Across the UK, our Creative Learning departments run diverse special projects which respond to their local communities. Projects grow out of regional and national partnerships and often reach out to those who have been unable to access the arts due to social and economic barriers. Our projects frequently generate the most exciting new work in our theatres, such as Lord of the Flies in Glasgow and Liverpool, an ambitious dance project for boys, in partnership with re:bourne, the education programme of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.
Hackney in the West End – ‘My Ends, My Rules’
This summer, ATG West End Creative Learning, with funding from the ATG Foundation, organised a 3 week summer project for students from Hackney. The students met every day for three weeks to devise a piece of theatre with the title ‘My Ends, My Rules’, based on a contemporary response to Shakespeare’s Henry V, which they performed to their family and friends on Friday 14th August, at the Piccadilly Theatre. The project was a massive success – see our short video on the project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2P09mAKWZ4&feature=youtu.be
Feedback from practitioners and participants:
“I feel so excited because we are going to be performing in the West End and I’ve met a lot of new people already and made a lot of new friends. It’s just a really fun experience “ Participant, age 15
“The fact that I’m going to be on stage and to say I’ve performed on a West End stage is a great opportunity and I really appreciate that.” Participant, age 15
“I learnt to speak my mind and that there are no wrong ideas. Also I learnt new skills and gained
confidence.” Participant, age 15
“I learnt how to get along with new people and how to cooperate and compromise” Participant, age 15
“I think what excites me the most, is that the group are willing to, and really want to push against the cliché and say ‘Okay this is what people expects of us as being young people from Hackney’ and instead of going with that they are reaching higher for ideas that they feel capture not only them, but their community within the greater community of London.” Jennifer Pearcy-Edwards, Movement Director
“The participants have been really surprising and sensitive, and their response to the text itself has been remarkable; really intelligent, perceptive comments” Dominic Francis, Director
“The project was a great example of ATG teams working together to create a great project.” Dominic Francis, Director
The project was entirely funded as the aim was to allow students who would not usually have access to such opportunities to be able to attend without any financial restrictions. The project would not have been possible without the funding from UBS, the ATG Foundation.
West End Creative Learning will be running a similar project next summer; please contact Ellen Bott, West End Creative Learning Manager if you would like to know more about, or get involved the project for 2016.
The Ripple Effect by Ursula Rani Sarma
As part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, the Ambassador Theatre Group produced The Ripple Effect. The aim of this ambitious new writing and performance project was to reach young people with no previous experience of arts engagement from socially and economically disadvantaged communities. The ATG Foundation commissioned Ursula Rani Sarma to consult with the young people and write five new interlinking plays around the Olympic theme of Truce, which were premiered on stage in Richmond, Stoke-on-Trent, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Sunderland and Glasgow. The legacy of the project continues both for the groups and ATG staff who invested their skills and commitment to make it happen. It has given venues the opportunity to develop partnerships in their communities.
Stage Experience gives young people form all backgrounds the chance to perform, or be part of the production team, in a fantastic, professionally created, Musical Theatre Production. Taking place over two weeks during the summer holidays our Creative and Technical Teams will guide you through the rehearsal period to a superb production usually leading to at least three performances playing to packed houses! Our aim is to inspire the next generation of theatre makers, stage actors, production staff and theatre audiences in a fun and creative environment. The participants build confidence, forge lasting friendships, and experience a team spirit like no other in an event they take with them long after the production ends. Just like our professional counterparts the prospective participants will attend an open audition for the Creative and Technical Teams so they can cast their show, and then the fun begins… Stage Experience is taking place in the following venues this year: Liverpool Empire, Edinburgh Playhouse, Manchester Palace, Grimsby Auditorium, New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham and Grand Opera House York. For more detailed information please contact the venues directly.