Empathy Spaces - FEEL ME R&D
We’re delighted to be commencing Empathy Spaces, the R&D for our next show, FEEL ME.
As you’ll probably remember, we’ve been on the hunt for 8 emerging artists to join us for this process, and we’re delighted to confirm that we have our team of exceptional artists in place! As of Monday 28 November 2022, we’ll be taking part in a 2-week residency at Sherborne International School and will begin looking at how we can create ‘spaces of empathy’ for live and digital audiences.
At the same time, our friends and project partners at Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja are working with, and mentoring, their own group of exciting young artists. Over the fortnight we’ll be coming together online to share our work and consider how theatre can bring together people from different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities to enjoy shared experiences and dialogue. Not only do we plan to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for each other and our many lived experiences, but we’ll also begin to develop content for our next show, FEEL ME, which will tour in 2023.
Empathy will be not only the artistic theme and inspiration for the project, but also embedded at the heart of our approach. We’ll be working with a host of artists and speakers who’ll be coming in to present and work with us to consider how we use empathy for positive social change. If this isn’t enough, we’re also working with a host of Youth Creative Councils in the UK and Indonesia, made up of young people aged 13 – 30 who will work with us to help us form the show, as well as consider how we engage our audiences in, FEEL ME – starting off with our first session at the New Wolsey Theatre.
We are so happy to share the news that next year we will become an Arts Council NPO.
We know that this announcement is a time of celebration for some and sadness for others, with this our fourth attempt at NPO and going into our 20th year as an organisation. Suffice to say it is an honour to make it onto the portfolio, we are so proud and excited by the program of work that we have planned over the next few years and we are deeply committed to working hard for this public money.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far, we are excited about what the next few years have in store!
8 Creative Collaborators Wanted!
This is a remarkable opportunity for 8 Young Artists under the age of 30 to;
We want to hear from artists who bring any combination of the following areas:
Deadline for the Deviser | Physical Performer Dancer Applications: Monday 24 October at 5pm
Deadline for all other roles: Monday 31 October at 5pm
So, if you’re up for forming part of a collaborative creative team, want to develop your own practice through mentoring, build your network, and make work with two acclaimed national companies check out our Recruitment Pack from the Opportunities Page of the website and get applying!
Recognise any familiar faces?! …
We’re delighted to announce that we’re reuniting with the wonderful team from Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja, having been successful in receiving funding for a joint project from the British Council!
The ‘International Collaboration Programme’ received around 950 applications(!!!!) from across the globe and we are SO DELIGHTED to have been successful in receiving funding for our innovative virtual collaboration, ‘Empathy Spaces’.
Building on the knowledge and research we have gathered from The School of Hope the project will see us work with, and mentor, a series of young creatives in the UK and Indonesia, in conjunction with an Empathy artist and academics, experimenting with new ways to connect and develop audiences in both physical and virtual spaces.
We’ll explore how we can create digitally interactive, non-verbal theatre that spans continents and language barriers and investigate how we can enhance an audience’s relationship with the theatrical experience as well as deepen their emotional and intellectual connections independently and collectively.
‘Empathy Spaces’ will celebrate how theatre can bring together people from different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities, to enjoy shared experiences, dialogue and gain a greater understanding and appreciation of each other’s lived experiences.
There will be 4 online performance opportunities across the series of the project in the UK and Indonesia, enabling the young artists to collaborate and trial digital tools to allow virtual and physical audiences to have meaningful dialogue with each other and the artists. After each live event there will be the opportunity for reflection and evaluation: digital experimentation and infrastructure for the next event will be planned in response, and the project will then culminate with a fifth and final sharing, both live and digitally, in the UK and Indonesia, to celebrate the findings.
We’re really looking forward to planning the project out in more detail over the coming weeks and will be sure to update you, just as soon as we can.
A massive thank you also to Citranet for supporting PSBK and helping the project come to fruition.
Seeking new Trustees to Join our Board!
