Sheffield Theatre Workshops
From September to November 2015, Jane Plastow worked with Matthew Elliot, a youth theatre director and freelance practitioner, to run a series of theatre workshops for three generational groups on the theme of sustainability. This work was supported by UK Research Associate Kristina Diprose. The workshops drew participants from all over Sheffield, including (i) Passages Theatre Group, a group of older performers who meet regularly at the Workshop Theatre. Their work usually explores representations and experiences of older people and ways we conceive of ageing. (ii) A middle generation comprised of a mix of people with a background in theatre and creative methods, and those more drawn to the project through an interest in environmental issues. (iii) Level 1 Performing Arts students from Sheffield College Hillsborough Campus.
The workshops started from each generations' own ideas about sustainability and included personal, social, economic and environmental themes. Creative work was developed in response to salient issues such as technology and isolation, family and intergenerational relationships, austerity, immigration, climate change and fracking. A weekend-long intergenerational workshop brought the groups together to perform their scenes for each other and reflect on similarities and differences across the generations. They collaborated on two additional scenes, culminating in a community performance and discussion with families and friends on 14 November 2015. Some participants have since got together to perform their scenes again at community events, and to explore working on other intergenerational projects. You can find out more about the scenes devised and performed by all three groups and across the generations, by following the link below.