We have a brand new team of Assistant Directors this year who come kitted out with such brilliant skills and experience. We’d love to introduce them to you.
Our Assistant Directors are the right hand people to our Directors, Mentors and Members and have a fundamental role to play. They help mentor our brilliant young people, build their acting careers and craft the performances that we’ll stage next year. These will explore memory and the experiences of elder members of our community with dementia.
Our Act One group is blessed to have Chifaa Khelfaoui, who has a wide variety of skills and experience across many different aspects of theatre and Youth Work including experience as a production intern at the Bush Theatre, a Learning and Community Engagement Trainee for the BBC Proms and a Youth Worker for Islington Council.
A golden moment has been watching the members bring scenes to life with so much creativity and enthusiasm.
Chifaa say “the recent work we have been doing is important as its helped us understand more about dementia and how it affects people who have it and the people around them, especially in terms of memory loss.”
“I imagine the shows will be filled with unique, innovative and light-hearted contributions from the young people in terms of acting and devising the show. I’m also interested to see how the members will interpret themes of memory in their performances.”
The Act Two Group have Ben Wilson as their Assistant Director. Ben trained at Central School of Speech and Drama gaining an MA in Applied Theatre. Ben has a vast amount of experience working as a Community Arts Facilitator and as a director with additional skills in dramaturgy. The Act Two team have grown very fond of Ben, and it sounds as though the feeling is mutual.
“The thing I’ve enjoyed the most,” Ben says, “is getting to see Act Two use every depth of their imaginations as they’ve created scenes. Over the first few weeks they’ve already made scenes where they have been crabs, escaped from fires, and been stalked around the supermarket, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next as their confidence and abilities grow!”
Going on to describe the work, Ben adds “I think a lot of the time we don’t get the space to hear stories from how older generations are experiencing their lives now, especially if they are further marginalised or living with conditions such as dementia, and that’s really sad because it feels like we’re almost forgetting them. This has only been made worse by the pandemic and lockdown. So that’s why the work the Young Companies are doing this year is really important, because it’s giving us a chance to listen to and retell these stories, and celebrate them in the process.
Act Two are incredibly funny and energetic people, and I can imagine that the final show is going to reflect their imaginative, silly senses of humour really well. Dementia and memory are extremely heavy topics, but even in really dark times we still find ourselves able to laugh, and I feel that their show is going to strike a really nice balance.”
Our Act Three group’s Assistant Director is Montel Douglas who has a vast array of skills and experience making and producing theatre. Their recent work as Participation Assistant and producer of ‘Black Joy’ at the Almeida was truly, as the name suggests, a joy to watch. Montel brings years of experience with him of play making with Theatre Peckham, Camden Peoples’ Theatre and Immediate Theatre.
Montel says “I’ve adored seeing the creative spark the young people get when they are enthusiastic about an exercise or drama game. I think the work we are doing is important because it explores physical, psychological, social impacts for people of dementia but also their carers and family.
This being done via theatre creates an engaging way to spread awareness.”
The might of this wonderful team and our brilliant members means next year’s shows are going to be extra special. You can read more about our Young Actors Company here. They are all set to tease you with what to expect during the last session of the term, where we invite you to join us for the final 15 minutes of each of the sessions. You’ll be able to enjoy a taste of what’s to come.
Term one sharings:
Sunday 4th December at:
Act 1 – 11.45-12pm
Act 2 – 2-2.15pm
Act 3 – 3.45-4pm
Contact us if you’d like to attend. We’re looking forward to hearing what you think.