Have you got a minute? That’s all our lecturer in Acting needs to convince you that all the world truly can be your stage.
Having taught acting since 2000, in his spare time, Hedley Brown contributes as a playwright, actor and a co-director to an annual one-minute play festival Gi60 (Gone In 60 Seconds). All-comers are free to submit their one-minute works, and 100 are chosen. Fifty of the plays are performed at Harrogate Theatre, Stage 12 at Leeds University and the Viaduct Theatre at Dean Clough mills in Halifax; and 50 go to Brooklyn College in New York. It’s a wonderfully inclusive approach to theatre, says Hedley, which strives to make theatre more accessible and fun.
“We want to get as many different playwrights as possible,” says Hedley. “The beauty of it is, if you don’t like one play, you don’t have to wait long until the next one comes along.”
Hedley’s students often take to the stage to perform these theatre shorts, all of which are filmed and published on Youtube. Hedley’s Sceptical Sceptic, for example, can be viewed HERE:
Hedley completed his first degree in Theatre Acting at the University of Leeds’ former arts enclave, Bretton Hall. Invited straight back to teach at Bretton Hall after graduation, he says the unique location played a huge role in his passion for acting and theatre.
“It got me into this mad world,” says Hedley, who went on to teach at Harrogate College in 2006 and, in 2012, at Hull School of Performance Arts within the Faculty of Arts. “That landscape and the nature reserve left a real lasting impression on people who studied there. Now, we’re finding inspiration for our students in the urban environment – it’s trying to find the magical in the mundane. We’re looking at urban spaces in a different way as we aim to introduce site-specific performances.”
He is currently planning to study a performance-related MA, using practice as research.
Hedley is heavily involved in corporate theatre practice, appearing in role-play scenarios for training, recruitment or promotional videos – mostly for the police force. He also regularly participates in organised street theatre, for example staging a version of a Christmas Carol that saw him “dragging a guy on a cart through the streets of Ashby-de-la-Zouch”, while wishing surprised onlookers “a very miserable Christmas”.
Proof, should it be needed, that the world really can be your stage.