Dorset theatre company SISATA present Shakespeare's Othello in a bold, bright and brilliant explosion of a performance in the all-new Sherling Studio on 12 & 13 May.  In the first of two blogs, Othello's director Charmaine K Parkin explains how the company set about conducting a week of research and development for the production, and why having a facility like the Sherling Studio is so important to local and emerging artists ...


In January of this year I was given the opportunity to conduct a week of research and development (R&D) in the beautiful newly refurbished Sherling Studio.

Having watched many performances, including an R&D sharing and directed a performance in the theatre before its transformation, it was startling to see how much bigger, yet more intimate the space felt. Having the audience on three sides around the performance area enables a better dialogue to occur between them and the performers, allowing the spectators to be fully immersed in the world of the work they witness. It now exemplifies my ideal performance space.

Having lived in Bournemouth for the last 6 years it was the first time I had felt invited, involved and included in the centre as an independent artist; that the centre for the arts in my local area was supporting and championing the work and development of local talent. It is vitally important for centres like this to have a conversation and dialogue with their community and artists; to not only provide a service and programme that speaks to them, but make the community feel like they have a voice and part-ownership of the building which is there to serve them. In turn I believe this will increase the community support and engagement for all the activities that take place at the centre.

Stephen Wrentmore’s appointment as Artistic Producer for Lighthouse has had a profound effect on this as I have heard from many diverse local artists that are now engaged and involved where they hadn’t been before. 

Stephen has a career- long commitment to supporting and encouraging emerging artists find their voice and giving a platform to their ideas. As a director himself, he is conscious of the risks inherent in every artistic venture and the challenges involved. By supporting without imposition, mentoring with opinion but not judgement, he alongside Lighthouse made a safe and robust artistic collaborator for this project.


Look out for Part 2 of Charmaine's blog coming soon ....

You can see Othello on 12 & 13 May in the new Sherling Studio at Lighthouse.

Published 26 April 2017