Karen Dunbar is a weel kent and weel loved comedy actor both on the Scottish stage and TV scene. Donning a different bunnet, she plans, in a joint venture with the Citizens Theatre, to introduce community groups to her passion for rap with her online Spoken Word Club.
The launch follows a successful pilot project held last year involving members of the Citizens Community Collective, with the aim of combatting isolation, spreading positivity and lifting these lockdown blues.
Speaking about the project, Karen said “I love hip-hop, I’ve always loved it! Rap is essentially spoken word performance – and I’m an actor so that’s a big part of what I do. With its empowering lyrics and feel-good beats, it seemed like the ideal creative activity for lockdown. The pilot sessions with the Citizen Theatre’s Community Collective were great. Some folks liked rap, some weren’t so keen, but by the end of the workshops they were all right intae it! I’m looking forward to continuing my rap workshop adventure and getting to know the new participants as they learn how to express themselves through rhyme.”
Participants will explore different styles of spoken word, including rap, grime and beat poetry. The sessions will cover lyric writing, beat making and performance techniques, culminating in a celebratory showcase event featuring some special guest artists.
The Spoken Word Club members are made up of participants from the Citizens’ regular groups, including senior citizens who have never rapped before, learning-disabled performers, and care-experienced young people.
Workshops will run on Mondays and Thursdays until 4 March. Participant groups involved include Community Collective, Off The Page, WAC Ensemble, Young Co. and Saturday Citizens.
The new Spoken Word Club, delivered via Zoom, is one of several online initiatives developed in response to Covid-19 restrictions as the Citizens Theatre remains committed to keeping connected to the many communities it serves across Glasgow. It is supported by a Glasgow-based family trust.