We sat down for a chat with Nick from The University of Sheffield’s Enable US Project. The main aim of the project is to provide a new platform within The University of Sheffield Performance Venues for creative expression, exploration, development and debate, with public engagement and student experience as two of its cornerstones.
Where did the idea for the Enable US Project come from?
We’re very keen to bring new audiences to The University of Sheffield’s Drama Studio and to establish creative development opportunities for those wanting to get involved in Sheffield theatre. By providing Enable US as a platform for professional theatre companies to visit Sheffield, we can enable audiences to see this work without having to travel to Leeds, Manchester or Liverpool and at the same time, provide opportunities to work with these professional arts practitioners both academically and recreationally.
Can you tell us a little more about the project generally?
We’ll be presenting seasons of performances throughout the year, principally in the spring and autumn, but we’re hopeful that this will grow to include winter and summer seasons too. Each season will run across two or three weeks with ten to twelve different shows in each season. We’ll be bringing new pieces of theatre and dance to the city, work by artists and companies that may not have otherwise had the opportunity to perform in Sheffield. We’re linked in with a network of theatres and venues across the region and will be sharing ideas for programming and looking out for the best work.
Working together with other venues we’ve got a better chance of forming a decent run of performances for the companies and in this way we can make it more feasible for the work to happen. As well as performances, we’ll also be running training courses and workshops, sometimes with the companies and artists and sometimes with other partners. All of this will provide great opportunities for our students as well, and this is a key driver of the project. Exciting arts companies working on campus will open doors for students to get engaged. There are obvious links to our academic programme but The University has a vibrant student theatre scene delivered by the Students’ Union theatre companies and Enable US will forge strong development links with those companies too.
Which performing arts companies are you hoping to work with? Do you have any upcoming shows?
The Spring Programme can we found at enableus.sheffield.ac.uk
There are ten shows, including two productions for children and two double bills. Going forward, we’re already in talks with a number of companies for the Autumn season and we’re really hopeful to be able to bring them to Sheffield. It’s all about the audience really. There are no financial guarantees for the performers, they just take a share of the ticket money so the more people who come and see the show, the more companies will want to come and perform as part of the project. As the project develops and audiences grow, we’ll be able to bring bigger shows in to perform.
Who will benefit from the project?
Absolutely anyone who engages with it!
When will the project go live?
How can people get involved?
Visit enableus.sheffield.ac.uk and sign up to our mailing list.
Any final words?
Break a leg?
Ticket Link: www.sivtickets.com/event/EnableUs
Web Link: enableus.sheffield.ac.uk