Artists and Birmingham Communities Unite To Make Extraordinary Theatre
We're really excited to announce details of our pioneering new programme that unites the very best emerging artists from the West Midlands with the region's communities to make challenging, vital and extraordinary theatre.
From Alum Rock to Ladywood, Erdington to Sparkbrook and West Bromwich, five artists will work with communities in these areas to create unique and tailor made pieces of theatre with, for and by them.
Led by the artist, and inspired by the community in year long residencies, the five artists will create a piece of theatre that will be performed in the location where it was made in 2017.
All the artists are graduates of REP Foundry. Erdington born performer and writer Selina Thompson will create work there, with and for the Polish Expats Association, writer Hannah Graham will work with the YMCA in West Bromwich, Spoken word artist Amerah Saleh from Sparkbrook will create work with a cross section of her community, writer Susie Sillett will collaborate with some 1000 pupils at Nansen Primary School, Alum Rock and director Nyasha Gudo with REP Associate Director, Alexander Zeldin, will be based at the Birmingham Deaf Cultural Centre in Ladywood.
Performer and writer, Selina Thompson said:
“ I'm really excited to be making a piece of theatre in Erdington, the area where I grew up, and which is present in every single piece of work I make. I'm especially excited to be spending time at the Polish Expats Association's Welcome cafe – who serve the best pierogi [dumplings] on the High Street, and is a really beautiful place to think about what it means to call B23 or B24 your home.”
Writer Susie Sillett also said:
“This is such a wonderful opportunity to get out and work with the local community, involving them in the heart of the artistic process. I couldn't be more excited to be collaborating with Nansen Primary School - an inspirational place with an inspirational group of people.”
It's all part of our bigger Furnace project, explains Tessa Walker, Associate Director:
“Furnace is designed to inspire a new generation of theatre artists to work in new and ambitious ways by responding to the needs, stories and ideas from these communities. These Furnace residencies combine The REP's desire to find new ways of making the most vivid theatre by the best new artists with our ambition to engage with the unheard voices and unheard stories of our city.”