Posts Tagged 'Contact Theatre'

‘Contacting the World’ comes to Liverpool

This summer Liverpool, Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2008, will showcase the outcome of an unusual theatre twinning scheme that brings together teenagers from across the world.

Since 2002 European theatre companies have been twinning with counterparts in other parts of the world, in a project that encourages young people aged 15-25 to explore each other’s lives through performance.

Aaron Cunningham, a young artist from Manchester’s Contact Theatre Company, described to DiverCities his experience of an exchange with Afro-Reggae, a theatre group based in Rio de Janeiro which sought to offer young people an alternative to the attentions of the police or the gangs.

“Through Afro-Reggae young people living in the favellas (shantytowns) got the chance to visit places outside their favella, read their poetry to people elsewhere and even got to other shanty towns,” he said. “It was a real eye-opener for me.”

Meanwhile back in Manchester youngsters use improvisation to dramatise stories based on random items and actions.

Both groups have sent each other CDs of their favourite music tracks, with explanations about what makes them so special.

The two groups also swapped boxes of artefacts associated with their lives. Aaron sent a piece of marble given to him by his grandmother just before she died. He was unaware that a Brazilian girl had sent to Manchester a large smooth, egg-shaped stone her father had plucked from the sea two days before he died. For her it contained his spirit and she hoped he would bless her friends in England. The Contact Theatre group have developed a play around her story.

It is these kinds of connections that make the project such a remarkable method of connecting young people who might never get to meet although they do use Facebook too.

All of which promises to make the final festival of fun very special indeed.

For more information see www.contactingtheworld.org
Or contact Julia Turpin (Project Director): +44 (0161) 274 0631

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