Annie Sutton is a Director, Theatre Maker and Practitioner. She gained a PGCE (distinction) in Film and Drama and is Lecoq trained. Annie has worked for over 25 years in the Creative Arts Industry.
And she is still learning.
As an international theatre practitioner/maker, she’s made and directed over thirty ensemble projects with young people and communities. Her work has allowed them to channel their creative purpose to tell stories in theatres, public spaces, outside places and recently in digital rooms. The Memory Box: using objects to inspire writing explored how we can use our everyday surroundings to inspire creativity.
What was your session with Writing Journey?
I’m a theatre maker, so my session was practical and playful. It showed how we can use objects and the senses to create vivid recollections of memories. It wasn’t anything too heavy, and hopefully everyone experienced a sensory fusion of writing with all the feels!
What kind of things did you do?
We explored some of the writing processes used by a theatre company called Complicite to improvise around objects. Folks were asked to bring five objects that represented the five senses to stimulate memory. We used a bit of free association and then drafted a memory or story that came from that. There was also lots of chat around food and memory.
How does your style of writing help young people?
During lockdown, I worked with young people online. Sometimes international drama students, and sometimes young people who were stuck in their bedrooms. Having an object as a writing prompt was great and having five objects was useful when structuring their work.
It was fun and got us away from staring at a blank page. We looked at a bit of mind and body connection as well as making audio recordings on devices, which made the writing instant. I enjoy collaborative writing, and online is great when you want to be in the room but don’t want to be seen.
How has it helped you?
I remember listening to a well-known radio writer and hearing them say that radio is a very visual form of writing. For me that was liberating. I had been experimenting with audio soundscapes and realised that my physical training could be used to write narrative by using objects as stimulus. Just like live improvisation.
Do you have any general writing advice for young people?
Love it. Own your work. Your writing is as good as it sounds in your own head. Share it in a safe space and get it out there. Try not to over think. Be open to new styles to find your own.
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