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Performers for Science / Drama Project - Open to current University of Worcester Students only

The University of Worcester is co-ordinating a series of activities for Science Week in March 2018. As part of this, the Drama and Science Departments are collaborating on the development and performance of a public theatre performance called Creation2.0

A draft script has already been prepared by an external writer, and we are looking for four student performers to work alongside an external director and the writer to workshop and further develop the script in November and December 2017, and then rehearse it to production on Tuesday March 13th 2018.

Student Ambassadors from the science department will also contribute to the development process, and be involved in giving a workshop and/or post-show talk. 

We are also exploring additional funding possibilities to tour the play more widely in June/July 2018, although that has yet to be confirmed and no commitments on either side are expected at this point. 

We are looking for two male and two female performers. For all the characters, we are looking for performers who have a strong background in performance, have a track record of being committed and reliable, and are available to rehearse on Tuesday evenings. 

Queries about the role: 

For any questions, please refer to Dr Jane George, Head of Theatre & Film, j.george@worc.ac.uk

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Closing date: Thursday 16 Nov 2017

Reference number: STU1718 - 3456

Job details

Job details

Salary
£8.27 an hour, plus £1.16 an hour holiday pay
Hours
40 hours in total per person, to be worked between November 2017 and March 2018 (Tuesday evenings)
Start
As soon as possible
Duration
Temporary
Responsible to
Head of the Department of Theatre and Film
Responsible for
N/A
Interview date
Auditions to be held on Tuesday 21st November in the evening

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Background

Background

Teaching & Learning Projects in the Department of Theatre & Film:

Drama has been highly successful at offering Earn As You Learn and other developmental opportunities for students through Theatre in Education projects, theatre and health projects, conference performances, youth theatre schemes, summer residencies for Looked After children, and science and art collaborations.

This project, Creation 2.0, offers students with a strong performance background the opportunity to collaborate across the drama and science disciplines (see separate advert to follow for Science Student Ambassadors), bringing their specific subject knowledge and skills to the collaboration, and to work alongside an external writer and director. 

The funding has come from the University’s Teaching and Learning scheme in order to support this collaborative learning and development opportunity. 

Following the public performance in March (as part of Science week), the students employed on the project will be involved in presenting a talk about this collaborative learning opportunity and extract from the project at the University of Worcester’s Teaching and Learning conference on 13th/14th June 2018. 

Summary of the play: Creation 2.0: 

After a break-in at a major genetics laboratory, Professor Caroline Nicholson is presented with an impossible choice. She is faced by a protestor who wants her work to stop her experimental work on genetic modification in humans, a hacker who threatens to reveal her research to the public, and a boss who insists on keeping their secrets by any means necessary. Only time will tell just what secrets she’s keeping hidden, and what will happen to them… Creation 2.0 is a thrilling, speculative four-hander, examining the progress of genetic research, and it’s impact on medicine and public perceptions of science. 

Creation 2.0 asks ethical questions surrounding the development of a recent genetic development, a technique called CRISPR, that can act as an error-correcting mechanism around genes. Although it potentially has the power to locate and cure genetic disease before birth, the development of this technique, and the technology surrounding it, has raised significant issues that the play dramatises: How far are we willing to let our genes be modified? Could this research be used to create more desirable humans, rather than simply cure disease? What happens when this research is monetised? If genetic disease can be cured, what about those who live with those diseases now? Who has the right to know about this research, and make these decisions?

Characters:
Professor Caroline Nicholson: (playing age around 30 years old). Scientific prodigy. A researcher into CRISPR, and its medical implications, Nicholson believes herself to be uniquely qualified to handle the potentially world-changing power of her research. She is fundamentally kind and conscientious, with concerns over her research and the ethics of her boss, but has total belief in her knowledge and ability. 

Rebecca Howard: (playing age around 25 years old), a proficient hacker. A genetic disease has resulted in her living in a wheelchair. She has got hold of significant portions of Nicholson's research, and intends to leverage this to understand exactly what the laboratory is doing. She is both cynical and excitable, concerned about the lab's activities and enjoying her position of power over the others.

Milton Howard: Rebecca's Father, (playing age around 50 years old). Milton is a devout, sincere Christian, leading an anti-genetic research protest group called humanity. He is also capable of self-absorption, arrogance and using his considerable charisma to coerce people into supporting him. He organised the break-in, and was shocked to find that his daughter had been following him every step of the way...

Joshua Andersen: Billionaire CEO of Andersen Laboratories. Andersen could be played in two ways: a young, brash businessman (playing age of around 30) who has aggressively fought his way to the top of the industry; or a mid-40s, charming wheeler-dealer who is very used to having things his own way. He believes in the research the lab is doing, but is perhaps more concerned about how to make money out of it.

Main duties

Main duties

1. To attend regular development and rehearsal sessions on Tuesday evenings 7.15 – 9.15pm from November 2017 to March 2018 (with the exception of the Christmas holidays), and possible occasional weekend rehearsal (including 10/11th March 2018).     

2. To contribute to the development of the script through the workshop process.

3. To learn lines and develop their character towards a polished performance.

4. To perform on Tuesday March 13th (precise time to be confirmed).

5. To contribute to an evaluation session after March 13th (timing to be confirmed).

6. To contribute to a group presentation at the University of Worcester Teaching & Learning conference on 13/14th June 2018.

7. To operate throughout the project with due regard for health and safety and demonstrate care and respect for other staff and students.

*Maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job; participate in appropriate training activities and encourage and support staff in their development and training.

*Take steps to ensure and enhance personal health, safety and well being and that of other staff and students.

*Carry out these duties in a manner that promotes equality of opportunity and supports diversity and inclusion, and takes into account the University's commitment to environmentally sustainable ways of working.

Person specification

Person specification

Please provide evidence of how you meet each of the essential criteria.

Essential Criteria 

1. Must be a current student at the University of Worcester with a background and experience in drama. 

2. Experience of performing publicly. 

3. Ability to work collaboratively. 

4. Willingness and ability to contribute creatively, but also to take direction. 

5. Ability to bring a realistic interpretation to the portrayal of the characters. 

6. Punctuality, reliability and commitment in working on a theatre production. 

*One of the female characters is a wheelchair user and for this, we are looking for a performer who has relevant experience to bring to this role. 

Desirable Criteria 

N/A 

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Unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs
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In line with the University's policy on the Recruitment of People with a Criminal Record, shortlisted candidates are required to provide information of any unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs. Applicants are advised to seek independent advice if there is any doubt about the status of a previous conviction, caution or bind-over. Disclosures will only be considered at the point when an offer of employment is made. The existence of a criminal record will not in itself prevent you from gaining employment. 

This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted. This job description is intended to enable a flexible approach to be offered working across the University as required. It is subject to review and amendment in the light of changing needs of the University and to provide appropriate development opportunities. Members of staff are expected to participate fully in discussions about changing requirements and it is the University's aim to reach agreement to reasonable change. If agreement is not possible, it reserves the right to require changes to the job description after consultation with the individual concerned.

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