Photo: Introducing the ‘OnIT’ Challenge!

Along with the rest of the world Proud and Loud Arts has been facing an unsettling and worrying time as the Coronavirus pandemic brought our face-to-face group sessions to a halt.

It took us a few weeks of getting to grips with everything that working from home and online entails.This involved a lot of – 

“Please don’t mind the

[fill in the blank with any of the following]” 








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However, once we’d learned the basics of Information Technology (remind me again, where’s that pesky mute button?) we took on a new and virtual creative challenge which we’re calling, the ‘On IT’ Challenge.


We got online with a bunch of fabulous, multi-skilled, expert theatre makers to collaborate & deliver challenges for our artists.

The focus of the challenge was to explore different ways of working & develop our own artistic skills.

This meant that we were often delving into new creative territory and producing some interesting and surprising results… all will be revealed soon, we promise!

But firstly… how does the challenge work?


The On IT Challenge was made up of two types of activity, Challenges & Tasks.


The main challenges developed our artists skills in the areas of –

  1. Art
  2. Writing
  3. Acting
  4. Movement
  5. Technical skills (all about using technology)

Each participant chose one main discipline to participate in for the duration of the six weeks.

However, artists also had the option to take on a second (or even a third) challenge if they were brave enough!

Challenges were set by our experts each week via instructional videos (learn more about those at the bottom of the page). Participants had several days to compete the task before the deadline.


As if the main challenge wasn’t enough for our artists, we also threw in some fun Timed and Emergency tasks to keep them on their toes.

Five tasks were released at random each week and were characterised with short deadlines to inspire spontaneous and quick thinking. 

Points Make Prizes

Each challenge and task had points attached to them, to encourage our competitive spirit (as if we needed any help).

The On IT challenge is about honing the creative process so points were awarded for –

  1. Following the instructions
  2. Demonstrating which skills you’ve leant within your creation

The fact that the work created was also incredible was just a bonus!

The points awarding ceremony

Each week ended with a visit from a special guest to reveal the scores (performed by our resident dramatic, Tom Hogan).

Special guest granny zooming in from Ireland, in the middle of winter, in the 1980s 😅

The points awarded could be used at the end of challenge on some of that beautiful Proud and Loud Arts merch. 

As for the those extra tasks, well, some of those had hidden prizes attached. This meant artists trying something new got mini rewards!

We cannot wait to share the fun we’ve had and also some of our unexpected creations with you all throughout the next six weeks. 

The Art Challenge

Delivered by artist and designer, Nerissa Cargill Thompson, explored abstract art and artists. 

The Writing Challenge

Created by Tom Hogan and delivered & supported by PLA’s team member Katherine Godfrey, covered different mediums of writing from poem-writing to review-writing.

The Acting Challenge

Devised by Tom Hogan and delivered & supported by professional actor Sean McGlynn, covered a wide range of acting skills development. This included, script reading/learning, accents, costume, devising a non-verbal scene and comedy through emulating ‘bad’ acting. 

The Movement Challenge

Created and delivered by movement director, Susan Guest, developed movement using Laban’s techniques exploring body, effort, shape and space. 

The Technical Challenge

Created and delivered by Phil Smethurst (Manchester Lights Media) developed the artists ability to work confidently and independently using filming equipment.

Blog author, Imogen Barton-Wells