Hello! I’m Zoe and I’m a Young Curious Monkey. I’ve been asked to write a blog to introduce myself and talk about why I wanted to get involved with Curious Monkey so here goes.
I’m a young theatre-maker, actor and facilitator currently studying for an MA Theatre and Performance at Northumbria University. This is all in the hopes that I’ll be able to do something creative and theatrical for living upon graduation and not end up working back in Wetherspoons (nothing against Spoons, we all love cheap food and doubling up spirits for £1!). I love creating things and I love performing and I love working with kids and adults through drama and these are all things that Curious Monkey are involved in so this seemed like the perfect opportunity for me really.
I was fortunate enough to have been taught by the lovely Lindsay Rodden as part of my MA course, who is currently working with Curious Monkey to write their upcoming show ‘Arriving’. I’m always astounded by how close knit the theatre community is in the North East, having immigrated in from the West Coast of Scotland, and really appreciate how this is allowing me to gradually meet many wonderfully (and wonderful) creative people. Amy Golding, Artistic Director of Curious Monkey, is one of these and very kindly took me under her wing to bring me into the Young Curious Monkey programme.
“But what does a Young Curious Monkey do?” I hear you ask. Well, it’s about providing opportunities for people just starting out in this wacky world of theatre to experience what it’s really like being a part of a theatre company. And so far, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing! As I’m sure any ‘proper’ adult would tell me, the real world is a little different to that of education, and it’s really interesting to discover all (though I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface) things that have to be thought about and planned and researched to create a show or conduct workshops. If you’d told me a few weeks ago that it was possible to spend hours on Spotlight looking for actors who fit the casting criteria, or investigating film festivals to find just the right fit for the work, I’d have probably said, “I’m sure you’re right,
but I’d never really thought about it.” I have an ever-growing appreciation of the complexities of running a theatre company, beyond all the ‘fun’ creative stuff, and even just listening in on conversations about the practicalities of things is putting me off ever writing my own Arts Council application!
I’m really excited to get into some workshops with the company as they work towards the first-draft reading of ‘Arriving’ as, in many ways, this was what prompted me initially to want to work with Curious Monkey. The process of creating theatre with a group of people, negotiating that relationship and giving voice to stories which may otherwise be lost is something that interests me greatly. Even before stepping foot into a workshop, conversations with Amy have been enlightening and thought-provoking about how to work with communities to create theatre and I am very excited to witness some of this process! That’s all for now, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to say about my experiences with Curious Monkey the more time that I have with them!