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From 2015-17 the company developed an original play with and for young people exploring their experiences on the internet and social media “The Web”. Three young people found themselves lost in a world without boundaries, where a mysterious ‘Voice’ knew every detail of their lives – including their secrets. The play asked many questions; ‘how does your on-line life affect your life off-line?’ and ‘if you could erase your on-line self and start again, would you?’
“The Web” was such a rewarding project to take into schools in 2017 and many of Cherwell Theatre Company young participants collaborated to bring the story, which explored cyber bullying, grooming, sexting, invasion of privacy, over-sharing, employability and managing personal relationships to life.”
“We’re thrilled, with the support of Thames Valley Police, Cherwell District Council and Arts Council England to adapt the piece into a film, with workshops facilitated on-line over ‘Zoom’ for Year 6s in local schools.”
At a time when on-line interaction has necessarily increased and visits from external companies pose a potential risk to schools, the company will redevelop “The Web” as a digital project, increasing it’s impact by engaging children at an earlier age in primary schools across Cherwell and supporting teachers to build drama approaches into their PSHE teaching practice.
“The on-line landscape has changed a great deal since our 2017 play and in many cases for the better”
“Isolated young people can find a sense of community on-line and studies show *62%* of 8-17s say that the internet should be more welcoming to different types of people. Despite this however, *47%* of 8-17s think it’s important to ‘fit in’ on-line and *61% *think the internet puts pressure on people to come across as perfect*.
”Our film won’t offer easy answers or dictate behaviour, but allows young people to explore their own relationship with social media through the prism of our characters, in order to keep themselves safe and develop their own agency.”
The company would like to invite young people aged 11+ to join a series of free on-line drama workshops with a professional playwright, actors and director in the week commencing October 26th to help them re-develop the 2017 script for today.
“As always we welcome any young person with an interest in theatre to take part”
“Simply email if you’re interested in finding out more!”
It’s clear in these challenging times that on-line interactions will continue to form a crucial part of young people’s social lives, their education and contribute to their sense of value and well-being. By re-developing this project now, CTC intend to spark new discussions, equip and empower young people and their families for years to come with a piece of drama that constantly evolves in line this ever changing issue.
*Registered Charity Number 1137145*
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