Ray's Educational Services and Workshops
Please select from the following options:
Click here for Ray's one-man shows in educational settings.
Click here for "From the Page to the Stage": a Workshop on adapting Literature for performance.
Click here for "From the Archive to the Stage": a Workshop on developing Researched Material into a Performance.
Click here for Theatre Skills Workshop.
Click here for Voice and Public Address Workshop.
Click here for "A Play in A Day".
Ray can also devise customised workshops to suit particular requirements. Simply or call him on 01202 604598.
Ray's one-man shows in Educational Settings

Ray's one-man shows can be "chopped up" to produce a 90-minute event comprising a performance with an accompanying talk and discussion. These events have proven to work well in School and Library settings, and are ideal for literary society evenings and similar events.

Currently available options are:

"The Signalman":
This is the first-half of
"Two Victorian Tales", and is Ray's dramatisation of the short story by Charles Dickens. Duration of performance approx. 40 minutes, and can be accompanied by a talk/introduction; covering such subjects as the industrial revolution and Dickens' responses to this, including his disapproval of the contemporary education system etc. Suggested minimum age for audience; approx. 8yrs. Ray provides all technical equipment for sounds.

"The Three Strangers":
This is the second-half of "Two Victorian Tales", and is Ray's dramatisation of the short story by Thomas Hardy. Duration of performance approx. 55 minutes, and can be accompanied by a talk/introduction etc; covering such subjects as the industrial revolution and Hardy's responses to this, including the contemporary effects on rural folk and Hardy's brilliant inclusion of ancient rural folklore in the story. Suggested minimum age for audience; approx. 10yrs. Ray provides all technical equipment for sounds.

"The Desert Story":
This is the first-half of "The Warrior and The Poet", and is Ray's dramatisation of the story of Lawrence of Arabia's production of his famous book "Seven Pillars of Wisdom". Duration of performance approx. 55 minutes, and can be accompanied by a talk/introduction etc; covering such subjects as Seven Pillars of Wisdom and the reasons behind the way it was produced, also an overview of the war in the Middle East in the early 20th Century and the effects it produced on Lawrence. Suggested minimum age for audience; approx. 13yrs. Ray provides all technical equipment for sounds.

or 'phone Ray on 01202 604598  |  return to top menu

"From the Page to the Stage": a Workshop on adapting Literature for Performance

This three-hour workshop is ideal for Amateur Dramatics companies and others who are considering producing their own dramatisation of a piece of classic literature.

There may be no royalties to pay on 19th century stories and novels, but if you use a published stage adaptation there certainly are! This is possibly the most fundamental reason for desiring to produce your own dramatisation, but the rewards to be had in "doing it yourself" go far beyond this!

This workshop will take an in-depth study of Ray's play, "Two Victorian Tales"; in contrast with the authors' original stories. Where was it considered necessary to enlarge on the text, and why was it deemed prudent to cut certain sections? Where was additional dramatisation found to be effective and can completely original sections enhance the end product?

These and many other topics will be looked at in detail and suggestions made to assist in any work-in-progress that is brought along by participants.

or 'phone Ray on 01202 604598  |  return to top menu

"From the Archive to the Stage": a Workshop on developing Researched Material into a Performance

This three-hour workshop is ideal for anyone who desires to create an original dramatisation from researched material.

Research is a fascinating activity and in its pure form, researched material is certainly of interest, although generally restricted to a limited number of people. Breathing life into that researched material by creating a dramatisation instantly spreads the bounds of that interest to a potentially enormous range of people.

This workshop will take an in-depth study into Ray's one-man show "The Warrior and The Poet" and will look, in turn, at the progressive stages in the creation of the finished product.

Starting with the source material itself; topics discussed will include where to look for it, who to ask, how to initially compile the collected material, and then how to take that magical first step of "laying the keel", or the backbone, of the dramatisation. After considerations such as the "target audience", discussion will then follow regarding which parts of the researched material can take or will need expanding, and which parts simply need to be thrown out! Next, when is "artistic licence" appropriate, and how can complex historical sections be "boiled down", and which parts are best consigned to the show's programme notes?

