Online Courses for 2020


Join our imaginative ensemble company as, this year, they take to the small screen rather than the stage, to devise and perform a selection of fantastic Cautionary Tales –  some of which will be Grimm indeed, others will come from around the world. Strange and haunting, dark and delightful, have fun unlocking these stories, creating unforgettable characters and bringing them to life.  You will explore unusual storytelling techniques and moments of song, while learning new online performance skills along the way… the way that leads into the woods, the natural world of mystery, where all kinds of magical things can happen…


An absorbing, creatively challenging assignment awaits this year’s GYAT company.  Join the team as they rehearse and deliver episodes from a powerful recent play from the National Theatre – Greenland. The play threads together fragments of human response to the divisive, urgent issue of Climate Change. The story weaves between several individual efforts to stem the rising tide of imminent disaster – personal, scientific and campaigning.  Our online version will be as innovative and bold as our actors and the people in the play – voices we all need to hear.


A new course for those looking to ‘find their voice’ as writers and actors. Join our virtual Radio Rep Company and play your part in the creation of a brand-new docudrama! Broadcast live from our virtual studio. From the struggle to avert the slide towards climate disaster, The Home (Truths) Service will be serving up a hope-filled programme of current stories, highlighting remarkable good news projects and scientific discoveries worldwide. Under expert tuition, learn how to write, attune your voice, discover tricks of the foley artist (creating your own sound effects) and perform for this most imaginative and evocative medium.


This enterprising ensemble will turn its creative hands to yet another breakthrough theatre style so up-to-date we can’t describe it in detail here!  It will be an online adventure, mixing live and recorded material to produce, in keeping with our theme, a devised piece of community theatre entitled Passion for the Earth. It is our hope that this might form the core of a piece which could be offered for performance (live or online) in many communities beyond the Summer School.  The course will give opportunities for devising, writing and developing performance skills as the Full Works company delivers some epic ‘natural world’ drama.

 TECHNICAL THEATRE  (age 16 – 90)

Our usual technical theatre course is this year bolstered with tonnes of technical teaching for the digital world. Learn practical, behind-the-scenes skills in live theatre and recorded media from an experienced professional. This will include sessions on how to be an effective stage manager, virtual classes on rigging and operating lighting and sound, as well as the added bonus of exploring digital skills such as audio recording, video editing and creating events online.


As those who have been to previous Summer Schools will know, around the edges of your chosen course, there will be loads of other things as well: rib-tickling, original performances from Riding Lights, a range of excellent workshops provided by a brilliant team of experienced professionals (many of whom haven’t been able to come to an STS for years!), a virtual Right Here Right Now improv comedy night, interactive games, a Not-in-a-pub Quiz, the Big Warm-Up, creative prayer and worship and virtual social spaces where you can make new friends and catch up with a few old ones.

And finally, on Wednesday evening August 5th, we’ll have a great festival of (virtual) theatre, as we watch what everyone’s been up to! To say nothing of the traditional last night party…


There will be a choice of 16 wide-ranging workshops available for you to choose from during the Summer School. Many of these will be recorded so you can catch up on them later.  We will update you with further information about these as soon as we can.


As STS is online this year, there are a few technical requirements to meet if you want to attend. You will need an internet-connected device which can handle video conference calls (Zoom). Ideally, this will be a laptop or other computer, or a tablet. (You may find it hard to undertake the whole event using just a smartphone.) You will also need some way to record audio and video – any device that can handle Zoom should be capable of this.

Any questions, feel free to get in contact with us.


Several elements of our programme will be optional and some workshops will be recorded so you can catch up with them later.  However, you will need to commit fully to all your course sessions.  Apart from the final performance which might be on the evening of Tues Aug 4th or Weds 5th, these sessions will be for a couple of hours in the mornings and afternoons.

If you would like to join in with some aspects of the Summer School but are unable to commit to one of the five courses, please let us know. We may be able to offer you a deal on part-time involvement.

So, has a particular course caught your eye or peaked your creative interest? If so, you can apply here.