Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake has launched a programme of free artistic activity for their audiences and community while forced to keep closed. The three-act initiative comprises the TBTL play reading club; Cumbrian Creatives – a network for local artists; and a community exhibition which will reopen the theatre in 2021.
The TBTL play reading Club is an opportunity for those who love chatting about plays to meet like-minded people and delve deeper into some play-texts. Each month the group will read a play and meet (online) to discuss it, as well as enjoying guest appearances from the playwrights themselves. The first play is Love, Lies and Taxidermy by Alan Harris (who wrote TBTL’s 2017 hit production How My Light is Spent) with the first session taking place on Thurs 30 July. The play reading club will be hosted by Artistic Director Liz Stevenson. Further sessions will include plays by Jessica Swale, Laura Wade, Simon Longman and Roy Williams.
Alongside this, TBTL is planning a community exhibition called ‘Life after Lockdown; a community’s story’, intended to reopen the building in 2021. They’re calling on members of the community to contribute their stories from lockdown, and hopes for the future, with different age groups asked to create different pieces which together will make up the exhibition, which is being curated by Cumbrian theatre designer Louie Whitemore. More information on getting involved and instructions for contributions can be found on the theatre’s website.
Finally, Cumbrian Creatives is an artists’ network which TBTL is launching in order to bring together local talent and creativity. Over the coming months the theatre will be working with those interested in being involved to develop what the network will be and do, in terms of networking opportunities and what Theatre by the Lake can offer in the future to local creatives.
Artistic director Liz Stevenson said: “Our doors might be closed at the moment but it’s really important for us to continue, in whatever way we can, to serve our community and audiences artistically and creatively: that’s what we’re here to do and that’s what we’ll endeavour to keep on doing.
“We’re really thrilled to have some wonderful playwrights lined up to join us for our play reading club discussions, and with our Cumbrian Creatives network we’re hoping to discover, develop and celebrate the brilliant talent which we knows exists in our county. Now, more than ever, it’s important that we bring creative voices together and look to the future. Whether you are local aspiring theatre-maker at the beginning of your journey as an artist, or an experienced professional who grew up in the region, we want you to help us shape the future of TBTL.
“Finally, our community exhibition is a way in which everyone can tell us their stories of this unprecedented time and share their vision for the future. We look forward very much to working with a wide range of community groups to make this happen and can’t wait to see what they create.”
To find out more about the activities and how to get involved visit www.theatrebythelake.com/cumbriancreatives, www.theatrebythelake.com/playreadingclub or www.theatrebythelake.com/communityexhibition.
For information on how you can support Theatre by the Lake, visit www.theatrebythelake.com/donate