Since 2014, Charioteer Theatre has hosted an annual summer school program, offering young people from all over Italy the chance to travel to Scotland to take part in a fantastic adventure. To work with one of Italy’s leading theatre actors and directors, and to expand their horizons, both creatively and as individuals. And this year was no exception.
This year, at Newbold House in Forres, deep in the Highlands of Scotland, 12 young people between fifteen and eighteen gathered to work together for nine days on an exciting new theatrical project and to broaden their understanding of the possibilities of theatre.
Each day was split up into four – five classes led by either the course director Laura Pasetti, or by her co-teacher Daniel Hird. Classes started at 9:00am with a full physical and vocal warm up, designed to prepare the group for the day ahead followed by workshops varying in content, with participants engaging in:
Commedia Dell l’Arte…
Vocal work including chanting, choral speaking, and even some singing…
At Charioteer Theatre Summer Camps, we aim to expose participants to as wide an array of theatre styles, methodologies, and storytelling forms as possible; in order to break the idea that theatre has to be simply actors standing on a stage reciting lines. This allows our participants to be as creatively open and as imaginative as possible and, in the end, create more daring performers. To this end we had the pleasure of working with a several artists from all around Scotland who were generous enough to share their skills, talent, and passion with us. This year we worked with actor, musician and singer Natalie Toyne who worked with our group on choral singing, and chanting.
Newbold House is an inspiring and peaceful place. Holding a Summer School in this space was bound to release creativity and good energy, and it did! The group of young actors I had the privilege of working with, were ready to open up their voices, and to have fun. What a joyous time!
We also worked with Karl Jay-Lewin and Ellen Shaw from Bodysurf Scotland, who introduced our group to new physical skills and authentic movement.
And last but not least Carol Scorer, independent percussionist, storyteller and teacher worked with the group on including rhythmic elements to our work through co-operative drumming and music making.
Thanks to Charioteers for inviting me to be part if this summer school. It was great to be part of such a vibrant and creative project and such a pleasure to work with such open and dynamic young people clearly exploring and gently pushing their own boundaries in a well supported and held environment. Also for myself I felt trusted and supported as an artist to explore new territory so that instead of following any usual format I was able to explore that area where we were holding the space for creative rhythmic explorartion and facilitating rhythmic self expression. Exciting to be part of. Thank you.
Whilst learning new skills is one of our top priorities at Summer Camp, the real challenge comes from utilizing these skills through the development of a performance piece. Inspired by the magical, woodland surroundings of Newbold House, we decided to set our story there, with a retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale Little Red Riding Hood, which we re-named “We Are All In The Woods”. This project brought together every skill developed through the week, and allowed the group to take creative control of the direction of the piece, deciding on what characters to create, writing their own scripts and devising the scenes. This work culminated in a performance at Newbold House attended by around thirty people from in and around the community.
If you do decide to attend a Summer School, know that you will be well looked after. Newbold House has several comfortable bedrooms equipped to handle five to six people each, so you’ll get to know your fellow participants even outside of the classroom. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all provided by the fantastic chefs who cater to any dietary requirement, so you wont go hungry. And it’s not all “Work Work Work”, we even had time to travel into the surrounding towns of Forres and Elgin for a bit of retail therapy.
If you would like to get a glimpse at what happens at a Charioteer Theatre Summer Camp, then take a look at the video on this page to see what we get up to.
Newbold House, Forres (Scotland)
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