Students from the Market Theatre Laboratory will fly to the UK next week to host theatre-making workshops with budding actors from the North East of England. This will be followed by a one-off performance of Encountering the Other at the newly restored Darlington Hippodrome on Monday 27 November.
The performance is part of an international theatre collaboration exploring digital and live processes to create a production exploring the realities and possibilities of young women in the current moment in a global context. Supported by British Council Connect ZA, Encountering the Other is a creative coming together of people from different countries who can learn from each other both socially and artistically.
On 14 October, twelve talented young performers from ODDMANOUT Theatre Company (UK) and the Market Theatre Laboratory performed Encountering the Other to a full house at the Ramolao Makhene Theatre, after an intensive five-day rehearsal period.
Clara Vaughan, head of the Market Photo Workshop and who is also a director on the project, said, “We are very excited to be able to offer our students this unique cultural exchange experience, which is a huge opportunity for personal and artistic growth. I have no doubt that the work created is resonant and meaningful, as it explores the performers’ own experiences and stories and allows them to share these across very diverse contexts.”
Encountering the Other harnesses the energy, momentum and power of young people to address issues, raise voices and trigger debate through art, engagement and participation. It is an opportunity to experience the thoughts, experiences and creative offerings of young people.
According to Mike Fenton writing in The Guardian (2015), “Young people-led work is as valid an artistic proposition for audiences as the work presented on any main stage across the country. Why would audiences not want to hear about the issues and realities facing young people, and the new understandings of society, technology, race, sexuality and politics they are forging? Anyone interested in the future of theatre should witness the merging and reinvention of artforms and technologies with which young people are entirely comfortable.”
Commenting on the exchange project, Katy Weir, who has previously travelled to South Africa with the Swallows Foundation UK, said: ‘We’re very excited about the collaboration and the global profile of this project. We aim to achieve a mixed gender, class and race participation, providing a more inclusive outcome in a way that transcends more than just cultural divides, but also divides of gender, class and sexuality.”
“We are proud and excited about this exchange programme. It positions the Market Theatre Laboratory under the leadership of Clara Vaughan as visionary, adventurous and globally-connected,” said Ismail Mahomed, CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation.