Paper People Theatre are creating a new show all about facts, post-truth, alternative facts and the impact that they have on our world.
What Are We Doing?
Long story short, we're making a show.
Last year we started making a show about facts. We were interested in the contradiction of facts as being both permanent and certain, and their transient nature. The idea that a fact can't be a definite and an absolute and then become out of date once new information is discovered. We also wanted to explore the idea that facts are how we explain the the Universe we live in and our place within it, they allow people to establis our significance in a vast Universe.
Then this happened;
Making the idea of a show about facts more interesting, we were told that facts aren't important and people are tired of being told about them. So if facts aren't important what does that say about science, and history and the universe we live in?
That's right, Kellyanne Conway, one of Donald Trumps counsellors told us that a fact doesn't actually need to be a fact. That's right, we could be held on the planets surface by magnets instead of gravity. It's not untrue, it's simply alternative.
Suddenly a show about facts becomes not only interesting but essential. If we not only start ignoring facts butstart simply making up new ones to suit our own world view then the world becomes a much less certain and much more dangerous place.
So we are continuing to make this show whilst incorporating the worlds bizzare relationship with fact as it develops. We have already performed a 20 minute scratch of "Do Geese See God?" in Manchester at Word of Warning's annual scratch event, Emergency, our performance was very well recieved. Exeunt Magazine published a review about the performance;
"Paper People Theatre’s brilliantly titled Do Geese See God? Posing the conundrum of how we really distinguish fact from fiction in a world where facts are always being changed or replaced (the cannily selected example offered by the company is the downgrading of Pluto from planet to not-quite-planet), it’s a consistently engaging exploration of what we know – or don’t know – and how we explain the world to ourselves. And while the tone is light and teasing, the show’s interrogation of our attitude towards facts has a dark undertow in the wake of the EU referendum and the “facts” thrown about during the campaign."
We have also been given the support by Lancaster Arts who are giving us a week of rehearsal space followed by an in development showing on February 22nd.
After that we will continue developing the show. We intend to perform another in development showing in Manchester later this year and then to take the completed show on a national tour from Autumn 2017.
(A goose seeing God as the world burns behind it)
Why is it important?
This show is important because its topic is important. We are exploring an ongoing development in humanities relationship with fact, the means by which we understand and explain the universe around us. If facts can be ignored or rewritten then things will start getting tricky for all of us. Obviously we can't stop that happening with a show, but we can continue the conversation, make people think and talk about it so that it doesn't become just another thing that we sweep under the rug.
We're also making this show fun. It may seem like it's about a pretty heavy topic, but we strongly believe that theatre is, above all, meant to be entertaining. That's because we think that theatre should be open and accessible to everyone.
Well, with serious cuts to public arts funding from Government, all arts and culture organisations are facing difficult times. We need to rally to support them and find new ways of raising money.
Despite the current challenges we feel as artists it is essential to continue. We want to secure good quality, accessible art for everyone. Touring theatre needs financial support as theatre fees and ticket sales can only cover the touring of work, not the creation.
It is a long process to make a show and it's a lot of hard work. It becomes even harder when you have to pay for rehearsal space, by props and costume and spend time making the show. To make the sort of high quality, well researched and well creafted performaces that we pride ourselves on takes a team of talented, hard working people, and money.
We are lucky enough to have the support of Lancaster Arts as well as some discounted rehearsal space at Z-Arts in Manchester. We have been fortunate enough to receive funding from Arts Council England in the past, however the cuts to public spending mean that we cannot ask for the full cost of develping this show. Crowdfunding will help us to finish making this show, and also gives us the opportunity to share that development process with you!
Who are we?
Paper People Theatre are a multi-disciplinary company based in Manchester. We work together to create beautiful theatre that explores the relationships betwen people and between people and the world around us. We have toured our work nationally and each member also works on their own projects. Paper People Theatre are;
Jon is a theatre maker, writer and performer based in Manchester. His work explores the nature of storytelling, focusing on the mechanics of telling stories rather than the stories themselves. He has recently finished a national tour of his solo show, ‘How to be a Man’ supported by Arts Council England. Jon is an associate artist of the Lancaster Emerging Arts Platform (LEAP) and has received support from Ovalhouse, Contact and Live at LICA. He has worked with The BBC, Dragonshead Productions, University of Lincoln, Just A Must, Imitating the Dog and Proto-type among others.
Lowri is a Welsh performance artist now based in Manchester. Her background is in live art and contemporary dance and before forming Paper People Theatre she worked largely as a solo artist performing at The Nuffield Theatre, The Tate Modern, Contact and working with artists such as Emily Roysdon, Mel Brimfield and Louise Anne Wilson. Now working as part of Paper People Theatre her live art background informs her work as a performer and dramaturg and her interests lie in work which is physical, often silent and which takes the audience through the visual landscape created on stage.
Jake has training in a variety of performance techniques working in a range of professional and semi-professional companies. Jake is also a core member of Powder Keg and works as a writer, performer and musician. He is currently touring ‘Morale is High (since we gave up hope) and is a devisor and performer for ‘Bears’., a new show being created by Powder Keg in partnership with The Royal Exchange.
Hannah Mook is a contemporary performance maker who's work seeks to explore the interplay between a performer’s body and what surrounds them. Her past works have been heavily prop and movement based and are often silent. Hannah is constantly preoccupied with the formal and visual aspects of theatre, her work is often uncanny or displaced. Hannah holds a Masters in performance and her credits include performances at The Nuffield Theatre Lancaster, Bluecoat Liverpool and LPAC Lincoln. She is currently working with Powder Keg theatre as a devisor and performer for their show ‘Bears’, which is being supported by The Royal Exchange under the Hodgkiss award.
What will your support do?
We are a small company, with limited overheads and so can offer real value for money. We are dedicated to the work we do and you can be safe in the knowledge that every penny of money donated will go towards ensuring that Do Geese See God is a top quality, well researched and finely tuned performance.
In order to create a full-scale show we will also be applying for Arts Council Funding. The crowd funder pot will massively help us to secure this larger funding bid. With your help we can begin to create this exciting project, your money will contribute to the following:
- Rehearsal space hire - Rehearsal space isn't cheap, even with the discount we receive from Z-Arts. Your contributions will ensure that we have the time and space to work on the show.
- Props and Costume - This show has a lot props involved, including a bike (we already have that thankfully) a lot of light up juggling balls, bookshelves, tables, books, glass jars... the list goes on. These things are essential to ensuring this show does what its meant to do and your contributions will help us to get them.
- Transport - With so many things involved in making the show, it is important that we are able to actually move everything around. You will be helping us to make this possible.
- Venue hire - For the performance in Manchester we will be hiring The Kings Arms in Salford, which costs money to do, you will be helping us to hire the venue so that we can run a work in progress showing of the performance. The work n progress is important as it gives you and others the chance to see the show and give us feedback on what is and isn't working and helps us to make the show better.
What do you get in return?
You mean a warm fuzzy that comes from being involved in the creation of an exciting new piece of theatre isn't enough? Well okay, we have a range of rewards to ofer in exchange for your support. Everyone who contributes towards Do Geese See God will receive a thankyou on the shows project page on our website. We also have things like original artwork, booklets of quite interesting facts and tickets to see the show among other things.
So, that's about it. Thanks for taking the time to have a look at our crowd funder. Here's one last thought... (It's also one of the rewards)