We are looking for new Trustees to join us to lead the company through an important phase in our evolution.
We strive to have an exciting, broad range of voices on our Board, people who share our values and vision and can bring their varying life experience and skills to our work.
No previous Board experience is necessary, as we can provide training and support.
If you are interested to know more, then please download the Trustee Recruitment pack here.
Time to Celebrate our Young Creatives
After 6 months of hard work our young School of Hope creatives have completed the socially engaged online project and we’re delighted to be celebrating their achievements in a Graduation Event on Thursday 18 November 2021.
This is your chance to come and hear what young people think, want and care about in our world today.
‘The School of Hope Graduation’ is an informal and exclusive event for young artists and those working in youth arts and engagement, who want to ensure the next generation’s access to the creative industries.
It will not only celebrate the achievements of the 150 young creatives from across the world that took part in The School of Hope online project, but will also use it as a case study for how the arts and culture can have an impact on young people.
The event will look at the idea of impact in the arts and empowering young creatives to have their voices heard through socially engaged participatory and performance work. It runs from 2-5pm GMT – you can see a breakdown of the schedule via the link below, but the Graduation will include:
The event is being filmed, so if you’re not available for the whole Graduation you can get access to the chapters you missed after the event.
Check out the event schedule and book your FREE tickets here.
Final artist announced as The School of Hope prepares to open
We’re thrilled to announce our final of four artists commissioned to inspire the young creatives participating in The School of Hope is Jade Anouka.
Jade recently appeared on our screens as Ruta Skadi in BBC/HBO’s His Dark Materials and Channel 5’s The Drowning alongside Jill Halfpenny. Her recent theatre credits pre-lockdown include: the title roles in Hampstead’sOlivier nominated THE PHLEBOTOMIST and QUEEN MARGARET at The Royal Exchange, she starred in the Donmar Warehouse Shakespeare Trilogy where she played Mark Antony in JULIUS CAESAR, Hotspur in HENRY IV and Ariel in THE TEMPEST.
As a poet Jade performs regularly including featured spots at The Southbank Centre, Richmix, The Roundhouse, and Sofar Sounds and most recently A Lovely Word at Liverpool’s Homotopia Festival. She has had work commissioned by Audible UK, Stylist Magazine, Broccoli Content, The Young Vic Theatre and most recently BBC Radio 4 where she wrote and performed THIS SUNDAY for their Short Works series.
Her debut play, HEART, combined her love of writing and acting when she performed it at the Vault Festival in 2019 it was due to get a full production and London run in summer 2020. Jade did a TEDxTalk ‘Being Black, Being a Woman, Being ‘Other’. She wrote, directed and co-starred in short film Her & Her for BBC’s Culture In Quarantine series.
We’re so delighted that Jade has joined our team of TSoH artists, alongside Akeim Toussaint-Buck, Arwa Aburawa and Sonny Green and we cannot wait to get started and see the high calibre of work the young artists create as a result of their briefs.
Interdisciplinary Performer, Akeim Toussaint Buck Announced as The School of Hope Artist
Introducing our third awesome commissioned artist to join The School of Hope team; Akeim Toussaint Buck.
Akeim is an interdisciplinary performer and creator who produces moving, thought-provoking, accessible and free spirited projects.
Since graduating from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2014, he has been involved in multiple cross art form projects with a wide range of artists and communities from around the world.
His beautiful work combines skills such as: dance, film, poetry, beat-box, singing and acting, fused to create performances that tell stories capable of bridging the intersections of a variety of audiences – we’re so thrilled to have him as part of the TSoH team!
Documentary filmmaker Arwa Aburawa on board for The School of Hope
We’re delighted to announce that we have the awesomely talented Arwa Aburawa on board as artist for The School of Hope. Arwa is a documentary filmmaker and writer with an interest in social and environmental issues. She’s produced outstanding documentaries on a range of issues including the water crisis in Iran and the legacies of colonialism in Guatemala amongst many others.
