We are Open Theatre, the experimental performance society at Leeds University! Here at Open Theatre we love new writing and alternative types of theatre, in other words; all theatre weird and wonderful! We are a fun and approachable society that produces professional sell out work!
Here at open theatre we love to experiment with new ideas and we are not afraid to go beyond the boundaries. Whether it be a piece of new-writing or physical theatre, an idea you think about in the shower - even 'IKEA: the musical' ... we want to hear it.
President: Jonny Dowsett
Vice-President: Chloe Lovatt
Secretary: Charlotte Ranson
Publicity: Leah Taylor
Social Sec: Denys Woolley
Treasurer: Dan Sareen
Open Seat: Anna Yonish
Open Seat: Donny Weerasekera
What do we do?
We produce on average between 3 and 4 professional standard shows per semester and we are lucky enough to have access to various flexible and well-equipped theatre spaces, including those in Stage@Leeds.
Anyone is allowed to propose a show to us, whether it’s your favourite play that you’ve had this exciting idea about or whether it’s a play you’ve written yourself!
Before you do think about proposing you need to know that we prioritise new and alternative theatre and because of this we have decided to shift our focus to these types of shows, whereas Theatre Group will now continue to specialise in classical and contemporary plays. We often do overlap a lot, but by submitting a short form before proposals, we can let you know if we think your proposal is more suited to the other society. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t propose classical or contemporary shows to us or even pieces of new writing to TG, you still can, but we will be looking specifically for that bit of spark that makes it different from your usual Pros Arch, Straight Acting sort of show.
Open Theatre and Theatre Group will both require our forms back on the same day, and we will let you know as soon as possible if we recommend that you propose to the other society instead.
After this form, we will invite you to come along and have a nice, informal chat with us about your show. This gives everyone the chance to have questions asked to them, and to clarify any details you feel you couldn’t fit into writing, as well as allowing the committee to get more of an insight into your ideas. This chat will not be compulsory, but we recommend everyone comes along and makes use of the time!
If you’re successful in getting short listed, we will then invite you to more of a formal (but not at all scary) meeting with a few of the committee where we will discuss and talk logistically about how you want to achieve your creative dreams, and how we as a society can provide support for that.
First Semester Auditions/Shows
Internet Killed the Video Star
Our first show of the academic year is always a devised piece that gives students the opportunity to get their thinking caps on, make friends and give it a go! If you’re feeling unsure, nervous or anxious about getting involved, our devised shows are great ice breakers! This year’s title is ‘Internet Killed the Video Star’… that’s all you get given…a title… the rest is up to you!
Auditions/Give it a Go: 28th September, 6-8pm, Clothworkers South Room G14.
Show: Week Commencing October 17th.
Director: Yet to be decided.
Place of Performance: The Alec Clegg Studio(Stage@Leeds)
Cloud Cuckoo Land
Hopeful is lost in a strange wasteland; there are only two things she can recognise: Birds and Politics. Neither of these seem very helpful. Metropolitan life was getting unbearable, but now there is even more mindless tweeting and political flap. Surrounded by feathers and clouds the only rational solution is to try and take over the universe.
314 BC’s second biggest satire is back again after all this time, like Pokemon and popular xenophobia. Adapted from Aristophanes’ “The Birds” Cloud Cuckoo Land is coming to Leeds.
Auditions: Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th of September
Call Back: Wednesday 21st September
Show: 26th- 28th October
Directed by: Tim McConnell
Place of performance: Banham Theatre
The Structural Integrity of a Peach
Yeah, a metaphor. A good one. I think I will explain it. It’s obscure enough that they won’t be able to guess what I mean. But I’ll leave it ‘til the end...” Fall in love. Have an affair. Threaten a friend. Listen to the voices in your head: In ‘the Structural Integrity of a Peach’ a brash Hunter struggles to voice newfound emotions, Martin is surrounded by people who just don’t care, and a blind Alice seeks foresight through conversations with the devil in the park. As a family of three is thrown into a state of flux by circumstance, social withdrawal becomes the consequence of the inability to talk to each other. ‘The Structural Integrity of a Peach’ explores a world of coping mechanisms for personal inadequacies. It shows us how, in an effort to escape the pains of the everyday, violence, imagination and distraction become solace. In the game of hide and seek from real life, what emerges is a niche little window into human interaction that is charmingly awkward, painfully accurate- and just a little bit quirky. “Just throw a tagline at them. Ridiculously pretentious and non-sensical, but catchy. ‘Love is a seven sided dice’. There you go, they’ll be hooked.”
Auditions: Thursday 29th and Friday 30th September 5-9.30 G11a Clothworkers South Building.
Call backs: Saturday 1st October 5-9.30 G11a Clothworkers South Building.
Show: Thursday 10th till Saturday 12th November.
Director: Dan Sareen
Place of Performance: Stage One (Stage@Leeds)
People used to have angels on their shoulders. But there is a gap manifesting in the difference between public speech and private thought and that is people's unknowability. Jeer from the frontline of marital betrayal, adultery, lust, love. This is an immersive experience to get intimate with.
Auditions: Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th October
Call backs: Wednesday 5th October
Show: 21st – 26th November (excluding 24th)
Director: Charlotte Everest
Place of Performance: Site Specific Little Leeds Union House
Manic Chord: Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th of October. Price is yet to be confirmed.
We are currently arranging a riptide Workshop for this semester. Prices, times and dates are yet to be confirmed (Est 31st October).
Our bubbly and ‘up fora laf’ Social Sec Denys Woolley, has arranged a social on Monday the 26th of September alongside Theatre Group at Leeds University Unions Bar ‘Terrace’. Please come along and introduce yourself, it’s a perfect time to make friends! We are super friendly and keen for everyone to be involved. No membership required.
Check out our Showreel from last year, this will give you a taster of what we are all about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1gg7hvQJuE
Feel free to take a browse of our channel!
Dates for the Diary
Monday 19th Sept: Cloud Cuckoo Land Auditions
Tuesday 20th Sept: Cloud Cuckoo Land Auditions
Wednesday 21st Sept: Cloud Cuckoo Land Call Backs.
Monday 26th of Sept: TG/OT Social at Terrace 7.30pm.
Wednesday 28th Sept: Internet Killed the Video Star (Devised) Auditions/Give it a go.
Thursday 29th Sept: The Structural Integrity of a Peach Auditions.
Friday 30th Sept: The Structural Integrity of a Peach Auditions.
Saturday 1st Oct: The Structural Integrity of a Peach Call Backs.
Monday 3rd of Oct: Passion Play Auditions
Tuesday 4th of Oct: Passion Play Auditions
Wednesday 5th of Oct: Passion Play Auditions.
W/C 17th of Oct: Internet Killed the Video Star performance at Alec Clegg.
Monday 17th of October: Manic Chord Workshop
Tuesday 18th of October: Manic Chord Workshop.
Thursday 10th of November: The Structural Integrity of a Peach performance at Stage One.
Friday 11th of November: The Structural Integrity of a Peach performance at Stage One.
Saturday 12th of November: The Structural Integrity of a Peach performance at Stage One.
Monday 21st of November: Passion Play performance Little Leeds Union House
Monday 22nd of November: Passion Play performance Little Leeds Union House
Monday 23rd of November: Passion Play performance Little Leeds Union House.
Monday 25th of November: Passion Play performance Little Leeds Union House
Monday 26th of November: Passion Play performance Little Leeds Union House