This year we will be celebrating our diamond anniversary and between now and then we have several special projects planned to help us celebrate.
One of the long term goals of Zenith is to possibly own/lease a space that can become a theatre / storage and rehearsal space. This ambition has a time scale of maybe ten years. So the big project for our 60th Anniversary year will be PROJECT POP-UP. This is a capital fundraising project to buy the infrastructure of a pop-up theatre that we can setup in all sorts of places inside buildings as well as outside, and take it back down again (Inc Lighting, Sound, staging, seating banks, trussing, dressing room set-up, all associated health and safety equipment etc) . The fundraising target is 50K over the next 4 years and culminating in us using the full structure for one of our 60th anniversary productions. This is very much a stepping-stone to allow us to discover what our needs are for a theatre. Eventually if we do own/lease a space we will have the theatre ready to put up inside it.
- To provide Zenith with the ability to create a theatre space in any given location
- To utilise unused buildings and spaces in and around Bath to create bespoke performance spaces
- To allow Zenith to explore it needs and wants with respect to a owned or leased performance space in the future
- Create a resource that could eventually equip a rehearsal / performance space that Zenith owns/leases
- Provide a community resource that can be shared with other organisations within Bath and North East Somerset
- To reduce our hire costs across all our productions using some of the equipment when in a traditional theatre space.
- To provide a training ground for an increasing number of our company who are interested in the technical aspects of our work. This will give them grounding in all aspects of theatre and event management.
NEED FOR THE PROJECT
- There is an increasing demand on performance spaces that are the right size and available within our time limits of our performance schedules and the ability to create our own in unused buildings gives us a much greater flexibility.
- Zenith has plans to expand it’s artistic ambition and this will provide us with the flexibility to not have to stick to rigid theatre rental practises and change our performance schedules to suit the type of production
- The cost of performances spaces are one of the major expenses for our productions and this utilisation of unused spaces with our own infrastructure will help us greatly reduce our overheads for some of our productions
The total cost of the project will be £50,000 and this will be raised through a variety of means. We have already secured £2250 from a local private donation
BENEFITS TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE AND LOCAL COMMUNITY
- A company who are excited, enthused, and inspired about making theatre in new and unconventional spaces – giving them the ambition to create outside of a normal theatre environment
- Increased creative adaptability
- Help to utilise and bring to life spaces and buildings that are not currently in use – helping transform areas and unleashing the potential of the property resource in BANES
- An artistic experience that the members would not normally experience
- Promotion of the quality of work that could be in areas of BANES that Zenith does not normally reach due to cultural isolation (i.e. performing in available spaces in the rural community)
- Investment in future of the company with a flexible performance space that cuts down our costs and enables us to maintain our low performance fees
- A stronger company bond through working in the pressured environment of producing shows outside our comfort zone.
TO DONATE TO THIS PROJECT click here
(Postponed from 2021)
Following on from the hugely successful and critically acclaimed
Project ZEF in August 2018 – Zenith will return to the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2023 with an on-going 3-year cycle. We will be looking to take four shows up to the festival in a very similar format as last time but they will be performed in a venue that is already established. Our summer production in July 2023 will be a mini fringe festival of our own, giving Bath audiences a chance to see what we are taking to Edinburgh.
Aims of the Project
In 2018 Zenith performed at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the first time (Project ZEF) and this proved to be an incredible experience for the company members and volunteers alike. The whole project amazingly managed to impact all our core values in a highly concentrated way. ZEF’23 aims to build on this success and help maintain Zenith’s main core value of family!
- Give members, many of whom would not normally get the opportunity, a chance to experience and perform in the world’s largest art festival
- Involve the members in the whole process, including: choosing the shows, raising money to stage the shows, marketing and in the creative process, allowing them to learn how to stage a show from concept to performance
- Ex-members with relevant experience will also be involved in the process. From fundraising to directing
- Members will work with professional adults, professional companies and ex-members through the project, allowing them to be inspired and educated along the way
- Provide a relatively inexpensive opportunity to participate in the biggest arts festival
- Expand the horizons of group members, allowing them to explore theatre, arts and events as well as build discipline and professional work-ethic
- Allow members to enhance friendships and build confidence that can be transferred to all aspects of life.
Need for the project
With the major cuts in arts funding and arts provision in schools it is imperative that young people are inspired and energised to explore the idea of making their own theatre. Without this inspiration, we run the risk of losing a generation of theatre makers.
“The Edinburgh Fringe opened my mind to the true spectrum of what ‘performance’ is. Everyone is talking about theatre, there is something for everyone and you will probably see the best and worst shows.
It’s just so valuable for performers, directors, producers, everyone, to put on shows which perform to people outside of your local audiences, broadening your horizons beyond merely where you’re from. It certainly helped me realise there was a huge, global, exciting entertainment industry out there and Edinburgh gave me the courage to pursue it!”
Alex Prescott (Ex member and now professional Director)
Not all of our members go on to a career in performing arts but the confidence they gain in Zenith enables them to pursue their chosen career. Due to the nature of our normal large-scale productions, most members only ever perform as part of the chorus. Doing four productions with small casts will allow members to take on larger roles and be more involved, which will further enhance the confidence of the young people involved.
Cost is often be an obstacle for young people attending the Edinburgh Festival. Although Bath is considered an affluent area, there are areas of depravation and many parents may be asset rich but cash poor. Members come from all over Bath & North-East Somerset and Bristol, and we do not want to limit their artistic opportunities based on their family’s income. We will charge a small amount for members to take part, but we are seeking funding to keep that cost as low as possible.
Based on 40 members and ten volunteers, we expect the project to cost £45.000 This includes costs such as registering for the festival, venue hire, travel, accommodation and publicity. The company have been given a £8,000 fundraising target, and they have already started planning a cabaret performance, supermarket bag packing and carol singing to raise some money. The group itself will make a contribution and we aim to raise a further £3,000 from trusts and local businesses as well as a contribution from each memeber going. The more we raise the less this will be.
Benefits to the young people involved and the local community
- A company who are excited, enthused, and inspired about making and going to the theatre
- Increased confidence
- An artistic experience that the members would not normally experience
- A pre-Edinburgh performance that will be sharing a venue with other organisations serving young people
- Promotion of the quality of work that is happening with young people in Bath
- Investment in future leadership of the company with director mentoring
- A stronger company bond through working in the pressured environment of producing shows during a festival
- A memorable and potential life changing experience for each and every one in the company, cast members and volunteers alike.
Project Zef participant and Zenith member Cerys Ford (Project ZEF 2018 attendee)
“It was truly once in a life time opportunity that I will never forget. It wasn’t just the memories of performing or watching shows but the memories made with friends. I loved every second of it and I thank you so much for letting us have this experience. My favourite show would probably have to be Showstopper as it was so witty and clever, I was blown away !! Or I would say Prom Kween because it was so relevant and funny - I loved it !