Zest Theatre tell us all about their new show Thrive

| Wed 14 Sep 2016

We caught up with Zest Theatre to find out more about their new production Thrive, including what to expect, their creative process and the most useful thing to have in the rehearsal room.

Can you tell us about Zest Theatre and the work you create?
Toby is our Artistic Director who is responsible mainly for Strategy and Development; funding, networking, new shows and opportunities for Zest and Fiona is our Creative Producer, who basically does all the logistics of tours and running the company; finance, organising venues and actors, and has a newfound love of sourcing props! Working in such a small team of two there is naturally lots of crossover - we both essentially do a bit of everything!

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired Thrive?
Watch the making the show video to hear all about what inspired Thrive and what you can expect from the show.

Did you work with any collaborators?
Dr Roger Bretherton, as mentioned in the video, is Principal Lecturer for Enterprise in the School of Psychology, University of Lincoln. A Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, he teaches therapeutic skills, personality theory and psychological strengths. His research concerns psychological strengths like hope, wisdom and humility, and post traumatic growth.
What’s the most interesting thing you discovered during the creation process? Were there any surprises?
The process of making Thrive was very different to what we had done previously, where we would start with a theme, characters or experience we wanted the audience to have. Thrive began with two straight days of academic research, meaning everything you see on stage is rooted in proper theories and fact. We were really surprised at how much each of the cast and creative team got from this intensive process that then carried over into the performance you will see in the show.

What has been the most useful thing to have with you in the rehearsal room?
Roger was invaluable in the process, as well as our dramaturge Gareth Morgan. They helped ensure the final piece was consistent with its theories on Post Traumatic Growth and the linear story made sense. The actors were also a huge part of the process as they essentially created the characters that you see in Thrive. At Zest, we don’t just present them with a script to work from, they help us shape the show from the ground up in a really collaborative way.

What are your next steps for the show?
We are touring the show again in the Spring 2017. We have been block booked by the House Theatre network at Farnham Maltings to take the show to venues around the south east.

What else are you working on at the moment?
Next year is our 10th birthday, and we are planning lots of things to celebrate, including a new theatre show to tour. This will see us take young peoples voices from up and down the country, the passionate, the indifferent and the controversial, and putting them on stage with our own Zesty twist. As usual, we won’t be pushing our own opinions, rather we will use this to help audiences consider some bigger questions about our society. Keep your eyes peeled next Autumn!

See Zest Theatre's Thrive at artsdepot Thursday 13 October.

@zesttheatre #ThrivePlay


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