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Give It A Go Joe: New Theatre Course at York St John

Published: 17 January 2017

  •   Community
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The course, entitled ‘Give It A Go Joe’, has been developed by student Tom Nightingale who formed the idea for an inclusive, easily accessible theatre course while studying for his degree in Theatre at York St John.

Tom, 38, knows from personal experience that theatre can be transformative.

After suffering from mental health problems for many years, he discovered that theatre was one of the ways he managed to regain control of his life.

He remembers being at home one day when a friend knocked on his door and asked if he would like to come to a theatre workshop at York St John University.

“I went along because I had nothing else to do” he says. “And I stumbled across the joy of theatre through being mentally ill.”

Tom later became part of Out Of Character, a company that calls on artists and performers who use or have used mental health services. He appeared in a number of productions with Out Of Character, and this inspired him to study for a theatre degree which he completes this year.

“I think that a lot of people don’t get a chance to do theatre, regardless of their mental health,” says Tom. “There are a lot of people out there who’ve never had a chance to be in a play or do an improvisational workshop or any acting. This course offers those people a chance to try something they might really love.”

Give It A Go Joe is one of a range of courses offered by York St John’s Converge project, a ground-breaking partnership between the University and local mental health service providers.

Converge provides high quality arts educational opportunities to adult mental health service uses whilst offering experience for students who work with staff to provide classes in theatre, dance, music, fine art, creative writing and sport

The ‘Joe’ in the title of this course is taken from Joe Public – in other words the ordinary man or woman in the street. The Converge team at York St John University would love to hear from Joe and anyone else who feels theatre might have something to offer.

The course is free and starts on Monday 6 February from 6.30pm to 8.00pm at York St John University for 8 weeks.

Contact Converge to find out more about Give It A Go Joe.

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