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Bush Theatre Staff present: Three FREE masterclasses – musicals, writing character, and theme vs story

Bush Theatre Staff present: Three FREE masterclasses – musicals, writing character, and theme vs story

Whilst the building is closed following government advice regarding Coronavirus, the Bush Theatre team has continued to work to bring exciting new voices to the UK stage. As part of this work, they are producing a series of 10-minute masterclasses to support anyone who is interested in writing and plays. (Image credit: Lynette Linton by Helen Maybanks)

Bush Theatre Artistic Director, Lynette Linton said, ‘Even though our building is closed, we are committed to supporting and working with our wonderful community of writers and artists. For every play you see on stage, there are often years of hard work, personal development, and commitment to the art of writing that has been part of that journey. We want to do our bit to support and honour that process. We are really excited to share these ten-minute masterclasses with you all. Hopefully, these tips will come in handy at whatever stage you are at in your writing process.’


30 April at 11am

Let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start. 

Bush Literary Manager, Deirdre O’Halloran uses favourite musical showstoppers to explore key writing skills such as:

  • World building
  • Character motivations
  • Dialogue
  • Playing with form

Deirdre will also be answering questions on the Bush Theatre’s Instagram at 2 pm

Deirdre is the Literary Manager at the Bush Theatre, working to identify and build relationships with new writers, commission new work and guide plays to the stage. At the Bush, Deirdre has worked as a dramaturg on  An Adventure by Vinay Patel, Baby Reindeer by Richard Gadd, and The High Table by Temi Wilkey.  She also runs the Bush’s flagship writer development schemes, the Emerging Writers Group and West London Playwrights Group.  Prior to joining the Bush Theatre team, Deirdre was Literary Associate at Soho Theatre where she worked as a dramaturg on plays including Girls by Theresa Ikoko and Fury by Phoebe Eclair-Powell.  She led on Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab programme and the biennial Verity Bargate Award.  As a freelancer, Deirdre has also been a reader for Out of Joint, Sonia Friedman Productions, and Papatango.

13 May at 11am

Great characters make plays…they’re who we follow, who we get emotionally invested in and they drive the narrative.

Bush Associate Director, Daniel Bailey, will be looking at the importance of characters in plays and how to develop them through different exercises including:

  • Characteristics for your characters
  • Creating a character timeline
  • Key questions which will help you get under your character’s skin

Daniel will also be answering questions on the Bush Theatre’s Instagram at 2 pm

Daniel joined the Bush in 2019 and works alongside Lynette Linton. Directing work includes; The High Table at the Bush Theatre; Unknown Rivers at Hampstead Theatre, Blue/Orange, Concubine, Stuff, I Knew You, Abuelo, Jump! We’ll Catch You, Made in India/Britain, and Exhale (Birmingham Rep Theatre).  He has previously been Associate Director at the Birmingham Rep Theatre (as part of the RTYDS 18 month residency), Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio, Associate Artist at Theatre Royal Stratford East, and Resident Director at the Finborough Theatre.  Daniel studied Modern Drama at Brunel University before participating in the Young Vic’s Introduction to Directing.  Daniel was also Assistant Director on King Lear (Talawa, Manchester Royal Exchange/Birmingham Rep), Back Down, Anita and Me (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Silent Planet, and Rachel (Finborough Theatre) and Inherit the Wind (New Vic).  His film director credits include On Belonging (Young Vic), Malachi (S.E.D), Floating on Clouds (Kingdom Entertainment Group), and Y.O.L.O. Therapy (S.E.D)

27 May at 11 am

Theme vs Story. 

Bush Theatre Artistic Director Lynette Linton will be looking at the differences between theme and story when writing, including

  • Structure
  • Plot beats
  • Dialogue
  • Exposition

Lynette will also be answering questions on the Bush Theatre’s Instagram at 2 pm

Lynette took over as Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre in 2019.  Her first season was a series of ground-breaking debuts from UK and Irish writers, which led to the UK and NYC transfer of Richard Gadd’s Baby Reindeer.

Lynette directed the UK premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat (Donmar Warehouse, Gielgud Theatre) for which she won ‘Best Director’ at the inaugural Black British Theatre awards.  Sweat also won the Evening Standard award for ‘Best Play’ and was nominated for an Oliver award for ‘Best New Play’.

Her production of Richard II (Shakespeare’s Globe) which she directed with Adjoa Andoh, marked the first-ever company of women of colour in a Shakespeare play on a major UK stage.  Lynette will make her National Theatre debut directing a new production of American writer Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky in the Lyttelton Theatre from February 2021.

See Also

She was previously Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse and Associate Director at the Gate Theatre where she set up the Young Associate company.

She is co-founder of theatre and film production company Black Apron Entertainment who produced Passages: A Windrush Celebration win the Royal Court Theatre, a project she also curated

As a writer, her credits include Hashtag Lightie (Arcola Theatre), Chicken Palace, and Step (Theatre Royal Stratford East).

The Bush Theatre is currently closed due to the Coronavirus.  The previously announced theatre season is postponed, and new dates will be announced later in the year.

They will be available to watch on IGTV, Twitter, Youtube, and the Bush Theatre website.




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