Shed

 

 About SHED Theatre 

Shed Theatre is taking thirty-three senior students to Edinburgh who have been members since they were 12. Their present ages range between 16 and 20.  Our most senior students are taking their National Diploma in Performing Arts and studying at East 15 Drama College.

Within this group are students who have had work experience with Chipping Norton Theatre, The Oxford Playhouse and the National Theatre, and many of them work with junior drama clubs locally towards  Duke of Edinburgh awards. Two of the students are assistants with a local drama school and take workshops during the summer holidays.

 A group of these students won the ‘mock trial’ final, staged at the Old Bailey in 2004 for their school, and individuals have appeared on Radio 4 in the play Love’s Work and on stage at The New Theatre, The Oxford Playhouse, Chipping Norton Theatre and the Eden Project. 

 During June they take part in a local arts festival, performing three minute shorts continuously over four hours on three stages with an open door for the audience to come and go. This has become a hugely popular and well supported event which was featured on BBC Radio Oxford. They also perform annually at the Cornbury Music Festival with an original dance choreographed by senior students.

 Six of them have formed The Flying Piranha’s comedy troupe and have performed as support to several Edinburgh Fringe Performers; and three of them are members of the popular Oxfordshire group Tristan and The Troubadours.

 Whilst in SHED Theatre this company have performed:

Hinemoa and Tutenake         Traditional

Lords of Creation                  Drama by local author

Break-Time                          Devised

A Midsummer’s Night Dream    Shakespeare

Rock Horror                         Fantasy

Lords and Ladies                  Comedy

SHED Shorts                       Improvisation

Music Festivals                    Dance

Tsunami                             Devised

Victims of Freedom               Original

A Funny Thing Happened       Farce

On the Way to the Forum

Under Milk Wood                  Play for voices

The Beggars Opera               Musical/comedy

 This group of students have worked with director Sue Cochrane to adapt Under Milk Wood for stage in a most unique way. They have an intimate understanding of the text; have written an original score, and involved dance and fantasy sequences in their performance.

The older members of this particular group of SHED students have been together for around seven years and there is an extremely strong bond between them. This brings powerful mutual commitment to their drama which shines through in their performances.

 

Our Mentors:

Chris Wray

 Chris Wray was a founder member and Director of Pegasus Theatre, Oxford and he was instrumental in the design and opening of the new premises for this now well-established group.  In 1993, he co-founded Shed Theatre and was once again the driving force in procuring premises and turning them into a black box theatre for the group.

 As Artistic Director for Shed he is the inspiration for the year's programme and is responsible for all show production.  Although taking the lead in many productions he is always nurturing and encouraging others to take on the senior directing role.

 A great admirer of the Greek and Japanese styles, he is also strongly rooted in contemporary theatre and believes that nothing is impossible.  Chris seeks to unlock the power of simplicity and through his direction the reputation of Shed as an innovative and dynamic company has been established.  He has co-written three plays for the group as well as a series of 20 minute shorts for local schools.

In 1996, Chris started the Lock-in, a Friday night venue for young bands and their audiences.  He is also involved in the co-ordination of significant musical events including the Riverside Festival, which, under his stewardship, has become one of the largest free festivals in the UK. Chris also runs a Riverside stage at the Cornbury Music Festival allowing local bands and artists to perform in front of a larger audience and to be signed to record labels.

 This year he coordinated the Drama Marquee at Cornbury running hourly workshops and giving short performances.

 He was recently described by a well-known author as the man who selflessly sets the floor for others to dance and shine upon.

Sue Cochrane 

Sue Cochrane co-founded Shed Theatre in 1993. She has directed many productions including “Our Day Out” and “A Midsummer Night's Dream”.  The latter enjoyed an extended run and excerpts were performed at The Cornbury Music Festival on an outdoor stage. Last year she adapted Under Milk Wood from a play for voices into a stage play including original music song and dance. This forms the basis of the piece SHED will perform at Edinburgh this year. 

Sue has co-written two plays for SHED and has adapted “The Lorax” by Dr Seuss for an Oxford based drama school.  Students from Oxford Youth Theatre have recently performed this adaptation in Oxford. 

Sue has worked with The Pegasus Theatre, Oxford as a director collaborating with Korky Paul, the illustrator, as part of the Oxford Arts Festival and for Centre Stage Drama School as a senior tutor and director.  She also runs termly drama workshops with local schools, a weekly drama club, and week-long Drama Summer Schools. Sue ran drama workshops at this year's Cornbury Music Festival.  She also gives private tuition to individual students particularly with audition pieces.

 Sue will be starting a specialist group allowing SHED students to perform more intimate pieces with smaller casts.  She is the lighting and sound technician for a local comedy club and most recently she was the tech support for Roy Donaghue in his performance of “The Good Thief” at The SHED.

 Sue is the choreographer for the group and has choreographed dances for the Cornbury Music Festival and most recently for The Beggar's Opera.

 Trish Fraser 

Trish has been a Shed leader for more than 13 years.  She has directed John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, Lorca's Butterfly Evil Spell, Willy Russell's Stags and Hens and Big Chief Sends Word as well as being an Assistant Director for all other productions.  She co-ordinates the box office, front of house, all SHED communications and acts as assistant Stage Manager.

 20 years ago she was co-creator of the jazz festival in Charlbury and this annual event has grown to become the very successful Riverside Festival today. She is also co-founder of the Charlbury Arts Festival - a hugely popular and successful series of events staged over the month of June where up to 50 performances of theatre, music dance and poetry can be seen on indoor and outdoor stages.

 In 1992, Trish co-created the Hothouse, a successful, avant-garde music venue where jazz, blues, French Cabaret and poetry were staged weekly.  After a decade this has evolved into the Outhouse, a touring cabaret company for which Trish is promoter and manager.

Teresa Laughton

Teresa is a popular figure on the Oxfordshire arts scene. As well as being a Shed leader, Teresa is a driving force behind  the  Riverside Festival, one of the largest free music festivals in Britain and as ‘The Squire’ leads the mixed folk dance group, The  Wychwayz Border Morris. 

Teresa has been with SHED for eight years working on productions of Lords of Creation, Break-Time, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, The Beggars Opera and Lords and Ladies. Most recently, she has directed A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Much Ado About Nothing.

 Teresa is instrumental in most of the set building and stage design for SHED productions as well as being in charge of props and special effects. She helped develop the production of Under Milk Wood which SHED will be performing at Edinburgh and will be stage managing the show.