Support a refugee actor on national theatre tour

by Pipeline Theatre in Falmouth, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 29th November 2019 we successfully raised £1,852 with 36 supporters in 28 days

We're a theatre company, and we're raising funds to give a great acting opportunity to Yonas* - an Ethiopian refugee actor.

by Pipeline Theatre in Falmouth, England, United Kingdom

We're called Pipeline Theatre, and we write and tour plays that engage with important issues - mental health, the use of AI in dementia care, drone warfare, the online sex industry, immigration, fostering. We do this with a light touch - our plays are character driven, funny, moving. 

We've been developing our latest play, 'Drip Drip Drip', for over a year now (we took it on a pilot tour early in 2019 with some superb actors, and it went down a storm). It looks at racism, Islamophobia, migration and the refugee experience, and is set in the NHS. We're taking the final, re-developed piece on tour nationally (including a London run) in early 2020, and to that end we've recently been holding new casting auditions.

During that process we met Yonas*, a young Ethiopian refugee, who's been in the country for a few years, following a perilous journey common to many refugees, and is trying to make his way as an actor (he used to act in Ethiopia, before he left, and is trained in circus skills). He's a member of a persecuted ethnic minority, hence his need to leave Ethiopia. Over the course of two auditions it became clear that his English wasn't yet at a level to allow us to use him for the part he was auditioning for, given the nuance and complexity of the many conversations that are needed in a rehearsal room. However, he's clearly a very good actor, his improvising skills are great, and we really want to give him a chance.

To do that, we've decided to create a new character, just for him, that will add a new layer to the play, as well as give him an opportunity to work with us. As a quick synopsis: In the play there are three main characters: a Muslim, female, second generation immigrant Doctor; a white, older cancer patient; and an Eritrean refugee called Daniel, who's doing his best as a trainee nurse. The cancer patient is a discredited academic, an advocate of pseudo 'race-science', Islamophobe and anti-immigrant. Through the play Daniel and the Muslim Doctor have their status, their identities, their family stories, and their hopes and dreams profoundly challenged - perhaps even shattered, even whilst caring for, and developing relationships with, this dying, toxic character. Yonas's character will be someone with whom Daniel has a brotherly bond, someone who is not thriving, a presence (almost ghostly) that weaves in and out of the central narrative, and whose needs force Daniel to compromise his professionalism, raising the tension in the increasingly high-stakes confrontations between 'ordinary people' and 'ideas'. 

This new part will allow Yonas to use his skills and his own language, without the risk of him feeling exposed in a more pivotal part. It will also enable him, and us, to express the truth of his experiences to audiences. Alongside rehearsals we'll also be arranging free English lessons for Yonas to help him with both the rehearsal process, and his life in this country, going forward. As well as this we'll set up any extra counselling support he might require, as obviously the subject matter is close-to-home. We have of course made him fully aware of the story and the parallels with his own experiences, and after three and a half hours of audition time, including improvisations on those themes, as well talking extensively with people who have worked with him before, both he and we are confident in his capacity and enthusiasm to play this part.

Paying him to perform this new part, plus his accommodation during rehearsals and tour, and also the English lessons, will require extra money for the project. We've just received our Arts Council funding for play, which we submitted before we met Yonas, which means we can't back to the Arts Council, as they are unable to offer more money for the same project. So we're looking for funds from elsewhere. We think that an extra £3,500 will cover the additional costs, and any means of us getting close to that figure through crowdfunding would make the difference between us being able to offer Yonas this opportunity or not. And obviously - we really really want to! And just as obviously - he also really really wants us to be able to! It would give him a much needed sense of belonging and purpose in a new and understandably alien environment, after having been forced to leave his homeland, and experiencing a journey that few of us would ever willingly take.

There will be rewards, largely connected with performances, but any donations would make a massive difference, and ultimately give you and others the opportunity to see Yonas in action, on stage!

* We're currently using an alternative name at the actor's request for safeguarding purposes. 

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

Email of gratitude

A heartfelt email of thanks

£30 or more

A real letter, even more gratitude!

A handwritten and heartfelt letter of thanks from the writer. (Remember letters that weren't bills or ads?)

£40 or more

An A2 Drip, Drip, Drip Poster

An original A2 poster with a handwritten letter of thanks from us. This is actually a thing of beauty and we thing could grace any wall.

£50 or more

A Drip, drip, drip T shirt

An organic cotton t shirt with the Drip poster image on the front. Please give your preferred size with your address for posting.

£75 or more

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A 'best seat' ticket to the show and an A2 poster

A 'best seat' ticket to the show and an A2 poster. You choose the venue and let us know. (Additional adjacent seats can be reserved for purchase if you let us know early enough).

£100 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Become a 'Friend'

Become a friend, and have your name both in our show programme, and on our website. You'll also receive a T shirt (please specify size) and a free ticket to the venue of your choice. (Additional adjacent tickets can be reserved for purchase if enough notice is given). You'll also be added to our mailing list for early bird info about new work/subsequent tours. (optional)


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