New Earth Academy North West

New Earth Academy North West

New Earth Academy North West

Photo by Ikin Yum

This year we are offering a Performers Academy and a Writers Academy for British East and South East Asians* based in the North West of England.

Performers Academy

The New Earth Performers Academy North West is a five week online performance course. No previous performance experience is needed just a willingness to play and be open, you can come from any discipline or background. We welcome all ages from 18+.

Every Saturday afternoon students will meet online with director Kash Arshad. During the week there will be evening sessions in voice and movement as well as additional guest workshops. There will be lunchtime industry talks and the course will finish with a showcase for an invited audience.

Important Dates

• Deadline for applications Tuesday 4 May, 5pm
• Course begins online Saturday 26 June and runs every Saturday afternoon 1-3pm and every Monday evening 7-9pm until Monday 26 July
• There will be a final sharing on Friday 30 July 2-4pm
• There will be additional talks with industry professionals over lunch during the week 12.30-1.30pm

To apply

• Fill out the application below.
• You will be asked to write a paragraph telling us about yourself and any previous performing experience you might have. Please let us know what you hope to gain from being part of the Performers Academy as well as what you can bring to the group. You may submit a short video if you prefer.
• You will also need to submit a photo of yourself and an Equal Opportunities form, which you can download by clicking on the button below.

Applications for New Earth Academy 2021 are now closed.

Meet the Tutors:

Kash Arshad (Course Leader) Hello! I’m Kash, a theatre director based in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Some of my recent directing credits include: Mountains, Moon Landing and Parallels – Part of Beyond Chinatown Signal Fires Project (New Earth Theatre Company), Love and Information (ALRA North), Stolen Rainbows (M6 Theatre Company), Guards at the Taj (Theatre by the Lake), Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile and BD Stories (Freedom Studios), Airplays (Leeds Playhouse), Selfies Kill More People Than Sharks (Oldham Coliseum), Memories of Partition (Royal Exchange).
I’m currently working on projects with Graeae, National Youth Theatre, Bolton Octagon, Tamasha and National Theatre Connections.
I’m really excited to be working with New Earth again, especially with the incredible Academy! 

Vera Chok (Improv) Hi, I’m Vera, a queer, first generation, Malaysian-Chinese immigrant in the UK based in Nottingham and London. I’m an actor, performance maker, and writer and my current focus is comedy and improv. I teach and play long form narrative and non-narrative improv, using movement, text and comedy. I’ve done my time at The National (The Hard Problem, World of Extreme Happiness), The Almeida and West End (Chimerica; Kenneth Branagh’s Theatre Company’s Harlequinade and Winters Tale), been in TV shows beginning with the letter C (Chimerica, Collateral, Cobra, Chewing Gum) and Fortitude. My debut play, Rice!, was funded by The British Council. Improv teams I work with are global womxn and NB team Trash Kingdom (US), queer femmes Hell Yeah!, My Aunty Says, and The Improv Place House Team (UK). verachok.org IG: @verachok

Sachi Kimura (Movement) is a movement practitioner, movement director and theatre-maker/director. She trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Shiki theatre company (Japan), Ecole de Phillipe Gaulier and Scola Commedia Dell’arte (Italy). Over the her 26 year performing career, she has worked in theatre, films and TV, in the UK, Europe and Japan and has regularly collaborated with companies such as Fevered Sleep and The Clod Ensemble. Her directing and movement direction credits include Missing People (Leeds Playhouse), GLOW (Brighton Festival, Argus Theatre Award winner) and Stars above the Sand (Space Zatsuyu, Tokyo)Since 2003 She has been teaching at various drama institutions including Mountview Academy, Met Film School and New National Theatre, Tokyo. 

Kwong Loke (Voice) trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He runs voice and Shakespeare workshops in Tokyo with Caramel Box Theatre,  as well as teaches acting at Regent’s University London.
As an actor, he works across television, radio and theatre. He recently appeared in the tv series Gangs of London (HBO/SKY) and The Feed (Virgin/Prime). Theatre works include plays at the National Theatre, Royal Court, Noel Coward (West End) as well as at the Bristol Old Vic, The Almeida and Park Theatre.


