What is ATAI?
ATAI is the Applied Theatre Action Initiative- a social enterprise that delivers applied theatre workshops on social justice to young people. The idea came from America and now satellite groups are setting up all over the world, in Amman and Stokholm, Oakland and Bristol.
Our plans for Bristol...
Spoken word artist Rebecca Tantony and theatre practitioner Kesty Morrison, co-founders of ATAI CIC, will be running an international youth theatre project in Bristol in 2015, joint with Stockholm.
The programme will bring together a group of young people from Bristol aged 13-17 to explore societal topics that are relevant to them. Through spoken word and theatre they will work to create solutions that are both local and global.
The programme is a unique opportunity to creatively address perspectives of society and change. The programme is solution-led and teaches participants to explore postitive ideas as a team and provides the platform for them to present these to their community.
Empowerment, confidence building and self-expression are at the heart of what we aim to do. In order to deliver real impact we need financial and in-kind support for the final performance so that our group gets a platform to show off their work to their community — Rebecca Tantony
To empower young people to...
- Express themselves better, with awareness of individual and collective identity.
- Have a positive, solution focused mind-set.
- Increase their confidence and give them a platform to be heard.
- Improve reading and writing skills through supported language workshops on poetry and theatre.
Why do we need your support?
We ran the programme in partnership with the Old Vic in 2014, but this year we are moving into other ares of the city to reach out to a different community and a different youth demographic.
We do not have the funding we need to make this programme have the kind of impact that it is capable of. We have rehearsal space at the Trinity Centre, but no funded location for the final performance. We have two fantastic programme writers, but little to cover the costs of delivering the final performance.
The final performance is key to this programme — it is the platform for our participants to deliver their work to their local community, and have direct impact on the worlds they live in.
What would £ support go towards?
- performance space
- posters and programmes for marketing
- costumes and props to make it come alive
- technicians to see the lighting and sound works well
The cost of all of this put together comes to £1,495 (on a shoestring).
Note: If you have any of these things in-kind and are happy to support us then please do get in contact :)
It's about achieving social justice by enabling young people to shape their own worlds and be creative with it — Kesty Morrison
Do we have ready participants?
YES!! We have links set up with The Tobacco Factory, Travelling Light and local schools/academies to recruit from South Bristol and will definitely be able to fill the programme places.
We are able to offer 1/3 of places at reduced bursary rates and all travel costs are covered. However, if we don't manage to make this financial target we will have to re-consider how we make the performance available to the community and interested public.
There is no risk involved in your investment, all the money will go towards making the show as powerful and impactful as possible, and giving our youth group a platform to have their voices heard.
Want to know more?
Interview with GoodLab Bristol: http://goodlabsouthwest.net/interviews/applied-theatre-action-initiative/
The ATAI website: http://mb1307.wix.com/applied-theatre
More about the programme.
Using theatre exercises and spoken word activities, we explore challenging themes of social justice that are relevant to our participants (for instance youth in the media, unemployment and violence).
Our participants decide on a theme to focus on in the second week and we explore that theme for the remainder of the programme. Through fun interactions, discussions and creative learning techniques we will create a piece of theatre that addresses the theme and is solution based. We bring in members of the community, to give their experiences and offer solution-based ideas.
The final performance will showcase their solution-focused creative piece to their community and have an impact on their world directly.
More about the 2013 programme.
Our pilot project last connected The Bristol Old Vic Young company with Youth Uprising,a youth theatre based in Oakland, California, two very different demographics.
Over a 12 week period they used theatre and spoken word exercises and games to explore the self selected themes of sex, violence, and the media's effect on young people and created two separate pieces of theatre in their prospective countries. Over the twelve weeks the two groups sent each other videos, skyped, listened to each others music, poetry, and used each others work in their own performances.
The audience invited to our final showings are experts and influential people from within the field they are exploring and are therefore able to support the young people and implement the ideas suggested. We have a discussion at the end of each performance to facilitate this. Our pilot scheme was an excellent example of the power of community. We sold out The Creative Youth network’s main theatre and had to bring in extra chairs, There were representatives in the audience from The Arnolfini, The Watershed, Ujima radio, baby boom town, bcfm, Bristol University, SPAM, Bristol Black Archives, The cable, Brunel College, Bristol Old Vic, amongst many others. In our next project we are aiming to really harness that support with an aftercare project focused on aiding the young people connect with these organisations.
Check out the Bristol-Oakland video.