Meet the CashBack team: Karen Herbison, playwright, director & actor

Mon 17th June 2019

15 days until CashBack to the Future kicks off in Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Renfrewshire – offering 12-19 year olds the chance to work over four weeks this July with an amazing creative team of artists, musicians and performers!

Karen Herbison is a Renfrewshire-based creative facilitator, playwright, actor, artistic director and company director (Punch Productions). Karen will be leading Performance workshops in Renfrewshire. She has performed her work off-Broadway in Manhattan, at the Edinburgh Fringe and at various west of Scotland arts venues.

As well as her theatre practice, Karen has also had a twenty five year career in social care and is proud of a strong and respected reputation with community organisations. She was very active in the Paisley 2021 bid, has partnered with Outspoken Arts for projects beginning in 2019 and is on the steering group for the local Creative Connections network.

Karen speaks to the Impact Arts blog about her passion for performance and how she adores encouraging others to find their own creativity.

Are you looking forward to kicking off CashBack workshops in Paisley?

really excited about the project and meeting the team of young people in
Paisley – the past CashBack summer projects seem to have stirred up a lot of
fantastic creativity!

It’s a
great opportunity for us all to really work as a team, there in Ferguslie Park,
in finding the best way to show our creativity together. I’m
hoping the young people and I will learn and inspire each other in bucket-loads!


can young people expect from your workshops?


It will also be a safe
and nurturing place which will celebrate difference and uniqueness. We’ll be
dipping our toes into several forms of creativity including devising, writing,
scripting, sketches, scenes, monologues, poetry, physical theatre, performance
skills and approaches, as well as all the different styles of performance,
showcasing and theatre.

experience is at all needed or expected. We’ll start (as the song says) at the
very beginning. This allows those new to it all, to find out different things
about themselves or for those with some experience to re-explore existing
interests and skills.


What techniques will you be looking to
pass on to the group?

Growth in
confidence, self-belief, finding personal creativity and how best to express

There will be improvisation,
interpretation of existing text, natural, comedic, dramatic, characterisation, how
to use the whole self in performance. We will
be exploring the different roles in theatre – all the elements that make it
work. In other words, not everyone needs to perform to be an equally vital part
of that creative wheel.

we’ll be taking time to reach our potential with our showcase items. And, most imprortantly, we’ll be daring to dream!


How would you encourage young people to
get involved

The most
important element is to first make sure we all have and feel we are coming to
that safe, nurturing environment each day and that it makes each one of us feel
we can be ourselves. That encouragement, support and celebration is flowing
free so that we can all take on measured challenges. If it’s mostly relaxed and encouraging, we
can achieve loads with a whole pile of fun and laughter.


Cashback to the Future is funded by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities initiative, which backs projects supporting disadvantaged young people. Additional funding and support comes from National Museums Scotland, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Glasgow Kelvin College.

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