ELART Productions was founded in 2008 by freelance theatre director/maker Emma Rucastle.
Early productions included:
St Peter: The Windows Speak - Lancaster Cathedral - February 2009
Peter's Walk - Lancaster Cathedral (inside and out) - June 2009
Peter's Keys - The Grand Theatre, Lancaster - October 2009
The "Peter trilogy" was a 3 original play commission from Lancaster Cathedral to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the building of the cathedral. All three shows involved professional and community performers and musicians (including the a capella group singing group Brewer's Apron). Peter's Walk was an interactive choose-your-own promenade using a wide range of cathedral spaces. This show was revised in autumn 2010 and toured 5 north Lancashire churches.
All the World's A Stage - DT3, The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster - October 2011
This was an all-male devised Shakespeare show, aiming to look - in a light-hearted way - at how Shakespeare's plays would have originally been performed. It comprised a series of extracts from a range of Shakespeare plays, linked by an original narrative spoken by a boy actor. This show was revised in March 2012 as The Play's The Thing, which was performed in the Ashton Memorial building in Williamson's Park, Lancaster as part of Lancaster's first Season of Shakespeare. It was chosen to be staged again - under its original title - in June 2013 in The Dell, the RSC's open-air stage, at Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Vigil by Ladislas Fodor - Warton Church, March 2012
This show comprised professional direction of a community cast in a thought-provoking play suited to the Easter season.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Lancaster Priory, June 2012
Miller's powerful play was staged using a mixed professional and community cast as part of the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witches.
The Secret Library - The Round, The Dukes Theatre, October 2012
This show was billed as a challenge, set by Lancaster Litfest. ELART Productions was picked from a range of applicants to put together a show on a theme only given 48 hours before the event. The Secret Library show ended up comprising such things as poetry, improvisation, story-telling, music and a simulated firework display!
Noye's Fludde by Benjamin Britten - Lancaster Priory - October 2012
This was a youth production of Britten's opera. The cast comprised 6th form music students in the lead roles, supported by two casts of primary school children playing the animals in alternate performances.
ELART Productions has also run a wide range of workshops for all age-groups - primary school to adult - on themes such as: Shakespeare; acting techniques; Brecht; conservation and Morecambe Bay. (For the Morecambe Bay workshop, participants were able to experience and work with a life-size model of a basking shark!)
Emma Rucastle also regularly works locally and in London with writers and in workshops with writers and actors to develop new writing. Recently this work has been in collaboration with MSFT Management, Rampant Readings and Lancaster University's Off The Page.
For The Rose Company, Emma has directed:
Iphigenia by Lady Jane Lumley - Lancaster Castle; Homerton College, Cambridge; UCL, London; The King's Arms, Salford; The New Continental, Preston; The Lantern Theatre, Liverpool -November 2013-January 2014
This is the earliest-known play by a woman in English and was performed by the all-female Rose Company to enthusiastic audiences in a range of theatre and academic spaces.
I Have a Speech of Fire that Fain would Blaze - A-Wing, Lancaster Castle - March 2014
This show comprised a series of extracts from Shakespeare plays, selected and edited by Professor Alison Findlay of Lancaster University. It was performed in A-wing - part of the former prison housed in Lancaster Castle.
Coriolanus Research and Development (Arts Council supported) January 2016
This was a series of workshops and research sessions, leading to public sharings of the battle scenes from Coriolanus.