Formed in 2003 upon graduation from Bretton Hall, Leeds University, The Paper Birds was founded upon friendship and a mutual love of contemporary theatre, movement and desire to make work that placed female roles centre stage.
In 2008, The Paper Birds began utilising the method of interviewing people and placing verbatim material within the script. This developed organically throughout the process of making ‘In a Thousand Pieces’ and became a defining shift in the direction of the company. Following this, all our productions have utilised this method of researching within communities and speaking directly to people to inform and shape our work.
In 2009, the company completed an MA in Theatre Collectives from the University of Chichester.
Starting in 2014 through a collaboration with champion beat-boxer Grace Savage, we began to nurture emerging artists within our work. ‘Nest’ enables The Paper Birds to seek, find and showcase new, diverse and compelling voices. ‘Nest’ is about joining forces with exceptional emerging artists, exploring different art forms, nurturing and promoting new talent and developing new audiences. We are passionate about supporting, training and mentoring the next generation of artists, with an emphasis on young female performers and cultural leaders.
Throughout our history as a company we have toured a range of venues from mid-scale theatres to school halls, and visited the USA, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland and Switzerland with our performances and workshops. Each year we re-mount a previous successful theatre show from our repertoire and take it on an academic tour to over 60 schools/colleges/universities across the UK.
In 2019 we became a registered charity, recognising the social impact and drive of our work.
'The Paper Birds include (brilliantly) "listening" among their methods of devising a show. Deep research and intelligent sympathy have enhanced all the work of theirs I've seen.'