Who we are
Palmers Players Community Interest Company is a drama company, set up in 2014 with the aim of reaching those who have become alienated from Christianity or have never seen it as having any relevance to their lives. Our project has an ecumenical focus and is based on those small and little-known theatre companies that included both Quakers and Anglicans – some of whom were conscientious objectors – and which toured the country during the 1939-45 war. Through performing in diverse spaces and engaging with the community in a dynamic way they were successful in reaching a wide audience with religious drama.
What we have done so far
With Full Conviction – the play
Originally written and developed in 2016, With Full Conviction tells the story of three marginalised and broken people – one of whom is gay – who encounter one another, and find not only forgiveness and healing, but also a deeper sense of belonging. The play engages with themes of Christianity and mysticism, using contemporary storytelling and language to make these themes accessible to everyone. Performances are followed by a discussion and a short contemplation. Since 2016 a paid acting team has performed With Full Conviction eleven times to over 300 people.
Since the circumstances of Coronavirus have made live performance impossible, we have employed a Social Media Coordinator who has reached out to new audiences spanning Christian denominations in the UK and USA. So far, more than 100 people have listened to an audio version of the play which is available to listen to for free here: https://soundcloud.com/user-313249875/with-full-conviction.
Remembering Without Ceasing – the prayer course
Our free online prayer course focussed on the work of four English Mystics from the 14th century. Sessions were attended by 18 people in the UK and USA and participants were helped to understand themselves and God at a deeper level. They contemplated on passages from the Bible, using Lectio Divina or imaginative prayer, and were supported and encouraged to explore what the words had to say to them.
What we will do with your support
We are using this time of uncertainty to develop our second play, Realising the Magnolia, an imaginative reflection on the story of the possessed man in St Mark's Gospel, which also has characters who are gay and uses contemporary language and issues. With dialogue that is both gritty and compassionate, it will spark both discussion and reflection. With the money raised we will bring this play to a wide audience in the UK and beyond. Your money will help to keep paying our staff, who will contact faith and community groups to offer donations based live Zoom performances. We will also need to pay our actors, but performances over the internet will dramatically reduce our other costs, such as travelling and venue hire. We will continue to raise our profile on social media to make people aware that they can approach us and request performances.
Your money will also support us to publicise and facilitate another free online prayer course. Not in Word Only, written and facilitated by Neil Macdonald, is based on his experience of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises that inspired the play With Full Conviction and our drama project as a whole.
Our project makes spiritual resources for a peaceable community available to all. We hope that you will give as generously as you can to help us reach a wide audience with our new play and prayer course. Please follow our social media channels and have a look at our website (http://www.withfullconviction.com) to keep informed, and do get in touch to learn more and book us to perform to your community.