22 June 2020 UPDATE
Today, Utopia Theatre has announced the full programme for its Creative Hub. Over 40 African Theatre professionals will be offering free online workshops and masterclasses to people of African origin aged 16 and above. The programme will feature a variety of performances that will be streamed live from Monday 29 June to December 2020.
Throughout the 6 months, there will be a series of events across The Creative Hub’s social media platforms including special performances on Zoom, Facebook Live and Instagram. There will be an opportunity for selected writers and/or actors to perform with Utopia Theatre after the programme.
8 June 2020
Utopia Theatre today announces a new platform, the Creative Hub, bringing African theatre experts together to offer courses, workshops and events online. Utopia is partnering with national and international organisations, including Sheffield Theatres, to launch the free 6-month programme with support from the Arts Council’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
The Creative Hub will bring together some of the world’s leading African artists who will share their own knowledge and experience through workshops and events as well as offering 1:1 sessions with artists. The programme is designed to support the development of a sustainable talent pool, give black artists greater visibility and inspire the next generation of artists, ultimately strengthening black African communities within the Arts.
The Creative Hub guarantees paid work for over 30 freelance artists who will offer free courses, workshops and talks for people of African origin aged 16 and above. The courses include intensive weekly classes run by leading professionals in Directing, Stage Management, Playwriting, Dance, Drumming, Acting, Storytelling, Voice, Movement, Improvisation and Devising.
Moji Elufowoju, Founder and Artistic Director, Utopia Theatre said: “I’m grateful to the funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The Creative Hub ensures black artists continue to have income and remain visible as they continue to develop their craft and enhance the lives of the people in our community. This outlet enables people to engage with art and learn from some of the leading professionals in our industry.”
Max Farrar, Chair of Utopia Theatre Board said: “There's a vast amount of artistic talent among the peoples of African descent in the UK today. They bring new ideas, new techniques and new stories, enriching the nation's culture. But they get too little exposure, and there are too many barriers in developing the talents of the younger generation. This innovative programme by Utopia Theatre addresses these issues. It will develop creativity and inject joy - much needed in these difficult times.”
Robert Hastie, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, where Utopia Theatre is a resident company, added: “The diversity of our sector has never been more important and we recognise the urgent need to do more. As we move towards theatre’s return, the Creative Hub will make a huge difference to the visibility and inclusion of black artists and creatives. Sheffield Theatres is proud to partner with Utopia to support this programme.”