LIVEWIRE have secured support from Arts Council England for a special summer project.
For many years, in the school holidays Livewire have run Theatre Challenges: intensive projects where a group of young people devise a whole play in a week. This is an inclusive way of working, with a lot of improvisation and physical theatre and every actor plays an important part which they develop as part of a team.
Theatre Challenges involve issues that are important to the young people involved (e.g. bullying/gangs, mental health, drugs awareness) and are always a mixture of thoughtful ideas and humour! Alongside the drama group, a young band and a group of dancers work with specialist tutors to make original songs and choreography that help tell the story.
This summer, we are delighted to be receiving support from Arts Council England to involve visual artists and makers as well. The young visual artists will work with Jack Cornell and Nicola Hutchison, who are both practising artists and very involved in arts education in various settings. They will all work together to co-produce a stage set (and possibly props/costumes) for the play.
The story will be developing day by day, so there will be lots of opportunities for the different groups to share ideas and inspire each other.
Nicola Hutchison said “Jack and I are both really committed to collaborating with young people: we facilitate; provide tools, materials, and techniques; help steer the aesthetic so the outcome is something professional which everyone feels proud of; but ultimately we and the young people are all artists together equally, and we support young people to take the lead. In terms of the set we build, it won’t be like traditional scenery painting, it will be more experimental and sculptural, It should be quite a fast-paced and exciting process!”
At the end of the week, the play will be performed to an audience- family and friends and the public are invited to attend.
The play will be further developed with multimedia elements for a performance in Harlow Playhouse, in Theatre 1 Main Auditorium on 5th November.
Becky Bird, The Chair of Livewire Trust, said “This is a fantastic development for Livewire: to have the artistic quality of our work recognised by Arts Council England, and the opportunity to stage an ambitious production at Harlow Playhouse, a regionally important venue. It is evidence of the talent and commitment of Harlow’s young people- we are really proud of their achievements.”
Sam Ashford, Creative Director of Livewire, said “We have a fantastic teams lined up for drama, dance and music, but we still have places for young artists, so please get in touch- details on the flyer above. All Livewire activities are free of charge to take part in, and we welcome young people from all backgrounds. We are hugely grateful for support from Passmores Academy, a brilliant setting in which to develop this work.”
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