group of actors in workshop

Dynamic New York theatre workshop company in London to collaborate with London South Bank University drama students

25 September 2019

Dynamic theatre company, New York theatre Workshop (NYTW) has been in London this week for a performance (22 September) of their play ‘Mind the Gap!’ at Southwark Playhouse, as part of a new collaboration with drama students at London South Bank University’s (LSBU) School of Drama and Performance and the Elders Company from Southwark Playhouse.

NYTW are known for creating dynamic and inclusive performances and have worked extensively with early career artists.  Their innovative Mind the Gap! programme in New York focuses on bringing together community elders and young people to create thought-provoking, moving funny stories with actors of all ages.

This is NYTW’s second visit to London, following an initial encounter in January 2017 with Gill Foster, LSBU’s Head of Drama and Performance. The partnership came about when Gill went to see her former student, David Oyelowo play Othello to Daniel Craig’s Iago at the New York Theatre Workshop.  While there, she reached out to Alex Santiago-Jirau, the NYTW Creative Director of Education, who agreed to meet with her.

Their discussion led to a co-funded a trip to London for NYTW to work with LSBU drama students and the Elders Company from Southwark Playhouse. They developed a new version of their intergenerational theatre project – Mind the Gap! specifically for this company and rehearsed intensively for a week before performing it at LSBU’s Edric Theatre.

Gill Foster, Head of Performance Arts at LSBU said: “The New York Theatre Workshop are an amazing theatre company from the lower east side of Manhattan. Their focus is on developing excellent stage work and promoting new artists as well as working within their local community. It’s all about impact for artists and audience alike.

“The current partnership came about when I went to see my ex-student, now friend, David Oyelowo in an amazing production of Othello at the New York Theatre Workshop. I had a meeting with the company’s Creative Director and we found lots of synergies between their work with early career artists and the community and our aspirations for our students at LSBU.

“The company is over here for the second time in what we hope will be a long-term partnership with LSBU that will help to develop a sustainable, inter-generational theatre practice here in London, based on their model.”

You can read more about the New York Theatre Workshop here.