Livewire: Why Sam’s on-line drama lessons have proved so popular

Entertainment / Sun 7th Feb 2021 at 08:40am

DURING the first national Lockdown Sam Ashford, Creative Director of local Charity Livewire, began a series of online drama lessons. This time around, with the support of local primary schools Tanys Dell, Hare Street and Fawbert and Barnard, Sam has taken these sessions a step further.

“I always try to improve on whatever it was that came before and I knew that with time and space I could progress these sessions to the next level. The Playhouse have kindly donated space which meant I was able to set up a large green screen to produce a new, fresh online workshop”.

We asked Sam what he was enjoying about making these new online sessions and what the response had been like so far?

“Well, I love story telling, it’s the primary ingredient of my job, telling stories. I’ve been making all kinds of films and last year with our Livewire film ‘Lockdown’ I had to learn a lot of new editing skills. It just made sense to put those things together and put myself inside the stories to bring them to life. Those older ones like myself will remember ‘Jackanory’, I just wanted to do something to engage young people whilst they are learning at home”

“The response has been fantastic. During each ‘Live premiere’ there are between 100 – 500 accounts logged in. Many of those are in classrooms around the town where children of key workers have been watching and taken part. Comments, art work and videos have been coming in at pace and I am delighted that so many children are enjoying these sessions”

Sam has always been passionate about working with young people and for the past twenty years has grown Livewire from one weekly session, with half a dozen young people, to weekly workshops nearly every evening for over 150 young people. This is all for free and includes Harlow’s young people taking part in drama, dance and music.

“It’s important that all young people have access to the arts, good quality arts too. We have highly trained professionals who really know what they are doing and work so well with young people to bring the best out of them. Mental Health is suffering across the board, the arts are key to supporting young people through these turbulent times. I just hope that, in some way, ‘Drama and Stuff’ brings a bit of joy and laughter into peoples living rooms”

Drama and Stuff can be viewed live every Tuesday at 10.30 am, there are a series of sessions up and available to all –

Livewire workshops are currently all online but the door is still open, any enquiries email [email protected]

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