Our community theatre company has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but we want to continue our work with our most vulnerable members. This campaign is seeking your support to fulfil this mission.
Who we are
We are a bold and innovative professional theatre company based in South East London. Our beneficiaries are a broad cross-section of the community, including young people considered at-risk, adults with a physical and/or learning disability, people with experience of homelessness and everyone in-between.
What makes SAVVY unique, is that we don’t just work with individual groups in isolation, but actively bring different members of the community together to produce ambitious theatre experiences that raises expectations in both participants and audiences. And ...our admissions are audition free to allow those with speech or physical impairment, emotional ill health or even lack of confidence to participate in theatre.
Supporting our charity as Patron is DR. Cecily O' Neill, Associate Professor at State University of Ohio and Resident Dramaturg at New York University and an equally renowned team of trustees. The creative input is driven by Sheree Vickers, artistic director and a diverse staff team of theatre professionals.
A Socially Distanced, Steampunk Panto!
We plan to perform "Jack & The Beanstalk, A Steampunk Pantomime" this Christmas, that will uphold social distancing and play with theatrical form.
We have been working hard during this COVID lockdown to maintain connections with our diverse membership (the majority of who have additional support needs) as we continue to work with partners like Mencap and Crisis to provide pastoral care and mentoring support.
As a result, in May, we launched the Mixed Bean Season, where we creatively worked with our members, online. Through various platforms, such as Zoom, WhatsApp and Google Classroom (as well as direct calls, chats, emails and posted activity packs), we have been exploring the story, developing characters, re-enacting moments, researching traditional pantomime routines and providing creative provocations to play with form and style.
All of this collaborative work will inform the final Christmas production, which will take place at our studio in Fairfield Halls.
After this period of physical isolation, we want to welcome people back to SAVVY while ensuring that both cast and audience feel safe coming back to theatre and live events in Croydon.
Why is our project special?
With the ongoing "social distancing" set to continue, we are using this as an opportunity (rather than an obstacle), to play with form, style, multi-media conventions, audience placement and world creation. Theatre is perfectly placed to provide a platform to react, respond and comment on the world.
We might still have to stay away from each other, but it won’t stop us coming together to experience and share in a theatrical experience. We don’t look at what people can or can’t do when creating theatre with them, and so it is only right that we apply the same response to this current crisis.
SAVVY is used to transforming spaces and working in unusual environments (from boats, to rivers, to urban landscapes, museums and art gallery windows), and so we intend to transform our studio at Fairfield Halls, into a sensory, STEAMPUNK world of JACK and THE BEANSTALK, with pipes to bang on, markets to shop at, scientific experiments to play with and beans to plant.
Our pantomime will play with scale through the use of over-sized props and puppetry and incorporate a unique soundscape for each character, with audiences encouraged to contribute to this soundscape by using percussive props and an interactive set.
Our annual revenues are from fees, grants, donations, ticket sales and sponsorships. As a result of the lockdown, we have lost our revenue from fees, ticket sales and sponsorships sources. Grant funding has also been diverted to Covid -19 related projects which has further contributed to our loss.
We are aware too that many of our SAVVY members will still be socially isolating until Christmas due to underlying health conditions, anxieties and so forth. To ensure that they are included in the creative process and production, we are utilising a number of multi-media options, and are looking to raise a £10,000 + to support the cost of:
- A videographer
For some of our cast who will still need to socially isolate and won’t be able to take part in rehearsals, we will record voice and image to be utilised in the show. They will also record the process and final product to ensure anyone not able to attend the live, will still be able to stream the show online.
- An animator
To turn visual art created by our members into projected images and story moments.
- Other artists fees
This will include a puppet maker and manipulation workshops, movement director, costume and (over-sized) props maker, project manager etc.
- Audience Accessibility
We actively work to support audiences who often feel excluded from society. Over half of our regular audiences include people with a disability. The pledged funds will go towards the creation of a “Welcome to the Theatre” Social Story, Integrated Signed Interpreted Performances (ISIP), a Sound Sensitive Synopsis and pre-show touch tours.
- Production Costs
The steampunk style enables us to build around wheelchairs and walkers, and our inclusive way of working will ensure cast members with limited verbal communication are active participants with additional specialist support workers.
So... please help us to continue to support our members in staying creative and connected; and support us in producing accessible theatre.
"If the performance is postponed due to the pandemic, all money raised will still go towards the future production"
THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!