Get involved with FreshFest!
Coming to university is a great opportunity to try something new and Warwick has a huge variety of societies to explore, especially when it comes to performing arts. One of the student theatre projects I was involved in during my first year was FreshFest, an annual drama festival hosted by Freshblood, Warwick’s playwriting society, where new student-written plays are performed all around campus. Working on a FreshFest show gives you the chance to work with new people and try something different (I was a producer, something I’d never done before!) to put together a smaller scale project. This year’s FreshFest will be happening soon so it feels like a good time to write about why the festival is an ideal project to work on if you’re new to Warwick!
FreshFest is a great opportunity to get creative – each team is given a small budget, you only have a few weeks to put the show together and you’re working with completely new plays. The performances take place in a variety of spaces around campus, from the more traditional studio spaces to less conventional spaces like classrooms, giving you the chance to experiment. Working as a producer or director, you get to see the whole process – from the auditions to the rehearsals, to marketing the show and watching the performance – offering you a glimpse into the different aspects of a larger scale Warwick show.
As a producer, it was my job to organise the cast, arrange rehearsals and get all of the props/set/costume together for the performance. I was also responsible for managing the show’s publicity which involved setting up Facebook events and communicating with a student publicity designer. I was initially nervous about being a producer but there was support available from the team and the festival coordinators so I had plenty of help when I was unsure of what to do. Taking on a challenge a bit different to what I was used to really helped me develop new skills quickly and improved my confidence, helping me feel more prepared to get involved with other opportunities to produce. It was also great to work with new people – you don’t have to choose your own team, the festival coordinators allocated me to a team when I signed up as a producer, so even if you don’t know anyone involved in the festival you can still go for it!
Whether you have lots of theatre experience or none at all, FreshFest is a great project if you want to get a taster of what it’s like to work on a student show at Warwick and make new friends in the process!