NEWS: Interact online theatre festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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One positive that has come from all of this crazy period is that it has offered an opportunity to diversify and democratise the industry,” says Jonny Bussell, Faculty Leader for the Acting Stage and Screen degree at the Northern School of Art. With coronavirus making physical performances unfeasible, the Hartlepool-based school is holding a week-long online festival to celebrate the work of their acting students.

Entitled Interact, the festival will take place between Monday 18th-Friday 22nd January, and aims to equip students with the skills needed to enter a post-pandemic acting industry. It will feature mockumentaries, solo shows and a contemporary rework of Georg Buchner’s tragedy Woyzeck which will mix livestreamed performance, recorded montage and projection mapping, whilst also utilsing Instagram and Twitter to showcase the students’ skills beyond the traditional stage.

The sector is changing and is so different to when I was at Drama school,” says Bussell. “Then, coming from Teesside, you felt you had to go to London to be successful. However, now with developments in technology and the fantastic arts scene we have in the North East I think students can have a great experience learning their trade and then after graduating forge their careers in the North East and beyond.”

Second-year acting student Gemma Blake is particularly excited about the event. “I’m excited for this festival to take place not only to allow artists in training, like me, to have an opportunity to shine, but also to show people how welcoming the arts are.”

The festival is free, but donations to Mind and the Trussell Trust are encouraged.

Northern School of Art’s Interact theatre festival takes place online from Monday 18th-Friday 22nd January

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