Our Learning and Participation team continue to engage with participants and partners to inspire a lifelong love of theatre.
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Dementia Friendly Communities
Since Capital Theatres closed due to Covid-19 we have continued to support our dementia friendly community. This has largely been done through regular email contact and conversations with families on the phone or zoom with families who are now shielding and those in care settings. Digital technology has proved a challenge for some of our older participants, but regular contact via email has been welcomed and we have had feedback from families, community link workers and other carer organisations who are very appreciative to receive our regular emails that highlight some online activities and performances that people can engage with.
We continue to be a key partner with the Forget Me Notes choir, whose sessions have moved onto zoom. We are collaborative creative partners with The Life Changes Trust for their rescheduled Regional Dementia Conference in Edinburgh and we are working closely with the Forget Me Notes choir to create a performance for this event. Maintaining the strong relationship we have with the leaders and participants in the group and working together to introduce ideas, choreography and songs for the rescheduled events is a priority for us.
FUSE is our creative project for participants who are 16+ and care experienced. In the last two months this group no longer has regular access to the theatre, and the wrap around support provided through the project, such as meals, support and regular contact with a peer group. In order to maintain some contact and continuity for this group, many of whom have mental health challenges, we have been running a weekly drop in ‘theatre club zoom’ where the group watch free theatre online, voted on by those who attend. This acts as a gentle touch stone in their week, enabling them to discover performing art and engage with each other in relation to it. Many participants have reported the sessions are making a positive impact on them during the current situation.
Our long-standing partnership with Harmeny Education Trust (a residential care home for care experienced children) which would normally culminate with a performance for the main stage has this year been adapted to become a lock-down story telling project.
The aim of the project is to co-create three short films/stories, one for each cottage which the children reside, and are currently isolating in. Our co-created approach means that the children have creative autonomy to create the story, such as choosing the characters, creating the environment and each week they share with us through quotes, arts responses and drama, how they would like their stories to move on. We then in turn, create an artistic response in a video for them to take forward the next week. Once all three stories are complete, we will edit and score each into short films. This will enable children from each cottage to communicate with each other, sharing the stories they have made whilst social distancing.
LBTQ Youth Scotland
Our two-year partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland has continued to go from strength to strength this year, the highlight being a co-created original performance at the Scottish Parliament in February. This piece was created with a group of young trans activists from all over Scotland and performed in front of 300 MSPs and invited guests. These emerging performers were due to bring this piece to the main stage of the Festival Theatre in June this year as part of our ‘invade the stage’ showcase. However as this is no longer possible we’ve moved our activities with this group to digital creative engagement sessions, where the young people are supported to engage with performing arts and be creative during lockdown.
Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and The Royal Hospital for Sick Kids
With 5 years of partnership working with the arts team at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, Capital Theatres is committed to bringing theatre to those who are most removed from accessing it. During these current times, our partnership has become vital for the hospital team as they try to provide stimulating and positive experiences for the children quarantined on their wards. Working closely with the play specialists, we are co-creating an hour-long podcast of theatrical storytelling, comedy and music, all based around the children’s ideas. Starting with a ‘possibilities poster’ the children’s suggestions that come back create the stimulus for our creative engagement team to create fun content.