Denise Boyle: My Journey through Love Drama

In August 2015, I started as the new Love Drama Assistant Tutor.

Over the last seven years I had gone from “Love Drama Camper”, to a pupil, volunteer and then suddenly, I was part of the team, teaching with Charly!

When I arrived at my first Love Drama Camp, I no idea what to expect. However, I had an amazing, fun and slightly mad week! Some of the other “Campers” I had met before and some others I had never seen in my life but that didn’t matter; when the games and the workshops started we were suddenly best friends. At the end of the week, all of us wanted it to keep going, so a few months later the first Easter Camp was started.

This camp created so many memories; things like “The Spice Kids” and the scene that became known as “The Denise Boyle Show”, a dramatic talk show where the glamorous host fixed problems like “The Missing Cookie”. Even though we are now seventeen to twenty year olds, we can still remember making up these scenes and meeting some of our closest friends at these Camps.

As we got older the Camps started to change, they were bigger and more children were coming along. We were all getting older and after what looked like our last Camp, the oldest of us asked to create a new kind of Camp, for teenagers, one where we could learn about different types of theatre – with the added bonus of giving us years more at Love Drama. And so, Theatre Camp was born! We worked with new tutors, had different workshops and learned about whole new areas of acting. We had melodrama, puppets, pantos, clowning…the list goes on!

Many of the friends I had met at those first few Camps were still going and in the breaks we would sit and catch up. We asked if we could have Weekly Classes too.  

I can’t possibly sum up everything that happened in the Weekly Classes. There was so much! New friends, new games, we worked on improvising and had a different workshop every week. We went on trips to see theatre, or had a new tutor as a one off. As we got older, some of us were given the opportunity to help out with the younger classes to learn some teaching skills. This extended to volunteering at the Camps and we began to learn the basics of becoming a tutor.

In my last year as a pupil, we had one of the busiest years Love Drama has had so far. We put on the biggest show we’ve ever done, complete with costumes and set that we had made ourselves. Earlier in the year we had taken part in a piece for the National Theatre of Scotland. Every year the National Theatre of Scotland runs an event called “Five Minute Theatre” where groups from all over the world could film a piece of live theatre (five minutes long) and send it in to play in a 24 hour long broadcast that went live on the internet.

Love Drama's first ever Five Minute Theatre cast back in 2011!

Love Drama’s first ever Five Minute Theatre cast back in 2011!

That year, being 2014, the theme was “The Yes, No, Don’t Know, Five Minute Theatre Show.” Instead of being in the piece, as I had been previously, this time I was asked if I would direct our entry. So along with two of the 12-16s class, and a member of our 4-7s class, we debated, wrote and finally performed our entry. It went amazingly! All of us were so pleased with the result and to top it off we ended up being one of the top 25 videos from that year!

2014 was also a big year for another reason, Love Drama had been on the hunt for a Workshop Director and Manager and by the end of the year we had found her!

When the new term started, I became a Love Drama Volunteer. The next six months were a whirlwind! I was learning how to tutor classes, learning skills, earning Saltire Awards for my volunteering and the whole time working with an amazing team, having so much fun.

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This brings us to August 2015. After years being part of the company, I was presented with the dark blue hoody and was officially the Assistant Tutor! Working with Charly and the other volunteers has been incredible!  I can’t put into words how much Love Drama has done for me over the years. I’ve met some of my best friends, I’ve taken part in national theatre events, made up some mad shows and had a job I loved, working with the best team! I’m sad to be leaving Love Drama but excited for my new adventures as I move to Glasgow!

What I’ve learned from Love Drama, it’s that anything can happen!