This term we’ve welcomed Habiba Osman, who is in her 3rd year studying a BA Hons in Drama and Theatre Education at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. We have been working with Central students for a number of terms and they are always a brilliant asset to have on any project. Recently, Habiba has been assisting us with The Hate Play, and also looking into gathering testimonies from Box Clever alumni to celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2016. Here’s what Habiba got up to, in her own words.

As a third year student on the Drama, Applied Theatre & Education BA course at Central School of Speech & Drama, I was presented with a brilliant opportunity to do my professional placement with Box Clever in October 2015. I was excited to experience working in a professional company setting, in the field of theatre.

To begin my journey with Box Clever, I was able to attend The Hate Play workshop sessions at  Tate Modern with young people from schools around London. Here I was able to co-facilitate and support the sessions, which I found helpful in building on my previous skills of working with young people. It also helped in terms of confidence-building, and learning about how the team at Box Clever explored the topics in The Hate Play in a way that was thought-provoking and fun for the young people.

Along with attending workshops, I also got to join the rehearsal process of A Christmas Carol at Riddlesdown Collegiate. Meeting other professionals in the field has been a highlight of my placement with Box Clever. During rehearsals, I was able to watch everyone in action, and was inspired by the hard working actors, the director, and the production manager. As I am keen to go into project managing in the future, it was invaluable to be able to sit in on rehearsals, and observe how all of the members of the team worked.

As Box Clever are reaching their 20th anniversary, I have been given the task of evaluating the effectiveness of their work with young people, speaking to the teachers who have been involved in previous projects and creative professionals that have worked with the company. Going out to interview individuals about their experiences with Box Clever has really shown me the standard of work that has been presented and also the brilliant reputation that Box Clever’s Artistic Director, Michael Wicherek, has built over the years.

Overall my experience working with Box Clever has been of great value to me, as it’s the beginning of my own future work within the arts. I have been able to build on my skills, along with learning how a professional, well-respected theatre company is run. Most importantly, the young people’s enthusiasm for the projects that they are involved in really seems an integral part of what Box Clever stands for.