For the past four weeks I've been doing a work placement with aod as part of my final year studying Theatre and English at the University of Bristol. It's been a truly amazing experience!
Not only have aod been so welcoming, they have also allowed me insight into some of their upcoming projects. I spent the first week of my placement assisting with the dramaturgical development of Savage Beauty, a re-imagining of Sophocles' Antigone for the era of climate crisis, in connection with COP26 in Glasgow in November (watch this space). It was wonderful to be able to take a deep dive not only into this script, but also aod's many past versions of Antigone alongside translations of the original play. Savage Beauty is such a timely and vital piece of theatre, in addition to it's fascinating relationship with its Ancient Greek source, and it was such a privilege to be able to develop my skills in such an exciting context as well as under the kind and knowledgeable mentorship of the Creative Team.
Another privilege of my placement was being able to attend a research and development session for the upcoming Black Voices in Myth project (again, watch this space). This was an incredible session featuring voices of Black academics, writers, theatre makers and young scholars. Much like Savage Beauty this project is also of vital and pressing importance and it was a wonderful session to witness.
I first encountered aod through the excellent #DailyDose series on Twitter and I very much enjoyed getting a peak behind the scenes in the third week of my placement. It's lovely that there's network of academics, actors, artists and cool-people-of-all-sorts who are willing to volunteer their voices and help share texts from, and which respond to, the ancient world. On that note, a real highlight of my placement was being able to share an extract of some of my own writing on the #DailyDose: a section from a short play in which Clytemnestra questions her own reception history as the Worst of Wives and asks what does it mean to be a hero anyway? (Check it out if you're interested: https://twitter.com/aodtheatre/status/1359448229604114432?s=20 ).Thank you so much to aod for giving me the opportunity to share some of my own work as well as learning from theirs.
Other highlights included beta-testing the new online workshops (it's great to see school pupils are enjoying them, it's the sort of thing I'd have loved at school) and making crafts for children, to be released on Instagram soon…
Lucy Ruddiman, 2021