An introduction to 37 Plays with Kerrie L Marsh

12-Oct-2022 | Kerrie L Marsh -

Hey peeps! I’m Kerrie. Hull Truck Theatre’s new Playwriting Officer and I’m here to share with you a little introduction to moi, the role of a Playwriting Officer and the projects I’ll be involved with during my time here.

Firstly, I just want to say how much it always means to me to work for and with HTT. I have been long affiliated with the theatre and it’s a bit of a secret of mine but we’ve kind of got a thing going on, since way back. Back to the Spring Street days in fact.

As a performing arts student in Hull, I was gifted with the opportunity to professionally tread the boards more than once at the Spring Street building. Tapping my heart out as ‘Sylvia’ in STEPPING OUT by Richard Harris (I’ve only just got rid of those very tap shoes) and as ‘Valarie’ in ROAD by Jim Cartwright. I relished in those moments, performing to a Hull audience, in a well-respected establishment and surrounded by others who had similar dreams and hopes.

Coming from a working-class background and growing up on a council estate, I was unsure if I’d ever properly work in the arts, you know and get paid! But those moments were the very start, the inspiration for me to at least give it a real good go.

I’ve worked as Stage Manager for Hull Truck Youth Theatre group a handful of times and performed here with my all-female comedy group, Scarlet Lights.

It was an extremely proud time for me when I became a Hull Truck Theatre Grow Artist-in-Residence 2019-2020. The play that I wrote during my residency DUCK POND has been recently staged as a script-in-hand performance during the GROW season 2022 and it was an awesome experience that kept this love affair between me and HTT alight.

So can you imagine the chemistry right now as I wonder the bones of a building that has the spirit of “Where is all started”. As a new member of staff. As an officer of Playwriting no less! I hope I’m keeping my cool Infront of my new colleagues and that they don’t pick up on this long-lived romance between me and HTT!

Enough of the mushy stuff and onto being a Playwriting Officer. Sadly, there is no officer type wallet badge that I can flash up into people’s faces as I introduce myself. But I do have a lanyard, so that’s almost as good isn’t it.

Hull Truck Theatre is an Associate Regional Theatre of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and we are collaborating on a new national playwriting project called 37 Plays to mark the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s first folio in 2023. To celebrate this, the RSC and their Associate Regional Theatres want to find 37 brand new plays that reflect the world we live in today. How epic is that?

Part of my role is to inform as many people as possible in the city about this project and encourage the people of Hull to get writing and to submit a play. The project is open to all people in the UK of any age and experience. You can submit a play that’s one side of A4 or up to 100 pages. You can read much more here.

My ambition is to try and get to as many schools, community groups and individuals as possible to encourage, provide workshops and offer support and guidance to try and inspire the people of Hull to get involved!

Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing with you some of the many ways in which we are aiming to inspire people to submit plays to the project. I’ll take you on a weekly journey through our school and community workshops. Our evening young writers’ courses here at HTT and some, one off drop-in Saturday writing surgeries open to the public that we are hoping to start, to offer my guidance and encouragement.

Also, along the way I’ll be sharing with you some of my favourite Royal Shakespeare Company’s 37 Play Project resources, of which there are many! Explaining why I enjoy certain exercises and why I find them useful. I’ll also be sharing some wisdom and tips from some other Hull Playwright’s about how to get started in playwrighting that should also offer you encouragement and hopefully, will inspire you to get involved hearing from other voices who just like you, one day thought of an idea, picked up a pen and just started writing.

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