Open auditions

We're excited about our latest new play, Wake, which is completely open to anyone who wants to come and audition.

The play is about the beliefs that people have that define their lives at any one time - religion, money, hard work, being kind, yoga ... whatever it may be, we all have something that 'works for us'.

So we want people to come forward who can bring their own beliefs and their own stories to the play.  We have developed a 30 minute play, with parts based on a number of different people, each with their own beliefs, and our hope is that we can fill those parts with people who share those beliefs, as well as others who have different ideas.

Wake will develop from there, and over the course of two months' rehearsals, grow into something that not only entertains and engages an audience, but is also a great experience for those taking part.

So please join us at 2pm on Sunday April 26 at the Depozitory - a converted chapel - in Nelson Street, Ryde, for a reading of the play, followed by casting.

Wake will be performed around the end of June at the Depozitory, as part of the Ryde Arts Festival, and at other venues in the future.

Thanks for listening, and hope to see you there!

Counting down ...

Our next production Warzone starts with a countdown ... a bit like the launch of a rocket to the moon; or the wait for the order to go over the top ...

And it is exciting to think that we are now in the countdown period to opening night of April 29 at Shanklin Theatre!  There may only be two performances (April 29 and 30), but the same amount of preparation goes into it, and it is one of the most exciting parts of being involved in theatre.

You see the cast developing the characters more and more with each rehearsal; the confidence building; the bits that don't work being ironed out (or scrapped completely!); the list of things to do that never seems to get any shorter ...

Warzone is the second new play of our First World War centenary tribute, and the fact that the cast is made up of Isle of Wight students telling a story that honours the lives of the many young people who gave so much during the 'Great War' makes it even more special.

As the countdown continues, we hope this production maintains our high standards, but also stands as a fitting tribute, because there is no doubt that 'we will remember them' ...

Online booking is open now at www.shanklintheatre.com

Short, and sweet?

March 21 should be in your diary already!

That's the night we present the six winning plays in our 15 minute play writing competition, directed by Eltjo de Vries, who has linked these very different plays together as a continuous performance, with the help of some amazing music, and movement.

Some of the winning writers are making long journeys to see their play staged for the first time, and we think they - and you - are in for a treat!

It has been an eye opener to see just how much power and emotion can be delivered in 15 minutes. The theme for our competition (From Page to Stage) was 'turning the tables', so you can expect lots of twists and turns, and intrigue!

We hope you can join us, and we would love to have your feedback afterwards. Did our 'traverse theatre' format (with the action taking place in a central aisle) work? Which play had the most impact for you? Should we run another 15 minute play competition, or should we stick to the full length play?

Most important question of all, of course ... did you have a great evening?!

We think and hope the answer will be yes ...

Make a date with us

Dates ... a word with several meanings.  Dates you can eat, dates you can go on, and dates you can put in your diary. We're talking about the latter!

We have some significant dates coming up in the first few months of New Year, so please make a date with us! You'll find regularly updated information on our website at originstheatre.uk; on the Origins Theatre facebook page; and on twitter @originstheatre

January 24 - a performance of 'Dilemma', followed by a fun quiz, at Bembridge Village Hall on the Isle of Wight; in association with Bembridge Little Theatre

January 25 and February 5 - 'My Boy' at The Sail Loft at the Bargeman's Rest, Newport, Isle of Wight

February 18 to 21 - 'Appointment with Death', our production is part of the Agatha Christie 125th anniversary celebrations and is being staged at Shanklin Theatre; you can book online now for this at www.shanklintheatre.com

March 21 - we present the winners of this year's playwriting competition; a chance to see at least three 15 minute plays for the very first time, with the people who wrote them ... at The Sail Loft, at the Bargeman's Rest, Newport, Isle of Wight

April 29 and 30 - another original, 'Warzone' at Shanklin Theatre

A good year ...

2014 has been a great year for us, recently made even better by winning Best Play in the Isle of Wight Theatre Awards for our production of 'The Hollow'; Best Stage Moment for a new scene we added in to the same play; nominations for two actors in the play; and a nomination for Best Play for one of our original pieces, 'The Truth Untold'.

Meanwhile, we aim to start 2015 at even higher levels, with two original one act plays ... 'Dilemma' and 'My Boy', which are being performed in January and early February, and  Agatha Christie's classic 'Appointment with Death', to be performed at Shanklin Theatre in the middle of February (tickets are already on sale for this one, at www.shanklintheatre.com). 

Six weeks later, we will be showcasing the winners and highly commended submissions in our 15 minute play competition. Then at the end of April, we are staging an original full length drama called 'Warzone'.  And there will be more to come later in the year!

2014 was a good year. We want to keep improving, so our aim is to make 2015 even better.

Thanks for the support you have given us so far. And if you haven't discovered us yet, that's ok, but make it your New Year resolution to come and see what Origins Theatre is all about!

 

Making mistakes - and progress

We all learn from feedback, from our experience, and by learning from others.

That's certainly been the case for us. Looking back over our first couple of years, we've made mistakes. But we have also made progress, and it's probably fair to say that you can't have one without the other.

Now, as we look forward to 2015, it's a chance to put everything we have learned into practice.

There's no doubt that 2014 has been a great success for us: audience feedback has been the best ever, whether we have staged a classic (Agatha Christie's 'The Hollow', for example), or a new and contemporary drama ('The Truth Untold').

Thanks to everyone who has worked on our productions in 2014, and to everyone who has come to see us - especially those who are supporting our new work.

Our promise is to keep improving, year on year. We've got a great line up for 2015 ... and no shortage of innovation, but before we cross into the new year, we've got a couple more treats in store:  the final night of the wonderful new musical, Star Prize, is on at Shanklin Theatre on Wednesday, October 15; and we are launching pub theatre at the Bargeman's Rest in Newport on Thursday, October 30, with a haunting stage adaptation of the Dickens short story, The Signalman.

