A project to develop new writing for youth theatres and to help young people explore collaborative ways of working.
To watch the New Chapters film 'Behind the Scenes of Voices and Echoes' please click here
Take Art Theatre worked with nearly 100 young people aged 9-18 from four established youth theatres on the New Chapters project. The groups were from very different areas of Somerset including the rural and urban communities in Minehead, Bridgwater, Frome and the village of Stoke St Gregory. Representatives from all four of these theatre groups came together to form a youth panel. With the help of Take Art Theatre this group came up with a project brief; advertised, shortlisted and interviewed for a professional writer.
A Youth Theatre Leader from the project said, "The process of engaging young people was excellent, the process of creating the job application, interviewing and even the writing of the rejection letters to artists was really valuable, it wasn't just about the making of plays".
Experienced playwright Richard Conlon was selected by the young people and contracted to write four new 30 minute plays. During Spring 2009, these scripts were created through a series of workshops, online feedback and rehearsals. The young people were heavily involved in the creative writing process with Richard and helped him to get the plays ready for performance.
The four new plays were performed at a Youth Festival Day at the Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, Taunton in Oct 2009. A participant from Bridgwater said, "The idea of taking a piece on tour was really exciting."
As part of this event, two further groups were invited to showcase their work. One was a group of young adults from Taunton called Escape, who performed a 20 minute Parkour piece, after working with a professional Parkour artist from Brighton who showed them how to develop their practice. The second group from Strode Youth Theatre worked with 4-Reel Films to create a new piece of devised work.
The project was funded by Take Art Theatre, Somerset Youth Opportunities Fund and The Clore Duffield Foundation.
"As an experience to go somewhere as a company, it was really important - really significant for young people who don't often leave Bridgwater."
Youth Theatre Leader