Bristol Old Vic is launching a digital theatre platform for its audiences and artists during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Called Bristol Old Vic at Home, the platform aims to replicate three strands of the theatre’s programme; its artistic output, talent development work and engagement department.
The theatre’s artistic programme will be launched online in May as Bristol Arts Channel, working with the Space and local venues including Colston Hall and Watershed.
Over the course of a month, the channel will share art and stories from across the city, and dedicate different nights of the week to art forms including music, dance, film and theatre.
As part of Bristol Arts Channel, Bristol Old Vic will present a season of eight productions collated from its archive of shows, which will be streamed via the Bristol Old Vic YouTube channel and Facebook Live every Friday at 7pm, beginning in May.
Further details are to be announced.
Bristol Old Vic’s engagement department is to go online as Family Arts Hub, which will contain educational resources covering early years to Key Stage 3.
These will include a free database of downloadable acting workshops, arts and crafts guides, drama games, soundtracks, heritage-based lessons, recommended play-reading lists, scripts and monologues, streamed family shows and competitions.
The theatre’s Talent Development programme will become Open Stage Online, inspired by the theatre’s annual birthday event, where anyone can perform on the stage without needing any experience or to audition.
Submissions open on April 22, with people encouraged to share videos of songs, dances and other performances as well as drawings, paintings and writing, which will be displayed on the theatre’s website.
Bristol Old Vic artistic director Tom Morris said: “Bristol Old Vic’s programme extends far beyond creating the shows that have been so wonderfully supported by the city over the last ten years.
“Equally important is developing talent from across the region through the Bristol Ferment programme, and bringing creative opportunity to all parts of our community through our Young Company, outreach activities and school and heritage resources.
“During this strange and frightening time, it is more important than ever to celebrate creativity in everyone and to support the sense of community through which it can best flourish.”
Morris added: “These things are happening spontaneously across Bristol with new digital networks springing up in every postcode. It is part of our job as the city’s theatre to ensure that this energetic and generous spirit is extended to the most isolated and the most vulnerable too.”