This is the official day on which to ‘review the year’, so here goes, a very quick whirl through a little of what’s been and come and gone Stanwise in 2016. Apologies to everyone and everything that is missed out – we mean no offense.
The year kicked off with Improbable’s Devoted and Disgruntled Open Space conference at The REP set us off in a positive ‘can do’ frame of mind. This positivity continued with through the great young people we pulled together from across Birmingham to conclude the Trailblazers project by taking over the Council House.
Rowena went off on maternity leave and was soon blessed with the lovely Imogen. Jessie stepped in to help run the office. Craig led a team presenting Of All The People In All The World in Freiburg. While James collaborated with Kerry Murdock on Matholympics at Washwood Heath and Saltley Academies. We battled the elements to install Shakespeare Steps on the Streets of Stratford-upon-Avon (we won – just).
We undertook First Aid training and hosted a couple of scenes of A Passion for Birmingham @ A E Harris. A brand new studio theatre show Made Up opened at The REP complete with green screen and live make up. It went on to tour across the North East of England.
We attended the Doing Nothing Is Not An Option climate change conference at Warwick Arts Centre and Mark Anderson’s amazing Furious Folly performance promoted by the Hippodrome in Sutton Park (more on this later). We hosted two medieval plays staged by PLS from Toronto.
Kerry returned to run an Ancient Egyptians project with Lakey Lane School. James and Jim Morris worked with Year 6 students at Tiverton academy on a puppet show called The Worm in the Grass. Lucy helped out by Jack supported all 240 members of Year 8 at Saltley Academy stage twin productions of The Tempest. Craig made a Superfast Shakespeare who with Year 5 from Billesley Primary. These last two productions were staged on our Slot Together stage outside the RST in Stratford. The stage remained in place through the summer as a site for outdoor productions including a set of four commissioned by the RSC according to criteria we set out for them.
Over the summer James helped members of the Lyng Media Club become Junior Commentators for the Sandwell Arts Festival. Of All The People In All The World was performed in London as part of the Great Fire 350 anniversary festival and in Basel where it was joined by The Cardinals as part of Theaterfestival Basel.
School was back in September with a City Adventure for Central England Teacher Training, talks for Universities and Gift Session workshops for local artists. We recruited new board members and a PhD student to fill a Warwick University studentship researching the potential for arts in contemporary schools.
There was snow on the ground when we performed Of All The People In All The World in Riga but not when we did so in Leeds. On 30th November we hosted a big party and exhibition to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, launched the Scheming Friends individual giving scheme and opened a new show Time Critical. Rowena got a new job. Jessie returned to London and we recruited a new General Manager – who we will tell you about soon.
Next post – Future Plans…