ABOUT THE PROJECT
This project aims to inspire action for change, by starting conversations about how we can eradicate some of the human behaviours that are having a negative effect on the environment. We invite the public to laugh, cry and sing along with us through our vibrant, and moving outdoor theatre show For The Love Of Stuff, ultimately encouraging them to be more sensitive to the world around them - to feel gratitude and care for our planet, the things we have in our lives and ultimately each other, without the ideal of everything being so easily disposable and replaceable. We hope that after seeing the show and experiencing our work, people will be inspired to join our campaign to make a positive change.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
I (Sioda Adams, Director) started to research this new theatre and community project back in 2018, while making some of my own conscious changes to reduce plastic waste at home.
I started making eco-bricks, which (if you don't know) is when you cut up single use plastic into small pieces, to place inside a larger plastic bottle. When the bottles are full and you've made enough, you can build things from them, like greenhouses, play areas, garden furniture etc. I spoke with a friend about making the bricks and we joked about how I should use them to create the set for my next theatre show.
This triggered an idea and I began to dream about an outdoor multi-media show that would tell a story, through song and movement and set in a dystopian future, made of plastic, where plastic had infiltrated our lives so much so, that we didn’t know where our veins began and the plastic ended, a world where we’d lost all sight of what it meant to be human and humane and became so disconnected from nature and each other, that the notion of any other life existing in our world was terrifying and therefore we were destroying our planet and ourselves all ‘For The Love Of Stuff’. In my vision of the show, there would be live dancers, singers, actors, clowns and a hoop aerialist (representing Mother Earth) and community groups/members of the public would be involved as part of the performance in some way.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED SO FAR
After almost 3 years of development and working to set up support for the project (and working through the pandemic), I finally had news, in July of this year, of a successful grant from Arts Council England (under 15k), to trial some of my ideas for the project. We recently came to the end of our research phase, where we developed the narrative and explored music, script, choreography ideas and exciting visuals for the live work. The studio research was carried out over 2 weeks and was supported by Warwick Arts Centre and 101 Outdoor Arts. If you'd like to find out more about our creative process, you can view a 40 minute sharing of our research outcomes at 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space HERE
CREATIVE CONSULTATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Alongside our studio research period, we carried out some creative consultations with young people to find out their views on climate change. I spoke to a group of 16 year old activists from Leamington Spa, in association with SYDNI Centre. Following the outcomes of this consultation we launched a social media campaign that focussed on specific themes in relation to the climate crisis - Time, Money and Eco-anxiety.
I then commissioned 19 yr old activist, artist and animation student Lea Dekany, from Warwickshire, to create illustrations in response to those themes, to share on social media and inspire other creative responses from young people.
I also initiated a project with some drama students at Campion School in Leamington, where I led a workshop in physical theatre and comedy and shared some of the creative practices I use to generate performance material, when thinking about a specific theme. We focussed on the themes of nature and throwaway mindset, using plastic waste from home to create accessories and develop their own characters. I also spoke to the school eco club to set them a task of interviewing their peers on camera, asking questions about climate change. My aims for this community engagement was to guide the young people into their own discussions, conversations and creative projects, to encourage them to express their own views and put their own stamp on their work.
PLASTIC COLLECTION FOR SET AND COSTUME
I asked the community to donate their unwanted plastic, for us to use to make our set and costumes. As the theme of the project is to reduce waste and protect our planet, it makes sense that we use recycled materials set for landfill and avoid buying new props or clothes. We teamed up with local independent business CORE in Leamington to help us with our plastic collection, which also enabled us to engage more members of the public with the project. We trialled out some costume ideas in the studio and our super talented costume designer Fiona Chivers, came up with some costume designs.
In the next phase, as well as commissioning Lea Dekany to continue her fantastic work alongside the project, I want to provide the opportunity for a young student designer, to work with Fiona, assisting with the making of costumes for the show and helping to deliver workshops in making fashion accessories using single use plastic.
It is important to me to offer professional experience to younger artists entering the creative industries and to provide a platform for new creative talent. Lea's designs will be a visual representation of the voices of the young people we speak to and work with and they will be showcased through the installation aspect of the live work, alongside a film created with some of the workshop participants.
We attempted to set up some music workshops with young people at the SYDNI Centre, however we found that neither me or the workers at the centre had the resources to make this happen. The community work so far has been delivered voluntarily by myself and we need more funds, significant investment to make this work happen in a way that's going to have a significant impact on communities. We need to employ a community engagement manager to co-ordinate and manage the community workshops. We also need artist fees for workshop delivery and funds to cover expenses for materials and other costs of running workshops.
This leads me to this Crowdfunder..........
WHAT YOUR MONEY WILL FUND
I aim to put the voices of younger generations at the forefront of this project. During the creation and touring phases of the show in 2022/23, it is my ambition to run some extensive outreach work with community groups, delivering creative music and theatre workshops. Not only will these creative sessions open up conversations with the groups about the climate crisis but they will offer skills, tools and encouragement for young people to find their voice through creativity, which will also have a positive impact on their mental wellbeing.
Opportunities will be offered to school groups and youth groups to attend open rehearsals of the show and Q&A sessions that will influence the creative process. They will also develop choreography and music with our professional team of artists, using materials set for landfill to create costumes, props and musical instruments. Their creations will be integrated into sections of the main live performance.
The communities we are passionate about reaching are those from lower socio-economic areas in the places we visit on tour. As an artist and director I am passionate about creating these kind of opportunities for people who wouldn't often, or maybe even ever, experience live performance or arts activities of this kind. I know how much of an impact this sort of opportunity can have on a young person's life, as it is the reason I have had a professional performance career myself. Working and performing alongside professional dancers, actors and musicians will provide an inspiring and exciting experience for the groups.
The Funds raised through this campaign will be used specifically towards the cost of running these workshops, so that we're able to either offer them to communities free of charge or heavily subsidised the cost of workshops for school groups with limited funds.
£1000-£2000 will cover the cost of up to 16 half day sessions with a group and £5-10k will fund some potentially life changing experiences for young people across the UK. It will also broaden our reach to raise awareness of the urgency for action against Climate Change.
For The Love Of Stuff is 1 of 10 projects that has been selected out of 100s of applications to the M&S Energy Community Competition 2021. We have been presented with the challenge of raising £1000 (from at least 30 supporters) by the 24th December 2021 to receive the initial £1000 in match funds from M&S, with the potential of releasing up to £5000 at a later stage. The clock is ticking and we need your help!
Please donate if you can and/or share with your networks to help us reach our first milestone. There are some unique rewards offered to anyone donating £10 or more - digital prints and T-shirts of a choice of 3 original artworks by Lea Dekany and access to up to 90 pre recorded yoga/movement classes online, led by artistic director Sioda.
Design 1 - Time Design 2 - Money Design 3 - Eco Warriors
"No one is too small to make a difference" (Greta Thunberg)