Help Build Our Nest!

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The Paper Birds was founded in 2003 in friendship, by a group of six women who shared a mutual passion for creating original devised theatre, and a desire to place empowering female roles and representations of women on the stage. Today founder members Kylie and Jemma have been joined by Charlotte, Melanie and Georgie, and are still on that mission together: to make high quality theatre that puts those who are underrepresented, those furthest from power, and those least often seen, centre-stage. We make theatre that has an impact in the real world and calls for social change. We’ve achieved so much… but there’s much more to do.

We believe that the theatre and arts sectors should look like our country: that people from all socio-economic backgrounds and from all regions, people of colour, people with disabilities, of all ages, of all sexualities and of all gender identities should be represented on stage (and behind the scenes). 

If you, like us, believe that no one should be excluded, that access to art and culture is a basic right and not a privilege, then join us and support the work of The Paper Birds. Together we can insure greater inclusivity so that individuals and communities see themselves within art; art which reflects and discusses the real-life problems they are experiencing, art which empowers, art which encourages debate and dialogue, and art which calls for social change and action.

Creating Change

Since 2015, 12,200 people across the UK have experienced a Paper Birds’ show.

Since 2013, 10,500 young people have participated in our Devising, Verbatim, and Physical Theatre workshops and projects, across schools, colleges, youth groups and universities throughout the UK. Our focus on non-naturalistic/physical work allows young people of all academic abilities the opportunity to thrive

By supporting The Paper Birds you are helping change lives and having a positive impact.

What difference will your support make?

  • Your £10 per month would pay for all the company’s social media advertising throughout the year. You would be ensuring we are reaching and inspiring new audiences and young people each month.

  • Your £25 would pay for a costume for one young person on one of our week-long Creative Learning half-term youth residencies.

  • Your £50 would pay for the printing of 1,000 ‘keep in touch’ postcards given to young people on our academic tours, each reaching 60 schools, colleges and universities nationally.

  • Your £1,000 would pay for a theatre practitioner to deliver 4 devising theatre workshops as part of our Creative Learning programme, reaching 120 young people who would not otherwise have had access to our work.

  • Your £10,000 would realise 2 city-wide, week-long engagement residencies, reaching 1000s of people in disadvantaged communities in towns and cities across the UK such as Birmingham, Colchester, Peterborough, Manchester, Lincoln, London. Your support will ensure their voices are heard.

A Message from the Artistic Director

My first experience of theatre was pantomime. It was colourful, loud and funny. The goodies won and the baddies lost. My second, some years later, was Shakespeare. It was complex and wordy, it was dramatic and tragic. It was beautiful, but it was alien, I had to be taught how to appreciate it.

It was only when I began to study drama and was given permission to ‘make’ something that theatre began to feel exciting to me. It allowed me to re-imagine the stories that have gone before; to question who are goodies and who are the baddies? Why are we laughing? Who has really lost?

To us, devising theatre is empowering. It is not about playing out, again and again the stories that have gone before us, it is about making new stories. We want to make work that is relevant, about things that are happening now, to us and around us. We want to pull things apart, we want to hold people to account, we want to celebrate, to warn, to encourage, to challenge people. We might never influence policy, but we can influence people.

We want our work to be full of other voices, ordinary people sharing their extraordinary stories, in their words, in their accents, because individually those people matter and collectively they make up our world. We do not want people to be taught appreciation of our plays, we want them to change the world…one story at a time.”

Jemma McDonnell, Co-Director, The Paper Birds

Support us today by using the DONATE form below

For more information on supporting The Paper Birds and how we can work together please email Senior Producer Charlotte


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Company Number: 05363584

Charity Number: 1182736