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Building community through theatre making at the New Vic Theatre

Posted on 19 June 2013

Written by:

Louise Dredge

On 4 June, three of us Glass-House staff took part in an immersive, challenging and exhilarating workshop at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme led by the wonderful team from New Vic Borderlines, an award-winning initiative that uses theatre to help overcome social issues, helping people find new and positive ways to understand themselves, their communities and their responsibilities.

The one-day workshop formed part of a research project ‘Bridging the Gap’ involving a number of UK universities and organisations which will link up with communities affected by the 2011 Japanese Tsunami and the Seinan Gakuin University, Japan. This research project is exploring the strengths and limitations of research projects in addressing, and bridging the gap, between academic knowledge and community relevance.

In our four groups, we were tasked with establishing a new community (which had at its core a fundamental element – fire, earth, wind or water), and building it from the ground up, creating shelter, folklore and even a national anthem that encapsulated the spirit and principles of the new tribe.

We came from a mix of backgrounds and cultures, which made for strikingly diverse and vibrant outcomes. Individual experiences were woven into the collective making and by the end of the day we had fully assumed our new roles as citizen members of these new communities.

Here are some photos that we hope in some sense capture the collaborative and creative spirit of the day. Thanks to New Vic Borderlines and the New Vic Theatre for a wonderful day!

Getting to know each other in the round at the New Vic Theatre
Building shelter
A new community compose their national anthem
Performing our new community anthems
Words from fire
Sharing the foundation myth