Volunteer Janet Green has worked with Pass It On on our exhibition Parklands to Performance, we’ve also been able to inveigle her in to be a project photographer documenting various achievements throughout the project. Janet recently visited John Napier’s exhibition Stages: Beyond the Fourth Wall at the Towner Art Gallery and was so inspired that she wanted to share her experience with us.
I found this such an inspiring exhibition and urge you to visit the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne before the exhibition closes on 31st January, 2016. John Napier has a long career as an artist and theatre designer. He describes this exhibition as coming from ‘a passion for art and creativity….with pieces that are between performance and sculpture’. The list of his theatre designs is very, very long, and more information can be viewed on www.johnnapierstages.com Continue reading “STAGES: BEYOND THE FOURTH WALL”→
In January 2015, we were contacted by the National Theatre who were in the process of putting together an exhibition all about the architecture of the NT building on London’s South Bank. Some of our archive digitisation work had caught their eye and enquiries were made about using some of this work in their exhibition.
The exhibition Concrete Realityopened in May 2015 in the Wolfson Gallery at the National, taking into account the initial idea, beginning stages and follow-through of the building project that is now home to the biggest theatrical producing house in the UK. Sir Laurence Olivier, Chichester Festival Theatre’s first Artistic Director was also appointed Artistic Director of the National Theatre in the same year CFT opened in 1962; as well as this direct connection, CFT, amongst other regional theatres at the time, was used as a reference point throughout the design process. Continue reading “Concrete Reality – sharing stories with the National Theatre”→
One of our favourite things about the Pass It On project is working with a team of volunteers who all have a myriad of different skills; one of our volunteers, Janet Green, tells us how she became involved with the project and how she has brought her talents in photography to the project:
It all started for me when Chichester Festival Theatre had an Open Day on a Sunday in September 2014. I had taken my visiting Australian relatives to see Guys and Dolls a few days before. We were all enchanted by our theatrical experience, and I was so proud to share Chichester Festival Theatre with them. To go back stage a few days’ later on the Open Day totally captured my imagination. I have a particular interest in photography so of course I had a camera with me and having sought permission captured a few amazing shots jostling with the crowds enjoying this wonderful opportunity. The way props were arranged backstage really fascinated me. The experience made me more aware of the people behind production who make it happen and the processes involved.
How do you make an exhibition based around archival material stand out and engage an audience? You have a tea party of course! Parkland to Performance, our volunteer led exhibition, called in the help of Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s tech team to recreate the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Youth Theatre’s production of Alice in Wonderland. Their recreation brings colour, character and lots of cakes into the exhibition.
In the 2010 production the Tea Party scene along with the rest of the props in the show were all made by CFYT’s tech members and the Pass It On exhibition wanted to incorporate some of the skills and talent that the Youth Theatre helps to support.
Find out about the process of recreating the Tea Party scene and Tech Youth Theatre from one of its members, Joe Jenner.
Thanks to the hard work of an invaluable team of volunteers Pass It On will soon be exhibiting a collection of documents, photographs and objects from the Theatre’s archive. Parkland to Performance will open at The Capitol in Horsham on 17 February and then travel around different venues in West Sussex and east Hampshire during 2015 and into 2016. Curated by a group of eight volunteers, the exhibition has evolved from an archive of 300 boxes, including 1800 folders and countless pieces of paper, into a collection of carefully chosen items that show highlights of the founding of the Theatre and of a number of productions performed at CFT.
Three of our volunteers have shared with us how they became involved in the exhibition strand of Pass It On and their experiences during the process of creating this exhibition.
Some of you may remember an exhibition that was held in 2012 at Pallant House Gallery to coincide with the Theatre’s 50th anniversary. Many of those who attended this exhibition commented on the creative display of ephemera from the Theatre’s history, including old programmes and set designs. In 2015, a new exhibition all about the history of Chichester Festival Theatre will tour several venues across West Sussex, though this time, the entire exhibition will be researched, curated and designed by Pass It On volunteers.
Last week we held our first session to introduce our prospective volunteers to the challenge of creating a modular and interactive exhibition. The exhibition will provide new insight into the inner workings of Chichester Festival Theatre, using items from our archive and memorabilia collection. We’ll also have access to archive footage from the 1960s and audio clips taken from the interviews we’ve been collecting as part of our oral history strand. This allows for interactive possibilities and we’re even planning on running special events and activities during the exhibition’s stay at each venue.