THE SOLO SCHOOL
The rich territory of working alone
How do we use this time to transform you as a creator and solo artist and serve you for the rest of your life? This course is not just for now, this is a gift for your entire future, the beginning of a whole new way.
The Solo School is designed to offer individual artists a way into their creative worlds to develop a unique approach to private Personal Practice. The school is a journey into the rich territory of working alone, venturing into an ever-developing excavation of your expression. It is designed to be a foundation and starting point in establishing your practice that may grow and flourish beyond the school. And, you will have the opportunity to return again and again to stimulate your work within a community of solo artists and practitioners.
The work is facilitated by Henry McGrath who has been devoted to the investigation of personal practice for 11 years. Henry is an actor, director and a physical performance artist who has worked within a wide-web of performance worlds, from collaborating with experimental avant-garde theatre groups to working in mainstream TV and Film. He is the founder and co-director of Eden’s Cave, a laboratory theatre group based in the Forest of Dean described as, "an exciting and ground-breaking company with a holistic world vision". He teaches acting, approaches to embodied expression and the development of solo practice at institutions across the UK. He is a solo filmmaker, making work about the essential human experience.
"It paved the way for epiphany"
"A beautifully conceived and executed solo course"
"This body of work in itself is quite unique, I don’t know of anything else like it."
"P h e n o m e n a l"
"The Solo School was ‘a creative call to action’."
"A true highlight of my year"
"Henry’s talent, integrity and energy consistently impress me, he has the generosity and sensitivity to be able to share his skills with others, and is already on his way to becoming a master practitioner"
Patrick Campbell, Senior lecturer, MMU and co-director of Third Theatre Network
In the third week, you will look at different forms of personal expression and how these forms effect and speak to each other. We will look at how a poem can become a dance, how sound filters into word to offer more colour to language and performance. We will play with these forms, and you will listen to what expressive modes speak to you. You will begin treating yourself as a total and inclusive artist, one who uses many forms of expression, and you will see how these forms enhance and deepen one another.
In the final week of the introductory course, we will return to how we use outside stimuli to inspire our work in the studio. You will start a small journal that you will use to notate encounters, thoughts and personal perceptions. Your journal will be filled with sketches, poems, characters you might meet in the street, notes on philosophy or experiences walking in nature. These notations will fill your subjective subconscious and be used as images, dreams and worlds to explore within your physical sessions in the studio, creating a multi-layered personal universe that you may navigate within.
12th September - 10th October
The introduction to the Solo School will be a month-long course that is designed to set up your Personal Practice, using the opportunity of lockdown as the starting point to develop your private artistic venture. Over the course of a month you will have access to videos to guide your practice, one-to-one supportive sessions and community space to share discoveries. This course is a facilitative one, and will develop according to your needs, discoveries and interests.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Artists wanting to set up an ongoing Personal Practice that feeds their creative work and development
Actors, dancers, visual artists, physical performance artists, explorers and seekers.
Artists who want, or love to work alone, held within the framework of a supportive network and guided by Henry who has 11 years experience of exploring a solo practice
Anyone who desires to deepen their creative work, to develop their own private artistic realm that connects them to themselves, and helps shape and enhance their work in the world
ISOLATION AS INSPIRATION
The first week will seek to open a deep sense of listening to yourself as an artist. It will ask you to listen to your creative source, to the wellspring of your artistic worlds in this time of isolation. You will research what you are drawn towards, how you see and interact with the inner and outer world. We will explore the profound discipline of listening and allowing impulses to slowly germinate. The first week is about preparing ourselves to enter the studio.
IN THE SECOND WEEK, WE WILL BEGIN THE WORK IN THE STUDIO FOR THE FIRST TIME. We will research what our ‘studio’ is, how we define and protect our artistic space and begin building the devotion to our private practice. In the second week, we take the work that we have initiated in week 1 and begin applying those foundations to your expressive system. We will allow an organic expressivity to reveal itself, understanding that this is the beginning of a process that will evolve and grow over time. You will be facilitated on how you excavate your own expressive freedom, and we will look at ways to do this, including developing a musical library and setting personal rituals that hold and frame the work.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
£75 for returning participants
(There is 1 bursary available for a disadvantaged participant)
Includes an introductory video; 2 hours of online footage; 2 hours of personal facilitation for your ongoing solo practice; personalised tasks and support over the 4-week period; 1 hour 30 mins discussion and sharing with the course group, over 4 hours of interviews with other solo artists through 'Solo School Conversations'.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The course will run Sunday 12th September - Sunday 10th October
Introductory Video – You will receive an introductory video when you sign up for the course
All videos will be posted through Vimeo, and you will receive a private link
All online sessions will be run through Zoom. You will receive a private meeting invitation
Video – Sunday 12th September
30-minute One-to-one Online Session
Video – Sunday 19th September
One-to-one Online Session
Video – Sunday 26th September
One-to-one Online Session
Video – Sunday 3rd October
One-to-one Online Session
Group Online Discussion Session – 4pm, Sunday 10th October
HOW DO I APPLY?
Please send in a short answer to the following question:
1. What has drawn you to the Solo School at this time?
Please send your responses or any further enquiries to:
For artists who have experienced the 'Introductory Course', and who seek support in further developing their artistic practice and/or specific creative projects, a bespoke series of Creative Mentorship sessions are offered.