Sarah 'Rain' Kolawole is a playwright, poet and spoken word artist who participated in New Associates 2023/24. Here Sarah talks about her New Associates experience.

Sarah is a black woman with brown braided hairWho are the New Associates? To be honest, it’s literally anyone and everyone. I put off applying for the New Associates thinking that I had been out of the theatre world too long, I wasn’t ready, I needed more time to develop a project, idea, network, script, my writing, the list goes on. I think as a creative, I create all these scenarios in my head but ultimately I needed to get out of my own way.

I’m a playwright, poet and spoken word artist from Nottingham and I’m just finishing off my New Associates 2023/24 year. I wish it was longer. I wish I wasn’t being evicted from the New Perspectives House, I can hear a voice over the imaginary tannoy telling me to collect my script, say my goodbyes and leave stage left. But even though it’s coming to the end of my time, I know that this will be a lasting relationship with New Perspectives as I enter into the Alumni group! Yay!

So, what did I do during this year? How did it help and bring along my practice? …How long do you have?!

At the start of my New Associateship I also got my ACE DYCP. Alongside this, I was supported by Jayne to apply for the Graeae ‘Beyond’ programme where I’m now partnered with Derby Theatre developing a piece of children’s theatre. I also was successful with being offered a place with Spark Arts for Children on the Vital Sparks Artist relationship programme.

Without this massive push in my writing, creative network and being part of a group where we are truly cheering one another on and being bombarded with opportunities, workshops, events and New Perspectives Masterclasses, I don’t think I would have so full-heartedly believed that I ‘can’ and you know what, I did! My schedule is incredibly full on but somehow, even in the past month I’ve completed 3 grant opportunity applications, 1 commission application and redrafted a script. If you’d told me this a year ago, I would have laughed, then cried and told you to ‘jog on’!

As part of the New Associates programme, you’ll be able to join on zoom or in person masterclasses which follow different themes, attend ‘go sees’ – local shows, 1:1’s with the amazing Jayne and Angharad and being apart of such a diverse group of creatives. At first, I thought I’d be overwhelmed by being apart of another WhatsApp group, but truth be told, it grounded me and pushed me to apply, apply, apply.

If you’re thinking of putting off applying for another year… then that just means now is the right time.

I’m truly thankful for my time and glad I won’t be receiving a formal eviction notice!