She co-founded Other Cinemas, a community project which showcases the films and stories of Black and non-white people and also runs a small, informal collective of young filmmakers in her local neighbourhood.
Sonny Green joins The School of Hope
We’re beyond excited to announce the first artist joining us to inspire our young creatives in The School of Hope is Sonny Green.
Sonny Green has worked in the spoken word and live music scene for many years doing various gigs including being the first ever rap artist to perform at the House of Commons supporting Fatboy Slim. He’s renowned for his confident and original performances, calling it as he sees it. His angry lyrical tirades are completely uncompromising, unmaterialistic calling out everyone from politicians to his peers without fear.
We’re really looking forward to seeing how the young creatives engage with his stunningly powerful filmic brief and the artwork it inspires them to produce.
LAUNCHING OUR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS FOR THE SCHOOL OF HOPE
We’ve got another quick update for you on The School of Hope (TSoH)! We’ve now commissioned all the artists for the project (news on who they are coming soon) and along with them, as you may have already seen over on our social media channels, we’ve been busy creating film briefs for the young artists taking part.
The project will be kicking off in just a few weeks’ time and the young creatives will be using the briefs to artistically explore who they are, how they connect with the world and question what changes need to be made.
We’re teaming up with Cast, Mercury Theatre, the National Theatre, Sheffield Theatres and Theatre Centre in the UK to deliver the project and we’re delighted to announce that we’ll also be linking up with young makers from Vancouver International Children’s Festival, in Canada, Boom Arts in the USA, Victoria Deluxe in Belgium and Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja (PSBK) in Indonesia.
We can’t wait for these young makers from across the world to come together to create, explore, experiment, and connect and look forward to their manifestos of hope.
UK PARTNERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE SCHOOL OF HOPE
We’ve got some more exciting news to share about our latest project, The School of Hope!
The School of Hope (TSoH) is all about ‘empathy’, which in itself is a massive and complex term, but at the heart of the project is our desire to help the young people participating to begin to creatively explore who they are, what is unique and special about them and how they understand themselves in relation to others. We’re currently commissioning young artists from different artforms and diverse backgrounds to work with us on the project to build confidence and creativity in the young people.
Through a series of films, provocations and creative tutorials they’ll be reflecting on their values and beliefs and those of different communities and countries. We’ll be encouraging them to creatively shape their thoughts into artistic outputs, which they’ll share with us and their moments will be fused into a short film which will premiere in the autumn. Ultimately, we hope to enable those involved to feel connected, empowered and driven to aspire for a better world and creatively share their visions through their own artistic lens.
And to do all of this we’ll be working with academics from three universities and a number of partner organisations nationally and internationally. Our UK partners span the country and we’ll be working with young people in the north through our partner organisations Cast in Doncaster and Sheffield Theatres. We’re also joining forces in the East with Mercury Theatre in Colchester and the Theatre Centre and the National Theatre, in London.
More news will follow soon about our international partners and the whole team that makes up The School of Hope.
Thank you to The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Rayne Foundation, British Council and to Arts Council England for funding The School of Hope and helping us to tap into the innate creativity we believe each young person possesses.
THE SCHOOL OF HOPE IS OPEN!
We’re so excited to launch our new socially engaged, digital arts project – The School of Hope! It’s created for young people aged 13-25 and is based on the theme of empathy. The School of Hope aims to improve the wellbeing of young people by giving them a meaningful and empowering platform to address the isolation they and others have experienced in the last year.
We’re teaming up with academics to plan and measure the impact of a series of 5 ‘digital lessons’ which will be delivered by our partner venues, festivals and youth theatres throughout the UK and around the world. At the heart of each lesson will be a bespoke artwork, of varying artforms, commissioned and created by us and 4 diverse British artists. The young people taking part will experience these artworks, as well as undertaking tasks, discussions, and activities before creating their own artworks in response to each lesson.
