FOSTERING BOLD CONVERSATIONS ACROSS A DIVIDED NATION
I am the Outreach Associate for Headlong Theatre. I am currently setting up their first community project, Headlong Futures.
Our nation is divided. The north, the south. The haves, the have-nots. The cities and the rural communities. Those who benefit from regeneration and those who don't. Those whose local economies thrive off immigrant labour and those who are threatened by it. Are we so different? What can we learn from each other's experiences? What is specific to each community? What's universal? What do we want to tell the world about where we are from? We believe theatre is the best way to safely explore these differences and to celebrate our commonality.
In collaboration with four partners, we will embed ourselves in a specifically targeted communities and use theatre to ask questions about their home, their community, their futures. We will work in these communities with regular sessions over an 18 month period to make a piece of work, with a writer, based around the questions and contradictions that seem most potent.
Throughout this period, artists from the Headlong family and those of our partners will also visit during the group’s regular sessions to lead workshops on the projects we are developing, to share our practice with them and enhance their skills. We would also like to make a commitment to organise travel and tickets for the group to see Headlong and our partners’ work.
The plays in the four locations will be connected through subject, character or form in order to make the disparate elements come together to make a whole. And, at some point, all the groups will come together. We will facilitate a weekend of skills sharing and conversations through theatre. The groups will also share their work and it will become one piece - a show that will represent a moment in time of our diverse and contradictory society.