Stay with us!

Busy, busy ...

The pace is certainly hectic here at Origins HQ.

We are in rehearsal for our first ever musical, Star Prize, which has its premiere at Shanklin Theatre on the Isle of Wight on October 2. We think it might be a first ... the first country music musical ... unless, of course, you know different? And look out for a sneak preview at the amazing Sweetcorn Fayre at Arreton Barns on the afternoon of September 27, when we will also be leading the biggest line dance the Isle of Wight has ever seen.

We are also getting together for a preliminary read through for our February production, again at Shanklin Theatre, of our second Agatha Christie classic play. All will be revealed soon, as they say.

Our judges are patiently waiting for the closing date of our playwriting competition, From Page to Stage 2014, in which the challenge is to write a 15 minute play on the theme of 'turning the tables'. All six winning plays will be performed at a special event on the Isle of Wight on March 21, so that's definitely a date for your diary.

And we are preparing to start work on a very innovative project, based on a one act play, which promises to open up a whole new world for us!  Again, all will be revealed, so stay with us.

We hope you can make time to join us for Star Prize in October. All the words and the music are original, and it will be a good opportunity to forget about everything and escape for a couple of hours.

Right - back to work! Thanks for supporting Origins Theatre, and see you soon!

 

Writing a 15 minute play

Writing a play and seeing it performed is one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have, and Origins Theatre is delighted to offer this amazing opportunity with From Page to Stage 2014.

The challenge is to write a 15 minute play on the theme of 'turning the tables'. The six winning plays will be performed by Origins Theatre on the Isle of Wight at a special event in March, as well as being published.

The important thing for those entering the competition is to make an immediate impact. 15 minutes isn't long, so it is essential to get straight to the point so the audience is pulled into the story right away.

Think about your characters - are they real, convincing, and vivid?  Remember, you are limited to a maximum of four, so make them come alive and build your play around the struggle, or conflict, between them. 

Remember, drama is just another word for action, so don't be tempted to have people just sitting round a table having an argument about something. 

And if you are not sure of the difference between 'show' and 'tell', do some research before you start writing!

Origins Theatre Company exists to encourage new talent, and give our audiences new experiences, so please don't be afraid of having a go, even if you have never entered a competition before.  We are actively looking for something new and original, so go for it!

You can find the rules on our website.

Good luck!

Defining moment

There comes a point in any production, when you can truly say - 'this is going to be good'.

We have just reached that point in rehearsals for Star Prize, which is good news, because we still have a few weeks to go before we hit the stage. It's quite difficult to put your finger on what exactly happens to generate that feeling... the cast start to become their characters; lines are learned; the movement on stage becomes natural etc etc.

It is hard to define the moment, but whatever the reason, it is a VERY nice feeling!

 

Planned growth

There are now just two months to go before opening night for Star Prize - our first ever play with music - and still plenty to sort out.

But we are always thinking several steps ahead ...

We have completed the outline of a new murder mystery event; casting is now complete for a one act play which we will be giving a rather special treatment, and another is planned; we will soon be announcing details of a new play to be staged next April which requires a cast of people under the age of 25; and, of course, we have launched our playwriting competition, From Page to Stage.

One of the lessons we are learning, though, is the importance of not over-reaching.  The really important thing is to be able to maintain quality, not to impress with quantity! 

We can only do this with the support and enthusiasm of a wide range of people who are willing to take on the challenge of delivering new, exciting, original productions. And it has been great to see an increasing interest in our work especially from young people.

The more people who get involved, the more we can do, and the better we become.

So if you would like to grow with us, don't be afraid to get in touch ... We plan to keep improving, and maybe you can help us?

Back to The Future

We are proud of the progress we have made in just a couple of years.

And the fact we have needed to change our name to avoid a clash with a national touring company is perhaps a measure of how far we have come! But the new name is significant in other ways, because it takes us back to the future.

Our origins were in the burning desire to provide an outlet for new writing, new plays, new people. So much of everything now is about celebrity, who you know, sure fire box office success, tried and trusted ...

Changing our name reminds us - and you - what we are about. We want to always be at the creative cutting edge, bringing audiences something new, but also doing the same for performers, writers, back stage and front of house people.

The signs so far in 2014 - our Year of Originals - is that we are doing something right.  We have never had such consistently excellent audience feedback, and we are now being approached by people keen to get involved, both on and off stage.

We will never stop learning, and we are bound to make mistakes along the way. After all, isn't that the best way to learn!?

Look out for plenty of new things coming your way - starting with our first musical, Star Prize in October!

Star Prize

A new play by Kevin Wilson, with original country music by Mary Collis.

Following a dream can sometimes be a nightmare. But dreams really can come true ...

Sandie's love of country music changes her life forever.

Laughed at by her schoolmates but inspired by her mum, Sandy keeps following her guiding star. Follow her funny, sad, exciting and heart warming story, as she takes you on a roller coaster ride, leading up to the biggest moment of her life. Will Sandie win the Star Prize ...?

All profits from this production will be donated to Samaritans Isle of Wight.

Performance dates are October 2 (Shanklin Theatre), October 3 and 4 (Trinity Theatre, Cowes), October 5 at 2.30pm (Groundlings Theatre, Portsmouth), and October 15 (Shanklin Theatre).

Read More

Prepare To Make A Scene!

We will soon be announcing details of this year’s From Page to Stage competition, so get ready!

This is going to be different and exciting, but it will remain affordable and accessible to all, consistent with our mission to open up opportunities for new talent, rather than recycle the usual suspects.

We will reveal all the info by around the middle of July.

So keep an eye on the website, and follow us on Facebook and twitter.