A filmmaker will fuse their artworks to create a short global story about empathy, which you’ll all be able to enjoy when it premieres in autumn 2021.
Thank you to The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Rayne Foundation, British Council and to Arts Council England for funding The School of Hope and helping us to tap into the innate creativity we believe each young person possesses, to help harness their talents, increase their levels of empathy and improve their wellbeing.
COVID 1 YEAR ROUND UP
We can all agree it’s been an unforgettable 12 months. Life in the UK changed dramatically on 23rd March 2020 when we went into the first national lockdown, and Covid’s heart-breaking affects echoed across the world. These affects hit communities in so many ways, as we were forced to question everything we knew about day-to-day life.
As a small independent arts charity, The Paper Birds have certainly felt these drastic changes, and we’ve been forced to adapt and respond. We’ve been consistently amazed and inspired by the resilience and determination of all those we’ve worked with over the past year.
Now, one year on, we’re taking some time to reflect. We are all still grieving in countless numbers of ways, as Covid-19 continues to affect our health, our communities, our education and our livelihoods.
We’re so grateful to have connected and felt the love and support of so many people over the last year, even throughout the months of isolation, protest and constant challenges. Thank you to every single person who gave their time and energy to join us for a workshop or webinar, and continued to stand up for what they believe in. Thank you to all the teachers, parents and carers who have worked tirelessly to make sure young people keep learning creatively. Thanks to our Board and all our Individual Giving donors, for consistently going above and beyond. Thank you to everyone who has supported a friend, a loved one or a stranger during these crazy times.
It is The Paper Birds’ mission to change the world, one encounter at a time. While that’s not been easy over the last 12 months, we’re looking back with gratitude and looking forward to the future.
Here’s to a brighter, safer and more positive future.
Jemma, Kylie, Charlotte, Georgie, Jus & Katie x
THE PAPER BIRDS ON AQA A LEVEL DRAMA SPEC
We are delighted to have been recognised by the AQA exam board as a leading contemporary practitioner and included in their ‘prescribed practitioners’ list for students of A Level Drama to study. From the academic year 2020-21, students will be able to emulate our style and methodologies in the creation of their own devised pieces for examination. This recognition has been a long term ambition of ours and we send huge thanks to the team at AQA and the many teachers and students who have supported our work and rallied on our behalf!
DISTANCED DEVISING - ONLINE CPD!
Join Co-Founders of The Paper Birds, Kylie & Jemma, for a webinar on devising theatre in a socially distant climate.
Our first session on Fri 29th May at 11am has been super popular and sold out in less than 24hrs!
But never fear! We’ve added more sessions to accommodate all the amazing interest we’ve (thank-you lovely drama teachers!)! Book ASAP to avoid disappointment as these will sell out: https://www.thepaperbirds.com/cpd/
We are thrilled to have been selected to be part of Mercury Creatives: a support, mentoring and growth programme funded by The European Union Regional Development Fund and run and managed by the brilliant team at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester. We will be both mentors for Found In Translation Theatre Company, as well as mentees working with Fern Potter and Assis Carreiro over the next year, as part of Mercury Creatives programme. We can’t wait to take part in all the events and activities planned, and get to know more people working in our sector in the South East region. In these uncertain times it’s so great to have time to reflect with peers and colleagues – huge thanks to The Mercury for making this possible. Here’s a pic of the official launch event – try and spot our Co-Director Jemma in the crowd! (Image Credit Seana Hughes)
TOUR DATES POSTPONED
Obviously with the increasing concern regarding the coronavirus pandemic across the globe, we are sad to announce that we will need to put things on hold for a while with our tour of Ask Me Anything. Dates for our run at Chats Palace London are being rescheduled, and we will publish them asap. If you are a ticketholder for these events 24-26 March, please contact the venue directly.
NEW BIRDS ALERT!
