The University of Manchester Drama Society
UMDS is a society that brings together student actors, writers, directors, producers and creatives to create some of Manchester’s most vibrant fringe theatre. We offer multiple performance opportunities throughout the year, producing around 20 shows during the academic year, plus scratch nights and creative workshops. Alongside these, we have a large variety of socials and fundraisers throughout the year where you can meet other members!
Diversity and Accessibility.
Our mission statement as a society and committee for 2020/21 is to focus on continuing to diversify the society, both in terms of the voices we represent and the range of opportunities we offer. Alongside this we aim to provide a space which is accessible, collaborative and encourages experimentation.
We want our members to feel able to get involved and influence how we exist, after all it is your society so we want to ensure you feel included. To do this we will be setting up more general meetings over the next year to create a platform to talk and get feedback from members. Our first will be at the start of Semester 1.
‘This year we are going to push the diversity of work we showcase as a society even more. In the past years we’ve loved seeing traditional plays next to more experimental work. We want to continue to encourage this and foster an environment that allows you to experiment, take risks and find ways to play with form. Furthermore, we will continue to pick plays/performances that speak to a more diverse audience. Through this we aim to provide a space where members are increasingly comfortable to put forward work no matter what their background is. We strongly feel there should be a space for everyone’s voices in theatre and we hope to create a place that champions this.
To add to this we hope to push members to create work that is accessible, including to people with disabilities. One way that we will support members in doing this is by running workshops for aspiring directors or theatre-makers to better equip them if they wish to explore this. At the same time, we will be looking to provide new opportunities alongside curated seasons which may allow members to find new avenues to create different forms of theatre such as socially engaged theatre.
Overall, collaboration is at the core of our vision for the society and we hope that by working together as co-presidents with the rest of the committee that this ethos can translate through the way we operate as a whole.
Natalie and Sophia