Becki: Hi, I’m Becki Short of OmniArts GB
Ellie: I’m Ellie Snow and I’m the Theatre Director at OmniArts GB
Becki: We’re doing this little video to let you know about an adult group which we’re setting up in January 2020 and the first term is focused on Queer Theatre.
Ellie: We are setting this group up as we feel that Queer Theatre is something that is to be celebrated, and to be shared. It’s all inclusive, it’s not just gay theatre or LGBTQ+. It spans across all genres, all time periods, it’s really something that has so much freedom to it, and I feel like everyone can find something they will enjoy and love out of it.
Becki: I set OmniArts up nearly 7 years ago to create an all inclusive safe space for anyone who wanted to do any kind of performing arts.
Becki: I think there’s not a lot in the area, or even (sort of) UK wide that is (sort of) specifically focused on celebrating queer theatre from an ameture perspective. This is a chance for people who might not have that confidence to get up and you know set something up themselves, you can come along and explore with us. We’re gonna be exploring scripts from queer writers, queer stories, queer history, we’re also going to be looking at the history of drag performance and we’re going to be talking about potentially writing from your own experiences as well. There’s loads and loads of things that will be appealing to everybody.
Becki: We’ll welcome anyone into this group. It is an adult group, but 16+ – 16 and 17 years old with written permission, and anybody – if you’re in the Queer community, or an ally, you can come along and learn about queer theatre.
Ellie: I’ve always been surrounded by people from the community growing up – friends, family friends, and I’ve always been really inspired by their experiences and really influenced by the kind of performances, and just the lives they lead, and what we can learn from them.
I think now is more important than ever to give queer theatre, and give the community more exposure, and to really bridge the gap in understanding, and doing that through education, and that’s why I really want to do queer theatre for this group. I think nowadays we’re in a community where we’re so desperate to put a label on everything, and queer is a name…
Becki: – it’s just an umbrella (Ellie: yeah) that we can kind of explore everything within it. (Ellie: absolutely)
Becki: And I think for me, as part of the queer community, I um…so I came out only last year, sort of really properly, and I think, in kind of almost stark contrast to, to you, Ellie, I don’t really remember a lot of Queer theatre or TV or anything like that growing up. I don’t know if I necessarily had any people I particularly related to that were queer, so for me, I feel (you know) I want to give other people this opportunity to explore, and maybe find things before I did – or you know after – it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can always learn something new.
Ellie: It really has no limit (Becki: absolutely) and that’s what makes it so exciting, you know the queer element can be from all kinds of different things, and I just think a group like this, we can really learn and write and really explore loads of different pieces, and have a think about queer theatre going forward as well.
Becki: Yeah definitely, and just, adding to that sort of movement that we’re getting at the moment within queer communities of moving forward and, things becoming better for us basically, and I think the more that we do with that, the better things will go.*
Becki: So in terms of what you would be doing, it’s a weekly session that is an hour and a half on a Tuesday evening, and then we’re going to do a show in April which will be at the Pyramids Centre. We are going to be raising money for Portsmouth Pride with that show as well, so it’s all going towards the queer community. Hopefully you might be watching this, and thinking oh I’d like to maybe explore a side that I haven’t explored before, or that you’ve not been able to explore before, that you’d like to come along and learn about acting through queer theatre. Maybe you’ve acted loads, and you just like the sound of exploring queer theatre as a sort of an additional thing within your acting, literally any background at all is most welcome.
Ellie: -yeah no audition –
Becki: no audition – pop us a message and sign up for the sessions and come along and we’ll teach you what, what you need really.
Ellie: try something different.
Becki: yeah. So we’ll be putting together like a variety show, so it’s not going to be one big script, it will be little snippets that you’ll explore within the sessions and find the ones that you want to do and how you want to do them, maybe write your own, maybe do some drag performances, and create this performance for yourself.
So if you do want to join you can pop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can get hold of me via text or calling me on 07584662225, and I will send you a sign up pack. The sessions are £10 each, but if you pay for all of them before the first date in January (7th), then it’s £100 for the 12 sessions, so you get 2 sessions free.
Becki: so please do share this around, tag friends in it, let people you know that you…let people you know that you know that you think might like it..? I’m gonna go with it! *laughter*
We hope to see you soon.
Ellie: Hope to see you there.
*Note from Becki: I would like to acknowledge that things are not great for a large portion of our Queer families at the moment, particularly our Trans siblings, however what I was referencing to here, is that at this point in time, generally speaking, most things are moving forward, rather than staying still, or indeed going backwards, and that is in huge part to the amazing humans who are willing and able to give emotional labour to spreading the word about issues that still face anyone who comes under the Queer umbrella, so with this group, we want to help facilitate that as much as possible, as well as teaching about Queer theatre.