Our Emerge Festival is now over! After months of planning, marketing and rehearsing, the event has been and gone and now that we've had some time to reflect, it's the perfect opportunity to sum everything up!
REHEARSALS, REHEARSALS AND MORE REHEARSALS!
As April 21st began to creep up closer, we decided to hold additional rehearsals. These were longer 5.5 hour rehearsals where we mixed both groups together, in order to piece all the material together. This was a great opportunity for the two groups to see what else was going to be performed at the festival and to learn from each other. The first time we had a sharing between the groups, there was a shift in the atmosphere and the stakes; it was as if the participants could see a festival being formed and the real potential of the work we were creating.
Although these longer rehearsal sessions provided us with more time and space to perfect everything, this still came with its own challenges. Firstly, there were a handful of members that couldn't make the weekend rehearsals and there were a few that we just had to assume had left the project, as we were unable to get a response from them. On top of these attendance issues, we also had other elements of festival to worry about including creating artwork for the art exhibition, marketing the event and ensuring all artists and companies knew the schedule for the festival day.
In terms of marketing, our young participants came up with inventive ways of promoting on social media including a 10-day countdown to the event. They wrote a brief for what they wanted each image to look like and helped to direct the group in order to create these images.
THE BIG DAY!
The Festival day arrived and after months of organising ... everything seemed to run incredibly smoothly. There was a constant flow of audiences and participants and each young Emerge member knew exactly what was needed from them throughout the day. What we found most memorable from the daytime events were the workshops that the young people ran. These included sword fighting, drama exercises, arts and crafts and being stylists for the photo-booth. It was so great to see them all confidently delivering these workshops and showcasing the skills they had learnt throughout this process. It was as if the whole project had come full circle, with our members now able to run their own Emerge projects!
When it came to the evening performance, we had not yet managed to run everything in order and therefore, we had no idea how long the entire thing would last. Creative content included a physical montage of Shakespeare Deaths, an adaption of Much Ado which our group members named 'Much Ado about Prom' as well as opportunities to showcase talents through monologues, poems, songs and small dance pieces, all inspired by Romeo and Juliet.
The performance ended up lasting just over 90 minutes. For a group that were initially nervous to be on stage, this felt like a great achievement, especially as the majority of the material was original, devised work.
Upon reflection, things that we could have improved on are...
• Being more strict on last minute/unrehearsed pieces
• Having more time to practice with tech
• Focusing on ticket sales for the evening performance
Overall, we're really pleased with how the festival went and more importantly, the young people involved enjoyed every moment of it. We're really going to miss the group members but we're extremely excited to celebrate our success with karaoke and pizza!
Thanks again for the opportunity
- Team Egg Box Theatre!