The Engine Room Opens at the Stove for the Month of June

National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) are bringing their exciting nationwide development model to the Stove Network in Dumfries throughout the month of June for a series of free events which aims to empower artists. ‘The Engine Room’ focuses on partnering with venues across the country to together build creative spaces where artists and makers from all art-forms and backgrounds can learn, play, and meet together.


Martin Joseph O’Neill, Curatorial Team Member of the Stove Network, commented: “It’s an amazing opportunity for our national theatre to meet with the incredible artists and creative people we have in our town and wider region. It’s also an opportunity to work across art-forms, with the support of the Stove and NTS to explore more experimental and collaborative work.”


The Engine Room begins on 20th June with their Ideas and Career Surgeries, hosted in the Stove Café. This is an introductory meeting with the producer of the Engine Room, Anna Hodgart and Artistic Development Project Manager Lucy Deere. During these sessions, you will be able to hear more about how to engage with the company and gain advice and tips on the best way of progressing your performance practice and career or a specific idea. Each surgery will be one hour long, and booking is essential. The event will also run on the 28th, and will be running from 12-5pm on both days. Please visit www.nationaltheatrescotland.com to reserve your place.


Also on 20th, NTS Dramaturg Rosie Kellagher will be hosting ‘Masterclass: The Art of Rewriting’. This workshop is for any playwright who has struggled with what to do with a play after a first draft. Rosie will help with how to approach a re-write and how to decide what changes to make, what can stay and what has to go. Join Rosie from 6pm, no booking required.


On 21st, Cora Bissett, NTS Associate Director, will host ‘Masterclass: Working Across Art-forms’. This is a workshop for artists from across different art-forms with an interested in live performance and will explore techniques and possibilities when creating cross-art form work. The workshop will run from 6pm-9pm and there is no booking required.


On 27th, the Stove Network will host a public reading of a new play by Dumfriesshire-based Breakthrough Writer Gerry Griffin. ‘The Prisoner Governor’ takes place in Inveraray Jail in 1850. Samuel Turner, the Prison Governor, has just remarried following the death of his wife, and his new wife is to be the prison matron. Join Gerry on the evening of the 27th from 6pm to hear the full reading.


NTS will conclude their series of events on 28th and 29th with ‘One Day to Play’ – a paid opportunity for four artists to experiment across art-forms and to generate a brand-new idea. The opportunity had been designed in recognition of, and in response to, the strength of Dumfries’ visual art and music scenes. By offering this opportunity, NTS hope to ignite and engage new ideas and practices between different forms and sectors, bringing artists together and encourage practitioners to think about theatre and performance as a form that gives space for multiple art-forms to come together.


On Thursday 28th June, the four selected artists will be brought together for an introductory session led by NTS Associate Director Cora Bissett. They’ll be matched up, introduced and Cora will lead a discussion around different approaches and techniques in working across art-forms, referencing her own experience working in this way. The artists will then be given some ‘conversation guidelines’ and be sent off to get to know each other.


The next, on Friday 29th, the artists will arrive at the Stove and be given a provocation or question to get them started. Using this, they will spend the day working together to come up with a new idea for a piece of performance or theatre which will be presented that evening at the Stove’s monthly open mic night, Brave New Words.


For more information on any events, please visit: www.nationaltheatre scotland.com/collaborate/engine-room/




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