Welcome to Stan's Cafe

Creative Learning Recruitment

March 17th, 2018

Moon_Landings_Project

With a busy term of work planned for summer 2018 we are recruiting five part-time freelance Creative Learning Associates to deliver a range of exciting projects in primary and secondary schools. We are looking for a variety of practitioners with specialisms including maths, drama, costume making and poetry and makers/sculptors.

To find our more about these roles and the particular projects please download the Creative Learning Associate Summer Call Out information sheet HERE.

To apply please send a C.V. and a covering letter explaining your interest in and suitability for the role(s), to our Creative Learning Producer – Lucy Nicholls, via email: lucy@stanscafe.co.uk.

Please also complete and send the equal opportunities monitoring form available HERE on our website.

The closing date for applications is Thursday 5th April, 6pm. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend a workshop on Monday 16th April.

You can discover more about the history and range of our Creative Learning work by visiting the Education and Training section of our website HERE

We look forward to hearing from you.

Unlocking Anti-Semitism

March 8th, 2018

On Tuesday, Darius Jackson from the University College London, Centre for Holocaust Education, came to Saltley Academy and lead a twilight teacher training session called Unlocking Anti-Semitism. He was there because we are about to start working on The Merchant of Venice with the English Department and Year 8 students and it seemed sensible for us to arm ourselves with a bit of knowledge about the history of Anti-Semitism before we start. Continue reading “Unlocking Anti-Semitism” »

Black Men Walking in Coventry + Choke

February 19th, 2018

Coventry is already reaping a dividend from its forthcoming City of Culture status: it’s become a Stan’s Cafe theatrical destination of choice. Last week we were there to see Graeme surfing Chris O’Connell’s script in the Theatre Absolute production Choke and the week before two trips went to the Belgrade Studio to see Tyrone Huggins in Black Men Walking presented by Eclipse Theatre. Both trips reminded me how much I like going to the theatre. Continue reading “Black Men Walking in Coventry + Choke” »

Translanguaging

January 28th, 2018

On Friday I learned that Translanguaging is a term for communication that involves slipping between languages both verbal and visual. On Friday in an outhouse of Aston Hall I joined artists from a range of disciplines to learn about a research project investigating Translanguaging conducted by academics from a number of British Universities. Each academic had just 15 minutes to share with us a sample of their research. We watched a video of a butcher at Birmingham indoor market engaging with a customer who wants to buy some pork belly. We studied a short transcript of a consultation in which a Polish(?) speaker is helped through an application for disability benefit. We listened to an audio recording of a football coach run through a warm up routine with some young children and another recording of someone explaining their plans to start up a Polish Cafe in Leeds(?). Finally we conducted a textural analysis of a text message conversation that switches between Chinese and English. Continue reading “Translanguaging” »

Building Resilience #2

January 24th, 2018

September was Salford and January has just been Bristol. At We The Curious we, a bunch of curious arts organisations, learned more about resilience at the feet of Arts Manager International. Last year we were tutored in the fundraising cycle, this year it was about board development, individual and corporate giving.

First up was Michael Kaiser, using as series of great stories to illustrate his learning points, stories of running a Ballet Company in Cowboy country (Kansas City), brokering a ludicrously high profile series of marketing opportunities for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, traumatic board meetings early in his tenure at The Royal Opera House and getting ambitious at the Kennedy Center. Continue reading “Building Resilience #2” »

Reshuffle Pt 1 – 3

January 9th, 2018

Part 1
Matthew Hancock, appointed on Tuesday, is now the ninth Secretary of State to be custodian of Culture in under eleven years. See how many of these you recognise:

Jeremy Hunt was David Cameron’s first Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, remember how he was lightening quick to offer his department up to the treasury in the first round of ‘austerity’ cuts. Presumably this showed he was made of the right stuff as he soon got whisked off to become Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. In this case ‘soon’ was after 2 years 4 months in the job, which makes him comfortably the longest serving Culture Secretary since Tessa Jowell who served six years under Tony Blair (Gordon Brown ripped through James Purnell, Andy Burnham and Ben Bradshaw in a fraction under three years). Continue reading “Reshuffle Pt 1 – 3” »

Job Opportunity Project Manager

January 5th, 2018

It’s almost a secret but for nearly a year we’ve been running twin after-school Drama Clubs in East Birmingham, one in Saltley Academy and one in Washwood Heath Academy. Last summer they came together to perform Us and Them by David Campton.

