from experienced practitioners. As Helen Keller put it – “alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”
Where I mainly write. Blue Mountain Cafe . The cakes photo on the main page is from this cafe. I’ve had many collaboration with those cakes.