Jaasra’s Blog – Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile


About a year ago, I discovered Freedom Studios through an Introduction to Directing course. I didn’t know a lot about theatre and I hadn’t watched many plays, but the part of the reason I’d taken a gap year before university was to explore what it was I wanted to do, so I signed myself up, hoping I’d find out. A year later, and I’ve assisted on three plays, Radical Acts (Common Wealth Theatre), Random (Leeds Playhouse) and Black Teeth and A Brilliant Smile (Freedom Studios).

I started my placement at Freedom Studios in February, where I spent most of my time in the office researching everything Andrea Dunbar, Buttershaw and the era she was living in. Biggest thing I picked up on? Creatives drink a lot of tea. It doesn’t matter whether they’re in rehearsals or behind laptops, tea seems to be the key to creativity around here. Never underestimate the power of a good cuppa. Apparently, tea drinking paired with talking out loud seems to be the key to becoming a part of the freedom gang.

Everybody always tells me how every director has a different style of directing, and after sitting in rehearsals for Street Voices, I got to see that first-hand. I’ve worked with various directors before, but this was the first time I’d seen them all working in one space. There was a total of four directors in the room, each with their own strengths and vision. How they approached the script, what they wanted to see, and what they wanted the audience to feel. It showed me that there isn’t one clear way to direct, but what matters is intuition and building on the strengths you already have.

And now we’re in rehearsals for Black Teeth and A Brilliant Smile! We’re approaching tech soon and it’s incredibly exciting to move forward into the next phase of the play! We’re also working with five wonderful actresses who bring their own strengths to the show. Working with actors is always fun. Witnessing the dedication they have to their roles and how much hard work they put into their characters always astounds me. I’m a firm believer that companies are made up of people, and the actors and production crew we have working on the play makes me incredibly proud to be a part of the team. Thank you so much to everyone at Freedom Studios for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this, for letting me shadow an amazing director, (shout out to Kash Arshad!) and for giving me the opportunity to grow as a director, an artist and a person.

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