After the last year, we all need something to celebrate. At a time when access to arts and culture has been limited, we’ve seen just how importance creativity and connection is to us. Communities need an opportunity to come together. And that’s everyone in a community, All voices need to be heard.
That’s why Lyrici Arts is collaborating with Darren Pritchard to produce their first digital show, Rent Party, a show exploring the rich history of Rent Parties in 1920’s Harlem. They are looking for five solo acts to be part of a digital theatre show, staged and filmed at GlassBox Theatre in Medway in June 2021. Passionate about highlighting Black and diverse voices and those who are currently underrepresented, they are keen to use this opportunity to bring people together to enjoy theatre, creativity, and community.
Producing the show with Lyrici Arts is the maker behind Rent Party, Darren Pritchard.
Rent parties were held in 1920s New York when African Americans faced disproportionately high rents. They threw wild jazz parties for paying guests to make up the money before the rent collector came round. Gay black poet Langston Hughes was the man behind this, and hot jazz, good dancing, poetry and potent drinks would make for a damn good time that also paid the rent.
Darren wrote and produced the show to highlight inequalities in the UK, and has toured it all over the country, working with local communities.
Using Langston Hughes’ poetry as a starting point and inspiration for new work and lyrics, Lyrici Arts and Darren want to invite people to a 21st-Century Rent Party as down and dirty as the originals would have been. It’s an opportunity for people to come together to transcend the pain of being broke or isolated; to celebrate and to create and to defy anyone silly enough to exclude them. Blues to a punk rhythm. British Punk to a Harlem Renaissance beat.
“We are so excited that the wonderful artist Darren Pritchard is coming to Medway and will be working with some of the talented creative people in the area to make the first digital co-created theatrical show of Rent Party. Darren will take the structure that he used to create his first Rent Party show that received five stars reviews including from The Stage who called the show “Fierce and fabulous” to make a theatrical film that comes from the hearts of Medway.
We are so delighted to offer local creative people in the area a chance to tell their stories and show us their unique and fabulous talents in the theatrical film version of Medway’s own Rent Party show. We are grateful to the Moving Roots project which enables us to shine a light on our hometown and create opportunities for local creative people in the area. Medway is our home, and we are excited and eager to allow people to fully participate in creative activities where they live. Feeling connected to the arts means that every individual person in our community is able to embrace culture and feel empowered. Rent Party will be a fun way to do this.”
About the opportunity
Do you have something to say about the world around you? Do you have an interesting story to tell? Lyrici Arts want to hear from you!
Sign up to perform in Rent Party, a new digital show being created by Black led theatre company Lyrici Arts, for Medway. They are looking for a diverse range or participants to perform in the show. This nine week opportunity is paid, and will provide an opportunity for existing actors and those new to the field to take part in an exciting and innovative show that brings the rent parties of Harlem to a screen near you.
The casting call for the productions closes on Wednesday 17th March.
You can find out more about the Rent Party casting call here: www.lyriciarts.com/moving-roots-rent-party-casting-call
Lyrici Arts is also looking for a Local Creative Facilitator to join the team and support them in the delivery of Rent Party. The facilitator will work with Lyrici Arts to produce the show and will
have the opportunity to create their own legacy project for Medway with seed funding of £2000.
The opportunity will run for three months, starting from Monday 5th April, and applications close on Sunday 21st March.
They particularly welcome applications from Black and diverse talent with a connection to the Medway area.
You can find out more about the Local Creative Facilitator role here www.lyriciarts.com/moving-roots-local-creative-facilitator