Post written by: Jade Campbell
In My shoes is a creative theatre project we are currently working on with Torbay Young Carers and we are being funded by The National Lottery Community Fund – Awards 4 All.
Led by a team of theatre professionals; Becky Rich and I are directing, Becky has been writing the script, Fiona Russell is a Set and costume designer and we have Lighting designer Dom Jeffrey to run our tech on the day too. Mair George has been helping to produce their performance and Emma Thorner and Andrew Wright from Torbay Young Carers have been working really hard to ensure transport, permissions and the wellbeing of the young people are being taken care of.
So… we have a super strong team supporting the creative process of the young people and its working – really, really well.
To give you a bit of context, the Torbay area has over 700 young carers, making them a huge part of our community. However, they are often forgotten, caring for family members behind closed doors, which many of their peers may not even know about. And that’s what In My Shoes is about! Giving these young people a true and strong voice, for them to take ownership of what they do and be proud of it, to also explore it in a new and creative way.
Although the devising process has been facilitated by us, it is the voice of the young people that is paramount to the project and it has been their voice that has guided and shaped it. This is co-creation in action! We are using theatre to create new work that amplifies their voices, as some of our community’s most vulnerable young people. By creating devised work they can be proud of, they are really feeling a sense of achievement and ownership over the process. We want them to know and understand that their stories matter and deserve to be listened to.
We used ‘Theatre for Dialogue’, as a starting point, we have created a safe and creative space for young people to discuss their lives, developing their own stories through drama. The young people are developing new skills and confidence and have been creating a new piece of theatre to share as part of the Doorstep Theatre festival in March 2019.
This process has been an absolute joy. The young people are getting excited about sharing their work in March and are so enthused by the idea of having a costume and stage designer on board. Fi has been great about describing her work and the process she goes through to get her ideas in motion, sharing her sketches and developments in sessions.
Mair also came in to discuss her role as a producer and share the kinds of jobs she needs to do to support their performance.
Scripts are written, rehearsals are busy and dynamic, we have our first rehearsal in the amazing space we will be using at Torquay Museum during half term and then we are only weeks away from the final performance on Saturday 23rd March, tickets will be by donation on the day.
Please see our Whats On section of our website for more details.