GADS Youth Workshop 2020 - GADS Gosforth

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GADS Youth Workshop 2020


Scenes from a Quarantine

(how topical for the year of Covid 19 lockdown)

a vignette play in one act
by Lindsay Price

Workshop week
17 to 21 August 2020
Gosforth Public Hall

The workshop began on Mon 17th Aug and ran from 10 am to 4 pm daily. This was 2 weeks later than our normal week, while we waited for those very nice people at the Hall to prepare the venue for re-opening. In fact, we were the first in after re-opening. The workshop was open to anyone aged 8 - 18 at the start of the week but we had to limit participant numbers to 15 so that we could comply with Covid-19 social distancing requirements. We also limited the number of adults present, so we have to thank Tosh McGregor and Mary Wake for running the whole week for us. Despite social distancing there will be a performance on Friday. However, there can be no audience present so we will film the show and broadcast it on Saturday - on YouTube or record it onto DVD for later viewing.
We are GADS - we will think of something.

Monday 17 August 2020

After a slightly delayed start due to a lack of snack delivery (don’t worry, we sorted it in the end) we started the week with a lot of getting to know each other games. We learnt each others names, some facts (and some lies) about one another, what we loved/liked/loathed, and how well we can keep a straight face. Fact: some are MUCH better than others. Our breaks are a little different than previous workshops, but in the morning we enjoyed some lovely fresh fruit and juice cartons before - you guessed it - more games.
Lunch was well earned and flew by, and before we knew it we were doing our first read through. This year’s script is called Scenes From A Quarantine and has been specifically written to be performed online. There was a lot of excitement when everyone realised how many parts are available! So we had a read, and over our afternoon break (of Freddos and Smarties to combat that mid-afternoon slump) the show was cast! Parts were handed out, directors were named, and we even had time for a few more silly games before home time. A very busy but fun start to the week.

Tuesday 18 August 2020

Tuesday was a wet start but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm! We started with lots more games, many of them requested by the youngsters yesterday. More fruit, and then we started experimenting with our cameras, learning all about composition, camera angles and different types of shots. Lots of fun, lots of amazing (and not so amazing) photos in the practice session. They were then given a mini task of shooting a very simple story and playing with the things they had learned.
The afternoon was spent getting familiar with their scenes, scene mates and directors. Tomorrow we start shooting them, so they were thinking about how they were going to go about it. Then there was a well deserved chocolate break before more games and home. It’s busy but so much fun.
Oh, and just to keep things interesting, we had a fire drill in the morning too - and it was carried out perfectly. Well done everyone from the Fire Alarmist.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Today felt like we did a lot and yet, not a lot. There was a lot of practicing lines and running scenes - the weather even allowed us to rehearse outside at points! It’s a strange sensation when you have to have things finished in the middle of the week but that’s the joy of filming. The kids are being amazing as usual - many of them have lines memorised after only having scripts for 48 hours! Others are employing props and clever camera angles to allow them the security blanket of their scripts on camera.
It was an arty day as well, with lots of things being made both on paper and on devices. All will become clear when the show is released on Saturday. As always we are being blown away by the creativity of our participants. Mary and Tosh have spent most of the week simply supervising the group - the kids are doing the directing, the acting and the filming. Just two days left and still so much to do. What a good job we have plenty of chocolate to keep us going!

Thursday 20 August 2020

It was a crazy busy start today. Almost all of the remaining scenes have now been filmed, and the group worked like heroes to rehearse and shoot everything they could. There was a lot of energy and hyperactivity, but it definitely worked in our favour in the morning.
So we celebrated with games. And more games. And a bit of devising, some improv and loads more games.
Just one more day to go, and we’re all a bit sad. So we ended the day by saying one positive thing about the week. Some highlights included ‘learning how to film and all about camera angles’, ‘making some new friends’, ‘being face to face with people again’, ‘feeling like things are normal again’, and best of all, ‘everything’.
What an amazing bunch of young people.

Friday 21 August 2020

And that’s a wrap. It’s been an absolutely amazing week with the kids once again surprising us with their hard work, their creativity and above all their resilience.
The hard work of the previous four days really paid off as we only had three short scenes to complete in the morning. After that it was games galore! We did silly games, serious games, improv games and even a game where the children, as celebrities, convinced us why we should let them into Heaven. Some great and very convincing arguments. And at the end of the day everyone helped clean the hall down ready for the next users - Fantastic.
It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this week with some of the most happy and polite young people in West Cumbria. From Mary and Tosh, we want to say thank you to all of the kids for making our week so enjoyable - we hope we did the same for you.
Until next year!


And there was a film of the production too.
But it was only avalable on YouTube for 3 months

Feedback from some of the parents and participants (but from GADS first)


We have run these workshops for over 10 years now - all much to the same format. But this year had to be totally different, thanks to coronavirus. No props, no scenery, no costume, no make-up, no stage, no proper play, no live performance, no audience, no trips to the shop and worst of all NO TOAST! How boring was this week going to be? Well, thanks to the brilliance of Tosh and Mary, not boring at all. You can tell from the smiles in just about every photo. But what do the others think  ......

It’s exhausting when there are only two adults! Definitely four or five is a better number, as it’s hard to police 15 kids potentially doing three or four things at once at the same time. Kids were fab though, and looking forward to the next one (Organiser).

It was amazing, everything was really well planned and it was a great week (Participant).

Both our children had a fantastic time, they were very excited to see their friends from previous GADS workshops and Tosh is so great engaging with them, and really getting them involved and boosting their confidence. The games and activities really helped them to burn off and express their pent up frustration from lockdown. Plus smarties were a great treat to keep them going.  Many thanks to you all for continuing to provide a great week (Parent).

Both of our children had a wonderful time, many thanks to Tosh and Mary for running it this year. They really enjoyed the challenges this years workshop presented - filming and directing were a big hit with both of them and the finished video was great to see. I love how you see the children grow in confidence throughout the week. Again many thanks to everyone for the opportunity you provide (Parent).

Our son had a wonderful time during his first GADS workshop. The sheer joy on his face when he woke up and knew he was going said it all. The GADS workshop seemed to heal him from the strain of locked-in lockdown. Making new friends, learning new skills and getting to perform a part was hugely rewarding to him (Parent).

The best bit about GADS is all the games we played (and the smarties!) (Participant).

It was fun, and I really enjoyed it. It was great to be able to meet people again, and it was the only drama work I have been able to do for months - I've really missed it (Participant).

Our daughter has been bursting with excitement for tomorrow and tales of todays experiences, she's had a fantastic time, thanks to all involved (Parent - after only one day!)

Really well organised. I felt comfortable that you did everything you could to keep them safe without it dominating the week. She always came home happy and excited for the next day (Parent).

Great fun, loved seeing my friends, a fun filled week of activities (Participant).

Our daughter had a great time and couldn't wait to get there each day. She said Tosh was so much fun. And she really enjoyed doing the editing  skills too - she's been practising that at home since. She got such a lot out of the workshops. Thank you all so much (Parent).

Our daughter had a wonderful time. She was so excited to get there every day and loved every minute of it as ALWAYS (Parent).


And if you want to mark your diary for next year:
Week beginning Monday 2 August 2021



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