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Gallery hosts theatre workshop

Photograph supplied

Bermuda National Gallery was thrilled to organize a theatre workshop inspired by its current exhibitions, “Jacqueline Alma New Works – Like a Tree Let the Dead Leaves Drop”, “Fragile Treasures, Land and Sea” selections from the David L White Collection and “What’s Poppin’! Pop Art and its influence”.

The 21 participants included adults, as well as members of the Noire Youth Theatre Troupe (led by Patricia Nesbitt and Sasha Castle) and spent the morning under the direction of Catherine Hay using the exhibitions, artworks and architecture of the Gallery to develop concepts for plays to be held as part of the Bermuda National Gallery “Art of” series to be performed in the Gallery this fall.

In addition the workshop was so successful as its own event that there are additional workshops being planned, and if you would like to learn more and get on the mailing list please email director@bng.bm

Theatre in the Gallery Concept:

As part of the BNG’s vision, the goal of this programme is to create opportunities for cultural engagement and dialogue, through the use of the BNG exhibitions, artworks and architecture.

The plays will be written to be performed in the BNG’s galleries and inspired by pieces in the exhibition Like a Tree Let the Dead Leaves Drop (or other exhibitions or artworks currently on display in the BNG). The plays are to be original pieces set in the BNG space, with no more than three actors and with minimal prop, lighting or set requirements.

We are putting out a call for local playwrights to submit with the deadline being midnight on

Friday 13th September. After being anonymized, Tom Coash, an award-winning playwright and friend of Bermuda theatre, will select four plays to be performed.

Once the plays are selected, local directors will be assigned to each play and the directors and writers will select actors from an open audition.

The plays will then take place November 7th, 8th and 9th 2019 in the Bermuda National Gallery at City Hall.

Peter Lapsley, BNG Director said “We have some fantastic exhibitions on display and since

coming on board as the Executive Dorector last September I have been looking for new and

dynamic ways to engage the community with the artwork and the space itself. We have an Art of Music series as well as an Art of Poetry series, all responding to the artwork on display and I have always thought it would be interesting to use the Gallery space itself for a play or performance. After meeting with local writer Catherine Hay, and with guidance from playwright Tom Coash we breathed life into idea and one of the outcomes was Catherine’s character development workshop. The workshop was incredibly engaging, and I was excited to see how the participants used the artwork and the space. Furthermore, getting to meet the Noire Youth Theatre Troupe was really inspiring, and based on the work they did I can’t wait to see what they come up with for their submissions.”

Quotes from Catherine Hay

“I am thrilled to be part of the BNG’s Art Of series. There’s so often a gulf between the visual and literary arts in a community. This initiative seeks to bridge that gulf.

As a writer I find that getting started on a project is the hardest part - actually setting pen to

paper. With this workshop we wanted to get the participants from blank page to a fully fleshed out scene - with developed characters and setting - in two hours.”

“There is something magical about using art as visual inspiration for written projects. The

participants were encouraged to leave behind their thinking brains and engage their creative instincts by creating characters from elements of the pieces in the gallery.”

“As the writers are creating plays to be performed in the gallery itself, we also spent time

exploring the space and brainstorming how we could use the space to create unique settings for plays. The range of settings and characters the participants dreamed up were remarkable.

At the end of the two hours the participants read scenes they had started - and we were

transported back in time to the 12th century, to the future and to an engineer’s office on a

construction site in the present day.”

“I’m thankful that the participants took the leap with us and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the works performed!”

Quote from Tom Coash

This is a great opportunity for Bermuda writers to engage creatively with the BNG, have a

chance to see their work performed live, and have fun writing a short play! I look forward to

reading everyone’s work!


For more information about the Theatre in the Gallery Project please contact:


For information on the BNG’s current shows, please visit its website:


Submission deadline is midnight on Friday 13th September. Submissions may be physically

delivered to the BNG front desk between 10am and 4pm or emailed to director@bng.bm

Auditions for the show will be held the week of 23rd September.

The plays will be staged on 7th, 8th and 9th November 2019.

Press release from the Bermuda National Gallery