Basicles, the Northwall Summer Residency is a 3 week course in Oxford at the Northwall Arts Center and you put together a performance and experiment with a professional company for 18 – 25 year olds.
What to prepare:
You need to have a monologue of less than three minutes and that is it. Wear clothes that you can move in because you will be doing a workshop. Bring a book because you may be waiting around for your individual audition. That is all, ’tis rather simple really.
The Actual Day:
You get given an audition time,12 noon- 1.45pm was mine, and you should aim to arrive about 15 minutes early because Sherrell (the lady who will be contacting you) needs to take your picture. I found that I was one of the youngest in my group (I am 18) and many of the people were in their first or second year of university. I felt a little young but everyone was lovely and we were all chatting quite happily till we were called into do our workshop.
The workshop is about 20 minutes long and I would assume that it would change every year depending on who the company is and what their goals for the project are. This year the company is Iron Shoes and they are really focused on ensemble stuff and experimenting. We did some games involving our names and then we did some stuff to do with rhythm which is not a strong point of mine…I am starting Zumba soon and OH MY DAYS I am so excited!!! Gotta love Zumba!
After the workshop we all left to go and wait outside/sort out our order to go and do our individual pieces. I was 8th and I think there were about 12 of us. While we were waiting we spoke about drama schools and my age was apparent yet again due to a lot of them discussing Masters degrees at drama schools. I need to age for fuck sake! One day I will look back at this and think “what the hell was I thinking?! Be young again!”. Anyway, the panel consisted of Lucy Maycock who runs the Arts Center, a playwright who she is working with this year and the co-directors of the Iron Shoes theatre company (Ria Perry and John Hoggarth). You go in and perform your piece and then you sit down and have a chitchat with them. They were all lovely I found that Ria and John spoke most and the other two barely uttered a word but the atmosphere was warm.
After you have done you individual audition you can leave. I found I was done by about 1:30pm.
Sadly I didn’t get in but I will be auditioning next year for sure. Also I AM GOING TO EDINBURGH!!!!!!!!!! WHOOP WHOOP!!
Overall notes and feelings:
The residency seems like it would be a HUGE learning curb and be a lot of fun. I have never done anything like this before so the prospect of breaking out of my comfort zone is exciting but also kind of scary.