Post by Sam Parker
The second week of our Young Writers’ exchange saw a shift from creating stories, to working out the best way to share them. We were back on site at Torre Abbey on Tuesday 24th, but this time in the amazing Spanish Barn.
The majority of the group had been working on their stories over the weekend, and it soon became clear to the team that we needed to find a way to platform the individual stories being read, drawn and sung, rather than wading in and collating them all in to a group piece co-authored by myself, Vicki and Hollie.
With that (and our first day tour with Lucinda) in mind, we came up with the idea of a ‘Story Museum’ – a sharing in which the audience are toured around the Spanish Barn, from exhibit to exhibit, and get to see all of the individual projects the young people had been working on in their independent writing time.
After doing some work on the pieces themselves, we invited a few of the group to be our tour guides for the Story Museum – characters who would lead our audience in the right direction and introduce them to each young writer and their work along the way. Pip, Martha and Robyn did this job brilliantly.
Friday 27th August was sharing day, and we were joined by the wonderful ACTA from Bristol. Despite the fact ACTA had been working from the same source material as us throughout the Summer, this was the first time the Doorstep young writers and the ACTA young writers had met in person. We played a few games to get everyone familiar with each other, and then got down to rehearsing for the evening performance, with ACTA’s play Pieces of Time slotting perfectly in to our ‘Story Museum’ concept. After a late-afternoon pizza break, we got back to work and tried a practice run of the entire sharing.
The performance itself took place from 6-7pm. The young writers all did a great job of presenting their work to our audience of 30, particularly given that many of them had not performed before.
When the dust had settled, and our audience had moved outside, Doorstep and ACTA got a final chance to say goodbye to each other. We dished out some chocolatey treats made by a very generous parent, and the Young Writers’ Exchange wound down for another year. Once again, it proved to be a project that acts as a great first point of engagement with Doorstep for young people in Torbay, a chance for meaningful exchange between two groups of talented young people, and provides a place where young writers can tell any story they want to and let their imagination run wild.