"Happiness is not in the mere
possession of money;
it lies in the joy of achievement,
in the thrill of creative effort."
Franklin D Roosevelt
The de-commissioned Freda Gardham school in Rye is now home to a dynamic Creative Centre in Rother, bringing together professional artists from across the spectrum to develop, design and make new work on a rotational, residential basis with a core of permanently housed companies and individuals. Visiting and resident artists offer a range of workshops, master-classes, talks and demonstrations.
Freda Gardham School was de-commissioned in 2008 when a new school was build next to Rye College. Working closely with local Councillors in Rye, Rother and East Sussex and with Rye College, B&R Productions developed plans to continue the life of the building by generating a centre of creative excellence, providing a unique resource for the people of Rye.
The School Creative Centre aims to:
- be a facility striving for excellence.
- bring together different sectors of the community.
- enhance the lives of local people.
- provide employment and training opportunities for local people.
- attract new audiences and visitors to the area.
- contribute to the financial growth of the area.
- provide an environment where artists can experiment, take risks and strive for excellence.
Ian Ross and Christine Harmar-Brown form the key members of the Management and Programming Team. Between them they have extensive experience in the performing and visual arts.
Ian Ross has worked in theatre for the past twenty years as both an independent producer and in Executive Management roles in a number of large-scale venues including Norwich Theatre Royal, Churchill Theatre Bromley, Shaftsbury Theatre, London and Cambridge Arts Theatre. In addition to work as a theatre producer with credits including West End transfers of commercial musicals such as Boogie Nights, and The Goodbye Girl, Ian Ross has produced a number of national and international tours including The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard (co-production with Bristol Old Vic and ACT productions) and Happy Natives by Greig Coatzee (Co-produced with Soho Theatre Company) touring to Europe and South Africa. In his role as Executive Director of Cambridge Arts Theatre and as Deputy Chief Executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, Ian Ross produced, on their behalf, productions of Wagner's Ring Cycle. At Norwich Theatre Royal, he brought The National Theatre of Norway's production to Norwich as part of the East of England's Year of Musical Theatre. Since re-locating to the South East Ian has produced consultancy services to, amongst others: Hastings Borough Council, SoCo, Dab Arts, Hastings Philharmonic Choir, Fireraisers Theatre Co and New Vic Workshops and acted as a mentor with All Ways Learning. He is currently Producer for the Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company.
Christine Harmar-Brown has combined work as a writer and freelance director with a period in television as script editor on Casualty and then as Head of Development with La Plante Productions. Recent theatre credits include 15 Minutes developed with the Royal National Theatre Studio, Carol, The Street and the Incident, all plays for young people and Blessings. Television and film include 'Freshments', 'Inside Out' and 'Supply and Demand'. Christine has directed for The Royal Court, The Tricycle Theatre, Soho Theatre and a number of independent companies and she has worked with several solo artists including Pam Ann, Amy Lame and Laslo Pearlman. In addition to her writing and directing work, Christine has extensive experience of running and managing workshops and educational projects and has undertaken a number of projects with Creative Partnerships, is a member of the Soho Theatre Connect team and is part of the New Writing South education team. Recent commissions include Roofless for Dab Arts and Pulse and Tomorrow was only Yesterday for Peer Productions.
Michael Smith is our new creative co-ordinator. After graduating in 2010 from the Glasgow School of Art, Michael has spent the last two and a half years working on numerous projects, both in Glasgow and abroad, working in Poland, China and the Netherlands. He brings to The School Creative Centre a new energy and fresh perspective. He plans to instigate some new and exciting projects at the School, whilst continuing to develop our existing program of events. He is keen to make himself, and The School, an active and exciting part of the community, promoting the art scene in Rye to the wider public. You'll probably see him around town carrying a dodgy old Russian camera, or sitting somewhere cosy with a nice cup of tea!
You can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01797 229 797.
Gemma Vliers is our administrator. Contact her with general enquiries on email@example.com or 01797 229 797.