After 2.5 years, our wonderful Producer Melanie is going onto exciting new projects beyond The Paper Birds’ little nest. We wish her the best of luck with her new ventures. She has been an absolute star!
So, we have now recruited not 1, but 2 fabulous new birds to join our company! Justine is joining us in a newly created post: Marketing and Audience Development Manager, and Katie is our new Producer.
Here they are doing a lovely job of modelling our new Ask Me Anything tote bags on site at Live Theatre in Newcastle! Welcome gals!
JOB ALERT! PRODUCER AND/OR MARKETEER OPPORTUNITY!
Our wonderful Producer Melanie is moving onto pastures new, so we are on the hunt for a new Freelance Producer and/or Marketeer!
Full details below – please share far and wide friends!
The Paper Birds are looking for a creative, highly organised and self-motivating Freelance Producer and/or Marketeer to be a core member of our freelance team. The Producer / Marketeer will support the continued successful delivery of both the company’s artistic and creative learning work, as well as ensure strong audiences and increased profile for the company. A key focus of this role will be around the national 2020 tour of our new show Ask Me Anything.
This role would ideally suit a Producer who is confident in marketing/audience development. Alternatively, we are also interested in recruiting a couple of separate people to cover different aspects of the job spec, and working additionally with a more specialist Marketeer with experience of touring theatre or dance. We are looking for people who want to develop an on-going relationship with The Paper Birds in a period of company growth.
For full details on the company, role and how to apply, please contact Senior Producer Charlotte to request a job pack at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline to apply: Weds 4th Dec 2019.
HOME SWEET HOME CALL OUT FOR PARTICIPANTS
Home Sweet Home is an epic and creative museum takeover for young people aged 12-18 years old.
Join The Paper Birds to make a unique site-specific theatrical extravaganza in the heart of historic Leeds.
We’re seeking up to 20 young people ages 12-18 years to develop an original live performance at Leeds Industrial Museum.
Take part in a creative practical workshop this October half term with professional theatre-makers to create a live public performance.
Home Sweet Home will explore what it means to have a roof over your head and a space o call your own. Inspired by the UK housing crisis, homelessness, and the need for decent affordable housing for all, we are seeking young people with a passion for the performing arts, as well as young people who have a voice and something to say about their neighbourhood, their city, their nation.
The project and performances are FREE to attend.
Rehearsals: Monday 28 October to Saturday 2 November from 10am to 3pm.
Venue: Leeds Industrial Museum, Armley, Leeds, LS12 2QF.
Performances: Saturday 2 November at 2pm & 4pm.
Application deadline: Friday 18 October, but please apply as soon as possible to be sure of a place.
To apply please send a short email to The Paper Birds explaining why you’d like to be involved: email@example.com.
FLYING ABROAD: INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOPS
In addition to delivering over 30 workshops in schools across the UK this Autumn, The Paper Birds are leading a series of international workshops and masterclasses, for students and teachers, in the Netherlands, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore.
ASK ME ANYTHING PREVIEWS AT LIVE THEATRE THIS JULY
Our brand-spanking new show Ask Me Anything is now on sale. Have you ever wanted to ask something really important, embarrassing, private, mundane? If you could ask anything about growing up, what would it be? Welcome to the 90s, a place of house phones, pen pals and dial up internet. A time where problem pages in magazines taught teenage girls, like us, about the world. Building on the immersive and intimate nature of Mobile (2016) Ask Me Anything is a collaboration with singer/songwriter Rosie Doonan about finding your voice and being heard. Set in a multitude of teenage bedrooms, Ask Me Anything is an immersive, 360, theatrical experience. From Jackie to Just Seventeen, teenagers have been turning to agony aunts and problem pages for centuries; but now, with the world at their fingertips and 3.5 billion daily searches on Google alone, is there anything young people don’t know (or can’t find out)? We asked teenagers to write to us and ask us anything. Nothing is off limits. This show is our reply. With music, movement and mayhem we explore what it means to grow up in 2019. It looks at what we can teach the next generation and, more importantly, what they can teach us. Ask Me Anything previews at Live Theatre (Newcastle) on 11 – 13 July. Tickets are just £6-£8 and can be bought online at www.live.org.uk or by calling the box office on 0191 232 1232.
