Reaching a global audience with Revoluton Arts

Sep 15, 2020

During lockdown, we moved our entire creative programme online. We commissioned award-winning writer James McDermott to deliver two 12-week online courses in playwriting and poetry.

James writes:

I first met the Revoluton Arts team in Spring 2019 when, with playwrights Roy Williams and Atiha Sen Gupta, I co-wrote Justice 39 a co-commission from Revoluton Arts and Luton Borough Council (LBC) as part of LBC’s People Power Passion project. I instantly bonded with Jenny and Jo of Revoluton Arts as we all share a love of laughing, drinking (!) and a passion for getting young working-class people into the arts so they can express themselves, escape into and out of themselves, better understand themselves and have a platform to tell their truths.

When Come On Eileen (COVID-19) hit and the country went into lockdown, Revoluton Arts asked me to deliver two 12-week playwriting and poetry writing courses on Zoom. Running those courses gave me paid work during the pandemic, helped keep me creative and helped me teach isolated aspiring writers from Luton and all over the world tools and techniques to start writing their own plays and poetry. As the courses were well received and well attended, Revoluton Arts asked me to run a subsequent 6-week Zoom screenwriting course too.

Delivering workshops digitally as opposed to in-person allowed me to reach global audiences who couldn't have otherwise engaged with my workshops and taught me new skills about leading online classes. These skills have proved invaluable to me as an artist during lockdown as since delivering online workshops for Revoluton Arts, I've started my own one-on-one online writing classes with aspiring writers from all over the world.

As lock-down begins to ease, I’m now in discussions with the Revoluton team about writing a piece of live performance exploring the experiences of young Lutonians during lockdown. I look forward to making it and eventually sharing it with you all.

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