This Place We Know | Internship

Breaking out of the building in 2016 while the theatre undergoes renovation has been a fantastic opportunity to open up stories with and about the community. 

It’s also meant that the community team have the brilliant Kwame Owusu on board as an intern. He’s a busy young man – currently being a member of the National Youth Theatre, the Roundhouse Choir and the Tricycle Theatre Young Company. He will be heading off to the University of Manchester to read English Literature and Drama next year.

In the meantime, he’s been working with us! Here he talks about his experience:

I am now almost halfway through my time with the Bush Theatre in my role as the Community Intern and have already learnt and experienced so much. Working with the Community Producer, Amanda Castro, I have been part of the facilitation and planning of projects, workshops and future partnerships for the Bush Theatre. The beginning of my internship coincided with the start of the Bush’s photography project WeAreW12 for This Place We Know.

With the theatre undergoing extensive renovations, This Place We Know (26 Sep – 15 Oct 2016) is a season of site-specific plays in six different non-conventional settings on and around Uxbridge Road. At the beginning of September, I was working with the brilliant photographer Eileen Perrier, as she took a series of photos of both the owners/organisers of the production venues, and passers-by in our local community, all to be displayed on the hoarding surrounding the Bush renovation project. This was a fantastic experience in which I encountered many fascinating people, some with a long history with the Bush and some with none.

Throughout the season, I’ve also had the excellent opportunity to attend read-throughs and meet the talented cast and creatives on the various plays. In my time so far, I’ve also been able to attend and assist at various workshops and community projects that the Bush has embarked upon. Most memorable was my time with the participants of the Neighbourhood Project. It’s a project led by theatre company Look Left Look Right with ordinary people from Shepherd’s Bush aged from 16 to 78. This project actually finished in May, but because of the great success of the project/performance, the participants still meet regularly, exploring their lives and stories, whilst also exploring acting and characterisation.

I’ve also had the opportunity to work at workshops directly linked to and at the locations of This Place We Know, such as a workshop with the clients of Nubian Life (location of Zaida and Aadam by Gbolahan Obisean), a day centre for African-Caribbean elderly people, and a workshop with Year 6 children at St Stephen’s Primary School (location of Battleface by Sabrina Mahfouz). The workshop at Nubian Life was led by Madani Younis, the Bush’s artistic director, and I found this session particularly fascinating because of the depth of experience and history that the clients had to share with us, their outlook on the modern world compared to the world of their youth being deeply insightful and eye-opening for me.  Assisting on these projects has been very rewarding and I am looking forward to what the next project will lead to!

This Place We Know is a festival of new plays about Shepherd’s Bush which runs until 15 Oct 2016. Find out more and book tickets here.