James Rennie Residency

Theatre Skills Residency Week

The residency took place in the performing arts studio at James Rennie School, Carlisle.

The aim of the residency was to introduce the post 16 students to a range of theatre and arts skills.

The artists involved were Ali McCaw, Mark Newport, Marion Smith, Tina Ewing. Haltwhistle Film Project came to film the drama sessions and the final performance.

The footage was used in a short promotional DVD we produced to inform people about our new Studio Theatre courses.

There were 11 young people involved in the project. They had been opted to take part by the staff 2 weeks before the project. Prism Arts Lead Artist, Ali McCaw, met up with the students and they chatted about the range of art skills they would be using to create a short performance – acting, movement, drawing, music recording, and shadow puppetry.

The artists rotated to enable students to explore different artforms and to learn how one art form informs another. Drawing was extremely popular.

The resulting performance was shown 3 times at the end of the week to other students, teachers, parents and carers. The performance was very well received. In the afternoon we undertook a group evaluation with the students:

What did you like and would you like to do it again?

  • I enjoyed making the chandelier. Really good. Not done anything like it before.
  • It was really good being with friends and doing different things.
  • We’ve used the space creatively. You can do your own thing.
  • Good to be away from school!
  • I liked drawing, you got your own time. Don’t get much time normally. It gives you time to think, and draw slowly.
  • More puppets!.
  • Do it again please, but longer.
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