Pilot Theatre Company (GB) – Elsinor Centro Di Produzione Teatrale (IT) – Teatro O Bando (PT)
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Given the context of this project, which is about exploring digital adventures in theatre and young people’s practise, for our final project we wanted to give the next generation the platform themselves. We invited them to share their view of the world in 2018, training them in digital and film-making skills.
Our provocation was, what is it like to turn eighteen in 2018? We put out a call to young people to participate in this year-long programme. Initially in the UK, a group of sixteen applied.
Our major challenge was keeping the teens on board during what is probably the busiest and most stressful period of their teenage years. A-levels and examinations, applying for university places, further education, work, and leaving home and family. We learned that the project needed to offer them a space away from homework and something that was fun. We also learned that we needed to keep their confidence up, so the project made them feel good about themselves, so that they remained committed.
In terms of well-being, the process revealed to us just how much pressure this age group are under at this time of life and in this era, and indeed this became a subject for some of the work that they are making.
We were really proud that in the UK eight of the original group remained committed throughout twelve months of the project and helped us to shape it as we worked together. Some of the original thinking for the project shifted once the young people were recruited to the project, as they were less interested in making documentary work and more excited to make their own original works, so this was where we placed the focus. Making the young people feel ownership of this process and their work was critical, so we always made the necessary adaptations to maintain their participation.
Having met with the organisers of the Italian and Portuguese groups in December in Forli, we agreed that it was great to find as many points of connection as possible but that each country was free to make the project in the way that worked best to accommodate the busy lives of the young people. One of the dimensions of the project that was most powerful was the opportunity to bring the young people from York, Forli and Palmela together in April for a special exchange as they set about making their first short films and digital pieces, guided by screenwriter Kefi Chadwick, education practitioner Paula Clark, and Forli-based filmmaker Simone Pelatti. The summit involved intensive filmmaking and culminated in a mini film festival of the works the young people had made. This part of the project enabled the group to make valuable European connections and the participants have remained in touch via WhatsApp and are planning their own independent travels to visit one another at the end of exams.
Teatro O Bando
Elsinor Centro di Produzione Teatrale with SediciCorto Film Festival
Kefi Chadwick – Creative Producer
Paula Clark – Creative Producer
Ed Sunman – Editor/Producer
Esther Richardson. – Artistic Director, Pilot Theatre
Giorgia Kim Rossi
Simone Pelatti (course coordinator; photographer and videomaker)
Alice Fabbri (course coordinator; cinema student)
Clara Longhi (social media manager; translator)
Jessica Milardo (backstage’s photo video shooter; lawyer trainee)
Daniela Goldoni (assistant; teacher)
Silvano Santandra (driver; architect)
Joana Fresu de Azevedo (assistant; employer)