This year Drama Club will be devising its own original production, plus there will be a stand-alone Easter Holiday Drama Week also in East Birmingham. We are looking for an experienced and enthusiastic freelance Project Manager to logistically deliver the twin Drama Club production and the Easter holiday drama week.

Drama Club is part of a wider audience development project Stan’s Cafe is undertaking in Washwood Heath and offers the opportunity to be part of a creative and inspirational project for young people in the area.

Find out more and download the job description here. Applications close on Monday 22nd January 5pm and interviews will be held on Wednesday 31st January for shortlisted candidates.

Please submit a CV, plus a completed equal opportunities monitoring form and covering letter explaining why you’re suitable for the role to lucy@stanscafe.co.uk.

Resolute

December 30th, 2017

Andrei Tarkovsky’s final film The Sacrifice opens with its main character planting a thin barren tree, he is helped by a small mute child to whom he tells a story of a monk who does the same thing and asks his novice to water the tree every day until it comes to life. After three years of daily watering with no apparent reward, suddenly the novice discovers the tree covered in blossom. Alexander goes on to propose that doing the same thing at the same time every day, no matter what that action is, must change the world in some way. The small mute child is seen through the course of the film lugging a bucket of water to their tree.

This discipline of doing something every day of the year has been much on my mind lately. I’m a big fan of resolutions – New Year and other kinds. I don’t hold to the cynical defeatist stance that resolutions are always broken so making them is pointless. It’s not true all resolutions are broken and those that are must remain held for some time and are worth the resolve for the time that they are led. I believe in redemption and new starts.

Last year my resolutions were to run more and read more, both were achieved but neither was an ‘every day’ resolution.

The Godfather of ‘doing something every day’ is Tehching Hsieh, whose legendary One Year Performances I find inspirational for life, work and the combination of the two.

This year I am not competing with Tehching Hsieh but choosing three very small ‘every day’ resolutions. Last year’s resolutions are now life-style habits so they no longer count as resolutions. A more ad hoc resolution will be to re-watch all seven canonical Andrei Tarkovsky films – anyone who wants to join me in this is very welcome it will change the world in some way.

Life changing opportunity?

December 4th, 2017

You don’t have to dig very far into the history of Stan’s Cafe to find an acknowledgement of the influence of the artist/director Robert Wilson. A BBC Arena documentary showing clips of Wilson’s early works was an early inspiration and Stefan Brecht’s book about this work ‘Theatre of Visions‘ added to the mystique.

Since then Wilson has worked prolifically in opera, theatre and installations and set up what looks like a remarkable performance center (they say Center we say Centre – let’s call the whole thing…) in upstate New York dedicated to making new art. The Watermill Center has just opened applications for it’s annual Summer Program which, if you are a young artist working in almost any field, I insist you look at carefully as it represents an absolutely extraordinary opportunity. You work for a month in the summer with artists from around the world, there are lectures and workshops and practical opportunities galore – you need to pay for your travel there and back but the residency itself is free and accommodation and food are both provided free as well. The competition to get a place must be very fierce but who knows… someone must get on… in fact +80 someones get on each year, why not you?

What an experience it would be, honestly it would change your life – Watermill Center Summer Program

Time In Time Critical

November 17th, 2017

Traditionally theatre is a place set apart from the tyranny of time. Once ‘the curtain goes up’ at the advertised time and ‘latecomers’ have been admitted or repulsed, chronological time is banished, we are free to be suspended out of time, removed to another era, shuttled backwards and forwards through the ages. In the theatre we are released from temporal concerns; except of course we’re not.

The human bladder is resistant to theatre’s temporal slight of hand, the bum cheeks ditto. Last trains, last buses, last orders and expiring parking meters all remain resolutely rooted in a steadily marching ‘here and now’, dragging us back to glance at our ticking watches in the auditorium’s gloom. Even without these humdrum nagging externalities time is still free to torment us in the theatre; surely genuine prisoners can be no more acutely confronted by time’s implacability than the inmates of a dull theatre show. Continue reading “Time In Time Critical” »


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