Fusion Theatre is a Cross Community Youth Theatre Group that engages, supports and develops young people through the medium of drama and musical theatre. Fusion aims to engage and develop the children, young people and their families through a positive and stimulating medium, helping them to develop new skills whilst promoting positive physical and mental health.
Fusion’s primary aim is to enhance the drama, music and artistic standards of young people in the wider Lagan Valley area.
Fusion is run by volunteers and we work alongside a professional Director, Musical Director and Choreographer to produce two musical theatre shows each year, in the Island Hall, Lagan Valley Island.
- Our ethos is centred on the bilateral principles of inclusivity and accessibility. Fusion strives to deliver on the goal of making the arts accessible to all.
Music and drama are particularly beneficial in promoting good mental health. Drama offers a platform to explore feelings, develop self-confidence and promote positive self-esteem while music elevates the mood, lowers stress levels and enhances cognitive function.
The local area is heavily segregated on a religious, political and community background basis and many young people never meet anyone from a different community background.
Fusion provides a much needed opportunity for young people to meet, as evidenced in numerous posts on social media and in the comments from members which are shown in the video above. This is particularly important given that this is the first generation of a post conflict society.
Membership is drawn from mixed abilities, cultural and social backgrounds, and within the 12 - 24 age groups. The cast includes young people with Asperger’s Syndrome, ASD, learning difficulties and we welcome cast members from the LGBT community.
- Fusion aim's to involve young people in theatre that may not otherwise get the opportunity. Many secondary schools in the local area have no provision for drama so many local children miss out on this opportunity.
We feel the next step for Fusion is to take these skills that benefit our cast and bring them to the wider community. That may be by inviting groups who may not usually be able to attend our performances to come along and experience live theatre, and also by bringing music to the people within the community who need it most. For example in Nursing Homes, Hospitals and schools. Research has shown that patients suffering from a stroke or with dementia related illness respond well to music and many who have lost speech can manage to sing.
The second part of our project to develop our young people is to ensure they are leaving Fusion with the necessary skills which they can use in later life, this may be through leadership, project management, singing, acting, dance, film and photography, digital and social media marketing.
Ensuring young people are given the opportunities to create and develop their skills will give them the confidence they need to secure employment, to secure access to further education and training and our space allows them to build relationships with people from all walks of life, many they may not have previously engaged with otherwise.
The money raised would assist Fusion to be able to invest further in our young people by purchasing a camera, which can be used both to take photos and also record. This would be a huge benefit to the company as it would allow the cast to become involved in marketing, social media, making our souvenir programme and would also greatly assist them during rehearsals. Our second investment would be directly to the wider community and the money would greatly assist us in being able to open the doors to community groups who have yet to feel the benefit of live theatre.