How to adapt your leadership project from Emily McKie

Emily McKie, Gold Arts Award participant with The Mayflower Theatre, talks to us about having to rethinking her script writing leadership project in lockdown. 

My original project proposal for Unit 2 was to direct and organise a public performance of the piece of writing I had produced as part of Unit 1, Part A of my Gold Arts Award. The piece was a 30-minute play based on the biography Manson by Jeff Guinn, which re-told the events of the Manson Family murders from the viewpoint of Linda Kasabian, one of Manson’s followers who ended up testifying against him in court. The piece was going to use techniques such as physical theatre, music and dance to explore whether these people were truly good or evil.

However, in light of the recent health crisis, I have had to put my thinking cap on and find a new way to deliver this project remotely. So instead, I have adapted my script so that every scene takes place in a chatroom or over FaceTime, bringing the themes of my piece into the 21st century and allowing my cast to rehearse and record scenes over Zoom from the comfort of their own home. The footage will then be edited and shared on social media.

As someone who is used to writing and directing for live theatre, this is a big step out of my comfort zone; adapting my script for the (computer screen) has been a big challenge, as this is something I have never done before, but I am embracing the opportunity to expand my skill set. Initially, I was hesitant to present my project in this way, as many of the abstract techniques that I am used to working with such as physical theatre were going to be lost. However, after re-imagining the piece, I still feel it’s key message is intact, and I feel happy that I have two versions of a piece that can be developed in the future.

I have also been in touch with a videographer to help with the editing process, and I am learning about how to convey my vision clearly to someone else so that the finished product comes out how I intended it to. As I am used to working alone on my projects, this is proving to be a valuable experience in learning how to collaborate with another member of a creative team.

If you're having to rethink your Arts Award project in lockdown we'd love to hear from you! Find out more about how to achieve your Gold Arts Award in isolation


Nici West

Nici West Voice Team

Nici is the an editor for Voice. She loves all things books, theatre, music, art, visiting other countries, anything creative, and sometimes attempts to make YouTube videos. Alongside Voice she writes and edits through her own pursuits.You can occasionally find her running marathons dressed as a black dog.

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