Hello from all us at Nick Hern Books – we hope you're keeping well.
Incredibly, Monday will mark a full seven weeks since the UK's theatres closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's undoubtedly been a challenge for all of us, but we've been amazed and inspired to see so many of you, everywhere, rise to it with such creativity, kindness and support. We're also trying to play our part, doing everything we can to keep you connected to theatre in this time.
In this email we're sharing news of Explore Drama at Home, a promotion on selected titles designed to help parents and teachers, support home learning and inspire fun activities; Isolated But Open, a new collection of monologues selected and curated by Papatango Theatre Company, now available to read and watch for free; and an update on The NHB Playgroup – our reading and discussion community where we bring you a free play each week, followed by a Q&A with the writer. You'll find all of that below – plus everything else we're up to, which continues on into this new month.
For those passionate amateur theatre companies who regularly license our plays for performance: thank you for your messages, and we want to let you know that we've been listening to your requests for ways to stay active in this time. We're actively working on plans which we're hoping to announce very soon, so keep an eye out for further updates on this front!
NEW SINCE OUR LAST UPDATE
With schools currently closed, we know that families and teachers find themselves in new and unfamiliar situations. In these times, drama can be a massive help – as a creative outlet, a fun distraction, a way to exercise, or to allow young people to express what they're feeling in their current situation.
So we've gone through our practical books and plays to create Explore Drama at Home, a selection of inspiring and supportive resources to use with young people – whether you're a parent homeschooling or trying to keep your children occupied or engaged, or a teacher looking for ideas and materials while teaching remotely.
And to help further, you can save 30% on ebooks of all of the selected titles by entering code EXPLORE30 at checkout. See more here.
The ten new monologues in the collection were chosen anonymously from more than two thousand submissions. Funny, poignant, surreal and always surprising, they represent the freshest, most vital and most exciting voices from across the country at this unprecedented time. In addition, award-winning playwrights Rachel De-Lahay and Anders Lustgarten have provided two world premieres.
The published collection is available to download for free from our website here. All twelve monologues have also been filmed by twelve actors – watch those for free here.
Each Wednesday during the coronavirus shutdown, we're making one play available for free, and inviting everyone who reads it to send in a question for the writer. We then record a Q&A with them, which we release the following Wednesday, along with the next free play.
This week's free play is the epic and explosive Oil by Ella Hickson. Find out how to read it – plus listen to our Q&As with Anna Jordan, James Fritz, Winsome Pinnock and Enda Walsh – on our website here.
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