A New Beginning

A BLOG BY FREYA RHYS-LODWICK

I arrived just under a month ago in beautiful Stratford upon Avon. I had no clue what this year had in store for me or what we would be doing at YOD. It was all a mystery to me and the rest of the new company. I was excited and scared for my new life however upon arrival on my first day I knew it was the place for me.

Welcomed my Debs and Al, they told us about the amazing ethos in which they have a YOD, for us to achieve, grow confident, have fun whilst creating amazing pieces of theatre.

Obviously for our year, we have had the challenge of the global pandemic. Two weeks before arrival we all self-isolated so we could become a social bubble, working with as much normality as possible and not to be beaten by COVID. Our company has flourished, and we all respect each other and keep other as safe as possible.

The past month has been bursting full of opportunities to perform, to learn and there has never been a dull moment. The range of projects and activities is extensive but some of my highlights and loves of the month have included a creative writing course with alumni Matthew Warburton. He helped us with new skills to write our own work and monologues which has helped in creating our own work this month. Another love of mine has been the Greek choral work which has brought us together as an ensemble.

On our first day of Year Out Drama we were given the challenge in small groups to buy and present the best picnic just as a fun ice breaker to get the new company working together as a team. My team won first place and everyone had a wonderful time!

Some more fun moments have been our theatre nights. Every week we watch a live or recorded piece of theatre together. As Corona has put a stop to going to the theatre, Al and Debs have had the creative idea to set up the rehearsal space as a pop-up theatre – with drinks and crisps for the interval of course!

It’s not all fun and games … but certainly there are lots! The hard work and dedication for this course is unmatched from anything else I have done in my life, but the reward of Year Out Drama is more than worth every minute of the hard work.

I’ve barely had the chance to reflect but I never leave the day without a smile on my face and a spring in my step as I can’t wait for what the next day holds. In short, Year Out Drama is incredible place and I’m beyond excited for the rest of the year.

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