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Playing Around: Taking Theatre to Communities across the East Midlands
Dates: Friday 16 January to Sunday 3 May 2015
'Playing Around' explores the history of two local theatre companies, New Perspectives Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse's Theatre-in-Education company, Roundabout. Operating in various non-theatre spaces from classrooms to caravans, both companies have sought to make national and international issues 'local' to their audiences and bring theatre 'home' to people across the East Midlands.
Using theatre posters, teachers’ packs, programmes and photographs - together with press reviews and recollections from company members – this exhibition celebrates both companies and their use of theatre to entertain, intrigue, teach and develop different communities over the last 40 years.
Their extensive archives have recently been added to The University of Nottingham’s collections and this exhibition provides the first opportunity to see behind the scenes of both companies. ‘Playing Around’ explores their history from small but ambitious beginnings in the 1970s and 1980s, to fulfilling their mission to champion local talent and tour ground-breaking theatre to schools and rural communities in the region and beyond.
Displays showcasing the place of performance, theatre for children and young people, theatre for rural communities, and building communities will investigate how these very different but equally passionate companies have inspired and moved audiences. Despite the challenges, including their constant battles for funding, both continue to shape the cultural and social life of communities across the East Midlands.
This exhibition has been jointly curated by Jo Robinson (Associate Professor of Drama and Performance in the School of English) and Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham.
DH Lawrence Pavilion
Lakeside Arts Centre
Box Office: 0115 8467777
Monday to Friday 11am-4pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays 12pm-4pm
Closed Easter Sunday
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A series of talks will be held to accompany the exhibition. Places are limited so please book in advance with the Box Office on 0115 846 7777
Andrew Breakwell was Director of Roundabout and Education at Nottingham Playhouse 1999–2012. During his time there, he transformed the department so that alongside the traditional tours of curriculum-orientated plays to schools, the Playhouse offered a wide range of participation and learning opportunities that placed theatre at the heart of the community.
How many opportunities are presented to us ... if we make our work in the spaces that people already inhabit? This talk by Gavin Stride, former Director of New Perspectives, explores the relationships between place and the making of theatre for rural audiences throughout New Perspectives’ 40-year history. Is theatre made, and received, differently in rural settings where the stage is one end of the village hall or church nave?
Guest curator Dr Jo Robinson will draw on objects and images from the exhibition, and from the larger archives of both companies, to examine the different ways in which New Perspectives and Roundabout have worked to build communities in the East Midlands through diverse performances and venues from village halls and classrooms, to gypsy caravans and car showrooms.
Kings Meadow CampusLenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR
telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651