Treading The Borders

…great writing performed by professional actors in interesting venues

Past Workshops


with David Napthine
June 2012, Selkirk

We sat round the table, bright with expectation, holding apprehension in check, waiting for the shape of the session to unfold. We left wearing bemused expressions, feeling punch-drunk and exhausted yet knowing we had experienced a significant day in our attempts to write scripts. In between, we described our surroundings, wrote a classic twentyfour word Hollywood pitch on our Flodden thoughts, created characters, adopted the characters of others and incorporated them into our stories, watched a mime which inspired dialogue for our efforts, listened as we were told of the need for tension, actions, structure, dialogue (which could be poetic if we wished). We described our creations in six words, were advised never to bore audiences, to accept the consequences of what we wrote and above all to enjoy our writing. The question that was left hanging in the air was what we want audiences to feel when the curtain goes down. All of that had to be related to Flodden, a battle fought five hundred years ago. We hokey-cokeyed around the shadow it still casts in the Scottish Borders.

"Beneath our fatigue the day has fired us up, challenged us, and we reach out to pick up the gauntlet." Dorothy Bruce


Writer David Napthine


with Muriel Romanes, Stellar Quines Theatre Company

18th Sept 2011, Selkirk

I enjoyed the workshop on Sunday very much. It was great to meet new people and renew acquaintances with friends. It was a joy to converse with such creative, passionate, exciting and articulate folk, and I’m looking forward to the next time. Muriel was a real inspiration. At a stroke she was able to compel me to challenge my views, blow them apart and reform them into some-thing more free and positive! Thank you, Jane, for setting it up, and thank you, Muriel, for guiding and presiding over all that creative energy. John Nichol


"I too enjoyed the day and thank you. Sharing creativity is always a pleasure." Kathleen Mansfield


How To Make Text Sing 1




with Lynn Bains – American Accents
and Dr Robert Leach – Understanding Stanislavsky
5th February 2012, Melrose

A superb day of extremely high quality workshops!  "Stanislavsky" delivered by a master - Dr. Robert Leach. As a University academic, theatre director and with extensive experience of ensemble theatre in Soviet era Moscow and the UK this was an illuminating and memorable occasion... and to think that it was enabled by TREADING THE BORDERS in the heart of the Borders at Melrose was also heart warming. A pleasing contrast, and no less exciting, was the superb teaching on general American accents by the renowned and experienced Lynn Bains. An eager group of actors were also given lots of wisdom and many practical tips.  Carol Norris


"I really enjoyed the workshop, both tutors were experts in their fields, and there was so much to take away and explore further. These workshops are particularly invaluable as they bring together artists from all theatrical disciplines: writers, performers and directors."  Wendy Barrett


Skills for the Kit Bag 1


RE-ENACTMENT by Julian Cotton
Parts read by Oliver Bisset, John Nichol and Jane Houston Green

"Dear Jane, thank you so much for organising the reading for me yesterday. It was an invaluable experience and fantastic to hear good quality actors breathing real life into the play. I already have many ideas flowing around my head on how to enhance the play in terms of character development, dialogue, presentation and how to reinforce the plays aims and structure.Please thank all your board members and actors for me. Look forward to completing the play and sending on to you in due course." Julian Cotton


SEE THEM RATS by Dorothy Bruce
OFFICE HOURS by Tom Murray

Parts read by Oliver Bisset, John Nichol, Arthur Parsons, Kirsty Jobling, Carol Norris and Jane Houston Green

"There are many occasions I have enjoyed more, but probably few in recent years at which I have learnt more. And that is what it was about. If I’d had a most enjoyable time and left having nothing new to think about, or ideas to mull over, then the workshop would not have delivered its objective. I am grateful to have an involvement with a local theatre company that was able to give me such an invaluable experience, and to others who may be offered the opportunity I would urge them to go for it, grasp it with both hands, and grow from the experience. So thank you Jane and everyone else involved." Dorothy Bruce

"I found the workshop very useful in the continuing development of my play. The feedback and discussion clarified my own thoughts regarding particular structural elements while opening up different avenues the play could proceed." Tom Murray