Writers Academy

The New Earth Writers Academy North West is an nine week long introduction to playwriting for British East and South East Asian writers. No previous experience of script writing is required – all you need to take part is something to write on and a willingness to have a go!

Led by playwright and dramaturg Naomi Sumner Chan the course will give participants the opportunity to learn the core principles of playwriting and write their own short play which will be read by actors in an informal end of course sharing. You might already write stories, poems or scripts for film and television and now want to have a go at writing for live theatre. Each week will have a specific focus and include writing exercises where you put what you’ve learnt into practice. There will also be a small amount of homework to do between sessions e.g. reading a play extract and/or completing a short writing exercise.

Important Dates:

• Deadline for applications Tuesday 4 May, 5pm
• Online interviews will take place in the afternoon of Saturday 8 May
• Course begins online Saturday 22 May and runs every other Saturday 11am-1pm until Saturday 17 July
• There will be a final sharing on Friday 23 July 2-4pm
• There will be additional Guest workshops on Saturday 29 May, 12 June and 26 June 11am-1pm

To apply:

• Fill out the application below.
• You will be asked to write a paragraph telling us about yourself and any previous writing experience you might have. Please let us know what you hope to gain from being part of the Writers Academy as well as what you can bring to the group.
• You will also be asked to write a short conversation (maximum 3 pages) between two characters inspired by the theme of “Home.”
• You will also need to submit an Equal Opportunities form, which you can download by clicking on the button below.

Applications for the 2021 New Earth Academies are now closed.

Meet the tutors:

Naomi Sumner (Course Leader) is a Manchester based playwright and dramaturg fuelled by salt and vinegar crisps and cups of tea. She leads new writing company Brush Stroke Order working with artists to develop text based work for live performance.
Her work has been performed at theatres across the North of England and in London including York Theatre Royal, CAST, Oldham Coliseum, Arcola Theatre and Theatre 503. Her play SAME SAME DIFFERENT was commissioned by Eclipse Theatre and toured to venues across the North of England in 2019.
Recent projects include working as dramaturg on New Earth Theatre’s Signal Fires event Beyond Chinatown and developing a T.V. drama spec script with BBC Writersroom. She is currently working on a new commission about Chinese takeaways in rural areas of the U.K.

Suzanne Bell (Guest Tutor) has over 20 years professional experience working as a Dramaturg in new writing in theatres across the UK. She has also worked in development for a range of TV and film companies. She is currently the Dramaturg at the Royal Exchange Theatre where she has worked on a number of award-winning productions of new work including plays by Simon Stephens, Alistair McDowall, Insook Chappell and Anna Jordan. In 2019, she was awarded the Kenneth Tynan Award for Excellence in Dramaturgy.  In 2020, she was awarded the Olwen Wymark Award for Encouragement in Theatre, awarded by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.  She has led writer development programmes and workshops at a number of prestigious theatres in the UK, various universities and for companies in Brazil, Turkey, Canada and the USA. She was Dramaturg on the award-winning production of UNPROTECTED, winner of the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.  In her role at the Royal Exchange Theatre, she oversees the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, Britain’s biggest national playwriting competition. 

Sudha Bhuchar (Guest Tutor – Writing for Children) is an acclaimed actor/playwright/founder of Bhuchar Boulevard. Acting credits include: Lions and Tigers (Globe theatre) &The Village (Theatre Royal Stratford East). TV/film include: Coronation street, Stella, Mary Poppins Returns & Mogul Mowgli.  As co-founder of Tamasha, with Kristine Landon-Smith, landmark work includes A Fine Balance (adapted from Rohinton Mistry’s novel) & Strictly Dandia.  Acclaimed writing include: Child of the Divide (Asian Media Award 2018), My Name is….&Touchstone Tales (Revoluton Arts/Wellcome collection) .

New Earth Academy North West is delivered by New Earth Theatre in partnership with: Contact, HOME, Horizons Collective, Manchester International Festival (MIF), Royal Exchange Theatre, The Lowry and Z-arts.
With support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

*British East and South East Asian: anyone of East or South East Asian descent living and working in the UK.

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