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Summer School – Course E: Digging Deeper for Detail
Tutor: Sue Colgrave

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About the Course:

About the tutor

Sue has been a Theatre Practitioner for over 30 years. Trained as an actress under Jean Norman Benedetti, she has worked extensively in Theatre, TV and Radio. As a director, her work has encompassed A wide range of material from Shakespeare to Contemporary Opera. She spent/misspent her youth in various variety theatres of the UK and, as a result, has a passion for Popular Forms. Other passions include Ensemble Theatre, New Writing, Complicite, Caryl Churchill, Stephen Sondheim, and encouraging, facilitating and inspiring artists of all ages to find their voices and express themselves through Drama and Theatre.

For the last 12 years she has premiered and revived shows for the Edinburgh Fringe including "Piaf", "The Overcoat", "They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?" and "The Laramie Project". Other professional directing work includes the English Speaking Theatre of Vienna, Oxford Stage Company, Cheltenham Everyman, and Old Red Lion. Current projects are "Groomed to Perfection", a 15-part podcast exploring coercive control, and "Alladin" for The Kenneth More Theatre.

Sue was also part of the pioneering teaching team on the Community Theatre Arts Course at Rose Bruford College working with the likes of Paulette Randall and Bernadine Evaristo. She went on to lead, as Head of The School of Theatre, the colleges' degrees in Acting, Directing, and Writing and to create the innovative Actor Musician Course with long time collaborator Colin Sell. Notable Alumni include Roy Williams, Kerry Godliman and Stephen Graham.

She continues to work at many of the UK’s leading Drama Schools as both Acting Coach and Director. International work includes dissemination for The Project in European Theatre Arts, working with young professional actors from Romania, Belgium, France, Portugal, Germany and the UK culminating in a multilingual project written by Mathew Dunster, six seasons of directing graduating actors for the Conference of Drama Schools in New York, and Drama Teacher Development for Lamda in India.


Course Outline

The week is entirely practical and involving. Acting is doing, revealing not concealing. We will work to create a supportive ensemble that is challenging and non-judgemental. Within that, individuals will be encouraged and supported to take risks and deepen their intellectual, emotional and playful choices as actors and directors.

The workshop will look at the variety of ingredients that the artist needs to gather to make the creative cake be it directing a piece or performing in it. Sessions will explore the craft of acting- objectives, character-building from inside and out, emotional connection/memory, finding inspiration and fuelling the imagination. We will work with an eclectic mix of theatre games, exercises and improvisations to encourage spontaneity as well as a variety of texts to fine-tune action playing, develop self-sufficient rehearsal techniques and explore the artist's creative response to the material Text work will concentrate on 20th/21st-century writers - the tutor will provide.

Participants will be sharing their work throughout the project, and feedback and further development will be discussed openly within the group without the pressure of a final performance. We will be looking for detail and transformation whilst making it look easy! Come prepared to be courageous, enjoy the struggle, sweat a little and laugh a lot.

Music, sound, props, and garments play an important role in the creative process so please can all participants bring simple “jumble sale” garments (e.g. hats, gloves, scarves, shoes etc) the more the better. A significant object e.g. a ring, a letter, a toy, anything that carries meaning for the individual and finally consider and bring a piece of music that inspires and excites them- this can be from any epoch but must be on a grand scale musically, orchestra, the big band is ideal from Beethoven to Springstein via Hendrix the choice is yours. Please wear clothing you can roll around in and shoes that you can move in.