26 Jan OPEN workshop leader wins award
Congratulations to Lisa Evans who leads the Creative Writing Club at OPEN on Tuesday evenings. She has just received an award from the Writers Guild of Great Britain for Best Play for Young Audiences 2017 for her play RISE UP.
Set in the 1960s many states across the south of America kept discriminating against African-Americans… and the tide was turning – though local governments disagreed, it would soon be illegal to segregate black Americans from white Americans on public buses, in waiting rooms or in restaurants.
In modern day Britain, four actor-storytellers tell the stories of the Freedom Riders – principled citizens riding buses across Alabama and Mississippi, drawing attention to this illegal discrimination, and facing up to terrifying violence with peaceful resistance.
The story of the Freedom Riders is one of ordinary people becoming a civil rights movement, taking on the establishment and changing the world. In a time of Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin, and Mark Duggan, what does it mean for people to come together and rise up?
Lisa worked with The Theatre Centre who commissioned the play – great vision as it received rave reviews from the young people who saw it and is an amazing way of looking at how people can be affected by and can effect change. In this clip Lisa gives you an insight into how she approaches things as a writer. Having eaves dropped on her classes at OPEN, how proud and delighted we are that she chose to work with us
Lisa started out as an actor, training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then working both in the UK and the USA, before becoming a playwright. Her many stage plays include Under Exposure (which won the British Theatre Association award in 1986), Stamping, Shouting & Singing Home, The Red Chair (which won the British Theatre Association award in 1988), Keep Smiling Through and The Day the Waters Came, which won the Writers’ Guild best play for young audiences award in 2011. Her adaptations for the stage include: East Lynne, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Jamaica Inn, Villette, Frankenstein, The Maid of Buttermere, The Dead Secret and Cat’s Eye.
Lisa also writes for television on series such as EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City, Peak Practice and The Bill. Her radio plays include Ring o’ Roses, Sweet Fanny Adams, Hanging Fire, Women Can Fly and Thin Ice. She has been writer-in-residence at Theatre Centre and Temba Theatre Company and was associate writer for Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. Lisa has run creative-writing workshops at theatres and writers’ groups throughout the country. She facilitates the ongoing West London Writers’ Workshop. She had the best of times being the RLF Fellow at Brunel University from 2012 to 2014.