THIRSTY 2019/20 SCHOOLS' TOUR
Following the success of our Thirsty tour to over 50 schools, colleges and universities (Autumn 2018 to Spring 2019), we are bringing Thirsty back to schools.
Available for to book from October 2019 – January 2019.
Included in the Thirsty package is a show + workshop, with Resource Pack, video and post show Q&A. Get in touch now to secure your date!
THIRSTY TOURS TO OVER 50 SCHOOLS ACROSS THE UK
We’ve just begun our UK tour of Thirsty to over 50 schools across the UK. We’ll be touring throughout October to December 2018 and from January to February 2019. Fusing music, verbatim and stunning physical theatre, Thirsty examines binge drinking culture in the UK; lost memories, gained traumas, tales of bruised knees, uncontrollable laughter and sore heads. If you’d like to book our Thirsty performance and workshop package for your school, college or university do get in touch quick as dates are now strictly limited! To find out more drop Melanie an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
A NEW BIRD JOINS OUR NEST
We’re really excited to announce that the brilliant Georgie Coles has joined The Paper Birds team as our new Creative Learning Associate. You may have seen Georgie in our show Mobile or participated in one of the awesome workshop sessions she’s run for us. Georgie has worked with us as a performer and workshop facilitator since 2014 and we’re really happy to have her on the team! She’ll be looking after our Creative Learning programme whilst Kylie is off on maternity.
GOLDFISH BOWL LONDON PREMIERE
We are excited to announce that we will be premiering our new collaboration this summer at the fabulous Battersea Arts Centre! A thrilling mix of spoken word, theatre, music, projection mapping and illustration based on the life and works of Caleb Femi – young people’s poet laureate for London. At 18 years old, recovering from a gunshot wound, Caleb sat in a hospital bed reading Frankenstein. Goldfish Bowl tells the story as to how and why this book, and this moment in his past, changed his future. With live music from rapper and producer Lex Amor and illustrations by Olivia Twist, Goldfish Bowl interrogates the many small, but defining moments that make up a life. BUY TICKETS A collaboration between The Paper Birds theatre company and Caleb Femi. Funded by Arts Council England, co-commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre, Roundhouse and The Albany.
NEW PRODUCER JOINS OUR NEST
We are very lucky to have the lovely Charlotte Gregory to join our team as Senior Producer. Charlotte has worked in the theatre industry as both a performer and producer, having worked in the past with Stan’s Cafe and Vamos Theatre. We are of course very sad to say goodbye to the very brilliant Bonnie Mitchell who has been our producer for the past four years. We wish Bonnie all the best of luck as she takes on a full time role at her company The Wrong Crowd.
CATALYST Arts Council Grant
We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a grant from Arts Council England’s Catalyst fund. The fund is to enable arts organisations to create a more resilient arts and culture sector. In real terms, this means we will have support to grow our in-house fundraising capacity, enabling us to provide more opportunities for participation in communities throughout the UK, to develop the NEST strand of our work with emerging artists, and to develop skills throughout our organisation in creating a more sustainable future for ourselves in years to come. Well done to our brilliant producer Bonnie Mitchell for securing the grant! See the full list of awards here: Catalyst Small Grants Awards
This Autumn we began research and development for a new show in collaboration with Leeds based singer/songwriter Rosie Doonan. Supported by Live Theatre and Theatre Royal Plymouth, we spent 3 weeks developing ideas and presenting our work in show-backs held in Live Theatre’s Studio Theatre and Theatre Royal’s Lab. Huge thanks goes out to the two venues for hosting us and of course to ACE for funding the project. We hope to have some dates on the calendar soon to develop the piece further in the new year. Watch this space!