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Award-winning playwright delivers a workshop for BA (Hons) English programme

Posted: 17th April 2018

English Literature undergraduates were delighted to take part in a site responsive performance workshop delivered by award winning theatre, radio and multi-media performance playwright and dramaturg, Richard Hurford, earlier this month.

Richard, who is renowned internationally, is also involved in a number of community projects throughout the UK. He happily agreed to come through to University Centre Doncaster at the request of one of the English lecturers, Heather Thaxter, who has previously worked with him.

Students had the opportunity to learn about site responsive performance which involves writing sketches that are inspired by the site in which they are performed. Using one of the drama rehearsal rooms at Cast, students wrote and performed three separate sketches that highlighted specific elements of the room. The imposing sense of enclosure of what is a dark, sparsely-furnitured space generated three very different variations on a theme.

Two of the groups incorporated the thick black theatre curtains that lined the room in very innovative ways. One group used them as a prop for a public execution whilst another group used them to demonstrate the passing of time in a jail cell. The third group incorporated a large TV screen and a window to perform a sketch questioning our perception of reality.

Impressed by their originality and creativity, Richard is looking forward to further collaboration with the English programme.

Students commented on the privilege of meeting and being taught by such a renowned professional. All said they enjoyed the experience and some are already planning to showcase their creative talents by undertaking local community arts projects. The opportunity to work with a variety of celebrated local and national professionals as part of their higher education experience is helping to raise individual aspirations and positions University Centre Doncaster firmly in the centre of exciting new ventures.

For more information on the BA (Hons) English programme please contact Heather Thaxter, heather.thaxter01@don.ac.uk  01302 558575, Simon Stevenson simon.stevenson@don.ac.uk 01302 558355, or Joanna Kazik Joanna.kazik@don.ac.uk 01302 553789.