Since the start of this year and the start of this blog, I have begun several producing projects. One of them has been as Producer for Hampstead Theatre’s Heat & Light Company. For the past few months I have been working on a piece of new writing created by six young writers for the project. The show is called Routes, and is made up of six 15 minute plays, inspired by mathematics. A tricky theme, but one that has provided us with six very different and exciting new plays. I am very lucky to be working with such great writers as the thought of maths normally makes me break out in a cold sweat. These plays do not.
The entire rehearsal period has been a learning experience for me and I have to admit that my role as producer has been an unconventional one. I have been at every writing session and rehearsal, something that would not normally be a part of a producer’s role. But this experience has allowed me to work with both the plays and the cast in a creative way. From reading through scripts with the writers to making a film for the show, I have found the whole experience very inspiring. I have been given the opportunity to not just be a producer but a theatre maker.
I think it is very easy to label yourself as a one thing and pursue only this. But what I am learning about the arts is that you can have many different roles. As Routes is made up of six individual plays, each week there have been, essentially, six different rehearsals taking place, and because of this I have been able to sit with the cast and writer and help with the direction. I used to love directing but since graduating and focusing on earning a living I have let this go. I now aim to explore the directing opportunities there are, not necessarily as a career but simply as something I enjoy.
I have also been reminded through this experience how lucky we are at the moment to be under 25 and the theatrical opportunities that this brings. I realise that ‘A Night Less Ordinary’ is over and the recession has made it harder to get paid work, but we still have schemes such as Heat & Light, BAC’s workshops and OVNV, arts cuts announcements withstanding. My feeling now is to try it all and see which coat fits best. Our early twenties should perhaps be about exploring our options before we settle down, or perhaps we never even need to decide. My plan for the next few years is to try everything.
Routes is showing at Hampstead Theatre on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th April at 8 pm. Call 020 7722 9301 for tickets.
Image by Nico Kaiser