Chichester Festival Theatre offers fun online lockdown workshps

Chichester Festival Theatre has confirmed a range of creative workshops you can do at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 7:12 am
Louise Rigglesford CFT Senior Community & Outreach Manager

Louise Rigglesford, senior community and outreach manager at the CFT, is delighted at the response so far – a great way for the theatre to stay in touch and for people to continue to access many of its exciting creative opportunities.

“The reason we had to do this is the reason that we do the jobs we do. I believe that all people that work in theatre and in the creative arts are people that know the benefits that theatre and the creative arts can bring, that they can bring joy and well-being and that they can also help us express things we find it difficult to express.”

And arguably, that makes access even more important in times of crisis.

“The reason for our LEAP remote sessions is that we usually see 65,000 people in the course of a year, putting together the youth theatre and the adult programme and all the outreach work. It is a huge number of people that we see regularly, and then with the shutdown all of a sudden these were individuals that we were not going to be in contact with in quite the same way.”

It therefore became a question of finding new ways to make the connection.

“We have all been using Zoom with each other and it has been a steep learning curve, but once we had got over the first initial bugs, we were able to turn our attention to how best we can use it to reach out to the people that we usually see and still being able to offer them our creative talents and also get them to use their own creative talents. And that’s where the idea for the remote sessions has come from.”

Offered by Chichester Festival Theatre’s Learning, Education and Participation (LEAP) team, the workshops take the form of remote 30-minute sessions on subjects ranging from creative writing to puppetry and crafts to dancing. All sessions will be via Zoom, the free-to-use video conferencing solution. The LEAP creative workshops are all free and open to everyone, of any age. However participant numbers are limited so booking is essential. Book your place at: Musical Theatre Dance – Tuesday, May 12, 4pm: Dance away the lockdown blues with a boogie around your own home. Join members of the LEAP team as they teach a short musical theatre dance routine. No experience necessary.

Craft Activity: Marble Maze – Thursday, May 14, 4pm: In this session, members of the LEAP Team will help you to stretch your puzzle muscles and make a Marble Maze.

Puppetry at Home: Paper Puppets – Monday, May 18, 4pm: Professional puppeteer Darcy Collins shows you how to make and operate your own simple paper puppet at home.

Creative Writing: Duologues – Wednesday, May 20, 4pm: Ever wanted to write a play, but not sure where to start? Simple writing exercises will help you to write a short piece of dialogue.

“We sat down and we talked about our individual skills,” Louise said, “and we decided what we would be focusing on, and then we put the programme together. We hope that people are looking forward to it as much as we are. There is definitely a real appetite for this at the moment and we are looking forward to flexing our creative muscles. Obviously it is going to be a while before we can be back together again in terms of making theatre, but if there is a positive side to all this, it is that we are finding new ways of staying in touch with people.”

And the chances are some of the ways might continue when we all open up again.

“A lot of the work we do is with the more isolated people, and these could be fantastic tools to use to reach out to people.”


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