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The News That Didn’t Make It: Episode 19

This news didn’t make Stage Door Live Episode 19, but it’s important. Hillary Dziminski looks at Nudity and Sex Guidelines in the UK, Aaron Sorkin, Rosalie Craig and Hadley Fraser. And more.
Photo: George Hodan

Hello, everyone! Did you miss me last week? I missed you. Though, to be honest, between #Golfgate and the absolute kerfuffle around indoor/outdoor event restrictions there almost would’ve been too much to write about. Anyway, I’m back and I’m another year older (happy birthday to me!) and I still don’t like tomatoes. Maybe by the time I’m 30. Now let’s look at some news.

A scene from Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, which is among the shortlisted plays. Photo: Helen Murray

All-female shortlist for 2020 James Tait Black drama prize

Bravo to Alice Birch, Yasmin Joseph, and Jasmine Lee-Jones! They’ve all been nominated for the James Tait Black drama award. Their plays (which are now all on my Goodreads ‘To Read’ shelf) are, respectively: [Blank], J’Ouvert, and Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner. I’m delighted to see that three brilliant women have made the shortlist; there were over 80 entries this year so it’s no small potatoes to be shortlisted for this prize.

The £10,000 prize, an offshoot of the James Tait Black literary awards, celebrates new plays written in English, Scots or Gaelic, which demonstrate “an original theatrical voice and make a significant contribution to the art form”.

If you’re not familiar with the award, it’s been running since 2012 and is part of the James Tait Black literary awards which are the oldest of their kind in the U.K so…kind of a big deal.

Hadley Fraser and Rosalie Craig; source: The Stage

Rosalie Craig and Hadley Fraser among coaches for new online platform

So apparently Slocoach began as a platform for online sports coaching and now they’ve expanded into the arts, which is a pretty cool crossover. The technology that the platform uses allows a coach to look at a client’s video and then highlight specific moments and use drawing tools to give feedback on things like posture and alignment. The new branch, Slocoach Arts, will give performers an opportunity to submit video content and receive detailed feedback without any time or geographical restrictions (since it’s all online).

Rosalie Craig said: “Everything from technical specifics to artistic intangibles can be scrutinised and addressed. I can only imagine the giant leaps performers and artists might take with this at their disposal.”

Anyone can sign up so if any of you decide to check it out, let us know about your experience!

Normal People; Source: Element Pictures

Directors UK adds Covid-19 update to nudity and sex guidelines

I know we’ve all been very concerned about what sex scenes will look like in Covid-era film and television. There have been quite a few organisations working to figure out best practices for filming and production; this latest offering, titled ‘Intimacy in the Time of Covid-19’, comes from Directors UK, the professional association for screen directors.

“One of the effects of social distancing has been to appreciate and re-evaluate physical contact as never before,” added White.“The simple act of hugging has taken on a value no-one ever dreamt of. It has made us really mindful of the power – both positive and negative – of touch and we need to carry over that mindfulness into the workplace.”

– Susanna White, board member of Directors UK

Although I, personally, live and die for Regency-era dramas full of intense gazes across crowded ballrooms and sexually frustrated hand flexes (if you know, you know), I appreciate that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Updated guidance for on-set intimacy includes working with the script early on to determine if the intimacy is 100% necessary so perhaps we can expect fewer gratuitous and totally needless scenes of sexual violence in upcoming programming.

Aaron Sorkin Will Reunite With THE WEST WING Cast for Staged Episode to Benefit When We All Vote

Great news for fans of the American drama The West Wing — the cast will be reuniting for a special stage presentation of Season 3 episode ‘Hartsfield’s Landing’. This theatrical version will be filmed in Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre in early October and will debut on HBO Max. The project aims to raise awareness and support for non-profit When We All Vote, which was founded to encourage voter participation in the U.S.

The benefit will also include special guest appearances, including a message from When We All Vote co-chair Michelle Obama. Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing, said: “Tommy and I are incredibly excited to be getting The West Wing cast back together for this staged reading and to support When We All Vote in their efforts to get all of us involved in this election.”

Programming & Opportunities

And to wrap things up, I’ve done a little round up of some upcoming programming and opportunities that caught my eye over the last two weeks.

Dublin Fringe Festival – Obviously.

Dublin Theatre Festival – The programme has now been announced and tickets are on sale! I would include my personal highlights but the programme is just too good to pick favorites.

DruidGregory | Cast Announcement – Pretty sure all performances are already sold out but just take a look at that cast. Marvelous.

Applications Open | Artistic Director of The Everyman – Some very big shoes to fill!

Call for Creatives in North Belfast | Duncairn Arts Centre – The 174 Trust/Duncairn Centre for Culture & Arts is seeking creatives living, working and contributing to the lives of the community in north Belfast.

Wintering Out | Arts Council Ireland – The Arts Council invites tenders from interested parties to project manage Wintering Out, a national programme to support the reintroduction and reimagining of live arts events as we move through the current pandemic.

There are plenty more opportunities popping up so do check out the Theatre Forum Jobs Board and the Arts Council Available Funding page for more! Have a lovely weekend and see you next week.


Accomplice Appendix

List of Arts Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak – Particularly handy for any readers in the U.S., but there’s also some great recorded workshops on things like self-care for creatives, time management, and livestreaming.

TED Talk | The Urgency of Intersectionality – Kimberlé Crenshaw – “We have to be willing to do more. We have to be willing to bear witness, to bear witness to the often painful realities that we would just rather not confront, the everyday violence and humiliation that many black women have had to face, black women across color, age, gender expression, sexuality and ability.” 

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