A new venture for Highly Sprung at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

A new venture for Highly Sprung at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
By Sarah
15th December 2021


In this week’s blog, Sarah takes us behind the scenes of our new venture, lecturing at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire…


Earlier this year we were approached by the fantastic lecturing team at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Stage Management course, to ask whether we would consider working with their third years on their final creative project.


Initially we were a little sceptical that we wouldn’t have anything to offer, leading sessions with emerging stage managers is not something we’ve ever imagined doing. Stage management, although a very important part of our work, is not our area of expertise. Instead, we rely heavily on the skills and knowledge of production teams and stage managers when creating and touring work.


However, once we heard more about the course and the final creative project module, we agreed that it could be a really exciting project to help deliver.


Since September we have been working with an amazing group of talented student stage managers to help inspire them and think more creatively about how we can challenge the traditional experience of seeing theatre – something that is much more familiar territory to us!


On the course, studying at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, students are prepared for a successful career in Stage Management. The BA (Hons) Stage Management degree provides in-depth, practical training; aiming to produce confident graduates who are ready for a successful career in the industry as soon as they leave university.


The Final Creative Project module is designed to give students a more in depth understanding and experience of the different skills and perspectives needed to produce work for public audiences. More than that, it challenges the students to apply both their technical and creative skills to imagine and produce their very own event.


It has been so inspiring to get to work with emerging stage managers and lead them through the creative process of devising their own public event.


Working with Highly Sprung was never going to be a straightforward approach… Instead of traditional lectures exploring traditional ways of experiencing theatre, we have challenged students to think differently about the audience experience- considering immersive and audience led alternatives to performance.


With weekly lectures, we met with students to help them devise the idea for their project. Providing inspiration from Highly Sprung’s back catalogue of events, looking at different ways we have presented work in city streets, parks, libraries, museums and even the odd castle.


Of course, environmental themes were a central part of our discussions, as an area of work that has a significant connection with Highly Sprung’s more recent productions, CastAway, and the Changing Climates Festival. It wasn’t surprising that students felt compelled to develop a piece which would challenge audiences to think differently about their role in the Climate Emergency.


We are halfway through the module at this point and have got to the really exciting stage of turning a dream into a reality. Starting to confirm design plans and deliver against amazing (self-generating) GANTT charts.


The project reaches its conclusion in February next year, when students come together for a week to install and deliver their performance.


When The Clock Strikes is an interactive audience experience.


Audiences are invited to the planet’s last big celebration, the party to end all parties.


“As the clock strikes a minute closer to the new beginning, we are here to celebrate our achievements, the complete world takeover.”


We’ll make sure to let you know where and when you can see the final performances, but we promise you it’s going to be an all-out technical epic! Well, what would you expect from a collaboration with 8 amazing technical theatre experts?!


In the meantime, follow their journey on Instagram: @Taglinetheatre and if you are interested in working with Highly Sprung then get in touch!