A welcoming new woodland-inspired area is allowing the New Vic Theatre to deliver socially-distanced, in-person sessions with participants more flexibly, and hold rehearsals outside.
New Vic Youth Theatre members were the first to rehearse in a specially created woodland camp outside the building from last week, as they prepare for a filmed performance of A series of public apologies (in response to an unfortunate incident in the school lavatories), written by John Donnelly for National Theatre Connections this year.
The idea to create an open-air participatory area on-site was sparked following ‘taster’ outdoor sessions with groups including the New Vic’s Youth Theatre and Drama Club members in-between lockdowns last year.
The outdoor space, located in the far corner of the New Vic car park, will ensure workshops, including the Youth Theatre rehearsals, can take place in person during the transition period towards the theatre building reopening. The woodland camp includes welcoming touches like log seating, beanbags, bunting, and string lights as well as storage areas and rubber matting, to provide a comfortable surface to move and sit on, and a safe outdoor space with which to welcome participants back to in-person sessions at the theatre.
New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins said: “Building this open-air space has been such a celebratory and optimistic activity. We’ve been galvanised by the thought of the new opportunities it will offer for our educational and outreach programmes. We hope that in particular it will give our young participants a bit of an adventure and inspire their imaginations!”
Youth Theatre Director Kat Hughes said: “The Youth Theatre are really excited to reunite in the open air and to film our latest project after a year of largely online sessions. After running ‘taster’ outdoor sessions between lockdowns last year we realised that young people felt more relaxed and creative outdoors. As practitioners we are delighted to be able to hear our groups laughing together, sharing ideas and working on creative projects as safely as possible in the open air.”
The New Vic Theatre building will be reopening to the public from Monday 17 May, with performances of Third Time Lucky, Eric. For more news from the New Vic Theatre, visit the website at newvictheatre.org.uk.