This year membership will be £10 to join UMDS as we hope to return to more in-person events and host an array of creative opportunities for our members.
You can sign up for membership on the SU website which will get you signed up to our newsletters and allow you to sign up for any of our workshops or events!
What We Do
Every year the society produces around 20 shows across 4 seasons. These are; the Autumn Fringe (Semester 1), MIFTA (Manchester In Fringe Theatre Awards) season (Semester 2) and The Shorts season (Semester 3). As well as these we take up 2 shows every year to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. These seasons provide a whole host of opportunities for directors and producers to propose work and ideas as well as many performance opportunities for actors.
We welcome submissions of all kind; published plays, new writing, works-in-progress, devised work or something else entirely – so let your imagination run wild!
Additionally, anyone interested in creative team roles can submit themselves to ‘The Pool’. If your application is successful, you will be allocated a show to work on that seems a good fit for you and your interests.
During the Autumn Fringe Season we offer an opportunity specifically for freshers which is the ‘Freshers Play’. Freshers will be able to propose their ideas for the show via an online application and then will go through interviews with the committee to decide the ‘Freshers Play.’ With interested 1st year directors, designers and producers being able to apply to be on the creative team. Actors from 1st year can then audition for this as well as any other plays going on in the season.
Stay tuned by checking our News page and socials to find out more about the Freshers Project !
‘Monobox’ is our Online Monologue Series that occurs throughout the year. This is a fantastic opportunity for both new writers and performers – great for your showreel and/or portfolio!
The project involves one performer performing a short (up to 5 minutes) monologue in front of a greenscreen ‘box’ where, in post production, the green screen background is changed to a colour that compliments the performance itself. Last year due to COVID-19 restrictions Monobox became ‘Monobox @ Home’ and each monologue was filmed from the comfort of our performers’ home but the season was still incredibly successful.
In terms of what you can perform we are able to accept monologues from published plays but we are particularly interested in applicants writing their own pieces to perform! You are also more than welcome to apply with something other than a monologue, such as poetry or spoken word – be as creative as you’d like! However you can’t perform anything music related.
If you are a writer who does not wish to perform, but would like to submit work to be performed by an actor, you can still apply.
To watch our ‘Monobox @ Home’ season: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYO6UaqA_E8&list=PLed9X5xVm_L925L_dgKs-S0ulcYBJXWNM
To watch our original ‘Monobox’ Pilot:
‘Honey Pot’ is our Creative Fund for UMDS members to self-produce and create virtual productions with funding and marketing support from the society.
Each Semester UMDS members are offered the opportunity to apply for funding and support from us to independently create their own virtual production. This could be creating a Short Film, A Spoken Word Series or Filmed Theatre – you can be as creative as you’d like!
Around 2 – 3 Honey Pot applicants will be accepted each semester. The release of the Semester 1 Honey Pot Productions will occur in January and Semester 2 Honey Pot Productions will be released just after the Easter Break.
Last year our Honey Pot Productions included a Spoken Word Series (created by Amina Beg) and A Virtual Comedy Sketch Production (in collaboration with Manchester Revue)
To watch last year’s Honey Pot Productions 20/21:
Socially Engaged Project
Last year we launched our first ‘Socially Engaged Project’ which was entitled ‘The Graduate Collective.’
‘The Graduate Collective’ was a zine full of content created by 20/21 third years/graduates reflecting on their feelings towards graduating and transitioning into ‘adulthood.’ The content was created from workshops held by The Graduate Collective Creative Team. Where the workshops were an opportunity for these graduates to create together, expressive themselves through art and create without any pressure.
This year we will continue our Socially Engaged Project: The Creative Collective with workshops occurring all year round.
The aim of this project is to have a space which helps UMDS members and the wider student community to connect with themselves and each other through creative workshops. The workshops will be documented through photography and collecting work in a scrapbook style which will be shared, by permission of the artists, through the form of a zine at Christmas and then another zine being released at the end of the academic year. The zine is not the ultimate goal or end product for the workshops, it is simply to save and share memories from the sessions, the aim of this Socially Engaged Project is to provide an accessible and inclusive space for a variety of creatives to express themselves!
These workshops will be occurring every Wednesday for an hour with the first starting on the 6th October – More details to follow via our social media platforms!
To view ‘The Graduate Collective’ zine:
Throughout the year we host a range of workshops with visiting practitioners.
Last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we hosted a variety of Zoom workshops. From a ‘Directing’ workshop with Josie Rourke, Director of Mary Queen Of Scots (2018); to a ‘Production, Writing and Performing’ workshop with actor, director and playwright John Rwothomack; to various workshops hosted by UMDS members such as ‘Comedy Sketch Writing’ and ‘Writing and Performing Your Own Poetry.’
In 2019/20, pre COVID-19, we brought in artists such as Elin Schofield for a ‘Directing’ workshop, Becca Wilson for a ‘Stage Combat’ workshop and Temper Theatre for a ‘Movement’ workshop.
This year we will continue to host workshops/talks both online and in person which cater to those seeking to find new performance or creative skills as well as opening up conversations about the industry itself. These will be announced on our news page, via our newsletter and on our socials.
From fundraisers to theatre trips we have it all – pub crawls, nights out and various other get-togethers.
Over the next year we will be focusing on continuing to provide valuable socialising opportunities for our members under whatever restrictions we may be facing and we are aiming to host our annual Drama Ball which occurs just before Easter!