Throughout the entire process, the effective use of the author's imagination is kept foremost so as to really keep the story moving along for the delight of a theatre audience.

Other areas discussed will include set design, sound design, music and lighting.

This workshop is of potential interest to a wide range of people; from school teachers who are keen to devise projects for their pupils, to those who are keen to write original drama based on historical events, and possibly even for those who would like to create an original piece of touring theatre for themselves!

or 'phone Ray on 01202 604598  |  return to top menu

Theatre Skills Workshop

A two-hour workshop covering all those essential skills that every actor needs to draw upon when performing in front of a live audience.

For possibly up to two hours at a time, or maybe longer, you will be expecting your audience to "suspend disbelief"; to ignore the lighting equipment, the stage and and all the other trappings of the venue, and to believe totally in the activities of you and your fellow performers. Your audience will be prepared to go partway down that road, but it is your total responsibility to create that magic and to take them fully there.

Voice, Concentration, Focus and Trust are the key elements of performance that will be studied in detail during this workshop, and virtually all of the excercises comprised in it can be "taken away" by participants, and can be used either by the individual, or ideally in group situations, prior to rehearsals and performances.

It's all too easy, particularly prior to rehearsals, for performers to still be preoccupied by what they've just attended to, and to only fully focus on the rehearsal once it gathers momentum, instead of concentrating right from the start. A warm up using some of the excercises learned during this Theatre Skills Workshop will pull everyone together for some truly effective preparation for that all important "first night"!

or 'phone Ray on 01202 604598  |  return to top menu

Voice and Public Address Workshop

A two-hour workshop covering vocal techniques, ideal for anyone who has to stand in front of a crowd of people and talk to them.

It's not just actors who find themselves in front of an audience. There are many others who do it on a day-to-day basis; teachers and lecturers to name but a few, and then there are those whose time in front of an audience is just occasional; it could be that you have to deliver a talk to your colleagues, address a sales team or simply to make a speech! Whatever the reason, however, the speaker's duty is always the same - to inspire, to enlighten and of course, to get the message across loud and clear.

A popular quick-fix nowadays is the radio mic. These are effective in certain situations but they have their drawbacks, which can range from interference from passing taxis, feedback and similar technical problems. Additionally, if there isn't a technician on-hand to regulate sound levels etc., the equipment can become a distracting hinderance; interfering with the speaker's 'flow' and therefore creating an annoyance to the audience and risk of incoherence. Finally, it is a man-made piece of technology; it therefore can suddenly cease to function.

Following his one-man performances, Ray is frequently asked if speaking on-stage for almost two hours leaves him vocally exhausted. His reply is always the same; "not at all, my voice feels better as the play progresses and I could do it all over again!"

The Voice and Public Address Workshop is a fun-filled experience during which Ray will reveal the "tricks of the trade" and, like the Theatre Skills Workshop, participants will leave with a good knowledge of excercises that can be used at any time, to get the voice 'warmed-up' in readiness for some serious public speaking!

or 'phone Ray on 01202 604598  |  return to top menu

"A Play in a Day"!

An excellent, fun-packed way for youngsters to get to grips with a historical event or period, or to bring a current project to life

An event of this nature could easily be perceived as being a very l o n g   d a y - but what a day! A morning or afternoon of research, discussion, exploration, devising and rehearsing and then an afternoon or evening performance of the finished product.

Fast and furious, everything starts with a brief outline of the day's schedule, a physical and vocal warm-up and then an in-depth study of the topic in question. It's ideal if this can include a talk from a specialist, or from someone with first-hand knowledge (such as a wartime evacuee or retired professional etc).

Next, discussion is encouraged to create options as to how the story could be told, and then the fun begins: an exploration of characters and their place in the story, then the creation and rehearsing of the play which will be presented in the afternoon or evening; ideally in front of friends and family.

The Play in a Day is not only a great way of learning, but a great builder of confidence and team work, with communication skills thrown in for good measure!

or 'phone Ray on 01202 604598  |  return to top menu

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