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The SJT’s Annual ReachOut Festival Set to be Bigger & Better Than Ever!

SJT ReachOut Festival

The ReachOut Festival returns to the Stephen Joseph Theatre for the fourth year, showcasing local talent and providing an opportunity to take part in drama, music and performing arts.


Run by the theatre’s OutReach department, the 2016 festival starts on 15 February and features a lively and compelling four-week programme of events for all ages, including the latest from National Theatre Connections, community collaborations, play readings, a talent show, concert and workshops.

OutReach Officer for Youth and Community Cheryl Govan said:

“The opening of the new OutReach centre last year has made a real difference to our community involvement, and the ReachOut festival is one of the biggest events of the year for us. We welcome anyone who wants to come and see the wide range of activities and performance opportunities on offer, to join in, and to share any new ideas with us.”

The 2016 festival launches with a diverse series of workshops throughout the first week: Musical Theatre, on Monday 15 February from 10am-1pm, is aimed at eight-to-12-year-olds, and is inspired by Shrek the Musical, while the ever popular Dramarama Daze (Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 February, 10am-3pm) encourage youngsters aged four to seven, and eight to 12, to create a show in a day. On Thursday 18 February there’s a Circus Skills Workshop for eight-to-12-year-olds (10am to noon). All of the above end with a performance for friends and family.

Friday 19 February brings a Samba Band Workshop (no drumming experience necessary!), while on Saturday 20 February, Britain’s Got Talent winners Attraction are the inspiration for a Shadow Workshop in which participants use music, projections and their very own shadow to create a unique artwork. Both the above take place from 10am to noon and are aimed at 12-to-16-year-olds.

On Friday 19 February at 7.30pm, and Saturday 20 February at 2.30pm and 7.30pm, the 15+ Rounders group present Snoo Wilson’s Bedbug, directed by Cheryl Govan. Ivan Varlet is making a class change, moving from socialism to the bourgeoisie. But Ivan gets trapped in an ice cellar and wakes up 50 years later – what will become of this embarrassing reminder of Russia’s past?

The second week of the ReachOut festival brings Plays & Pinot (Monday 22, Wednesday 24, Monday 29 February and Wednesday 2 March at 7pm); hugely popular rehearsed readings of plays by members of the SJT scriptwriting class, led by Alison Watt and delivered by local actors.

On Saturday 27 February at 7.30pm, Scarborough, Whitby & Filey Rounders present four plays around the theme Survival, devised by the group’s 12-to-15-year-old members.

In the third week, Headspace sees local schools come together to showcase their talent with short original shows (Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 March at 2pm; Thursday 3 and Friday 4 March at 7pm).

Playground of Play Readings on Saturday 5 March is a round-up of excellent semi-rehearsed play readings from the SJT’s adult writers’ workshops, taking place in different spaces within the theatre, and at different times, through the day.

Also on Saturday 5 March, at 7pm, Your Turn is a family talent show with local performers selected from auditions earlier in the year.

Between Tuesday 8 and Saturday 12 March, the National Theatre Connections programme returns to the SJT. This celebration of new writing and the energy, commitment and talent of young theatre-makers gives them the chance to experience of professional theatre-making in 41 theatres around the country, including the SJT. All performances are at 7pm.

The festival ends on Sunday 13 March with Raising the Round – an evening of music and song from the SJT choirs: Global Voices (world music), the SJT Youth Choir, and the popular Funky Choir (8pm).

The SJT OutReach department works with, in and for the local community, encouraging people to engage with the work of the SJT through projects, courses, classes and work experience. It is committed to offering everyone the chance to get involved and participate in creative projects, develop new skills, make friends and have fun along the way.

All ReachOut Festival events take place at the Stephen Joseph Theatre; for more information or to book tickets visit www.sjt.uk.com or call the Box Office on 01723 375041.

The SJT’s Annual ReachOut Festival Set to be Bigger & Better Than Ever! Reviewed by Editor on 19:54:00 Rating: 5

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