Have you ever visited someplace new only to find you feel right at home? This is how I would describe a recent visit to Polka Theatre in Wimbledon – one of the UK’s premiere theatres for young audiences and a company that shares with YPT many of the same values, priorities and challenges. In July, Educational Services Coordinator, Lois Adamson and I were fortunate enough to see a fantastic show there called Inside Out. Aimed at their youngest audience members (ages 2-6) and created in collaboration with young people from their neighbourhood, Lois and I were so impressed by this show, which was engaging and perfectly pitched for the audience’s interests, experiences and attention.
After the show we met with Jonathan Lloyd, Artistic Director of Polka and Director of Inside Out. Jon told us about the process of creating Inside Out where teaching artists did a residency at a nearby pre-school and worked with the children over many weeks to tell and create stories that were relevant and exciting to them. The children were fascinated by space and mysteries, told stories of their families’ trips to the seaside and invented stories about dragons and castles. All of these different stories made their way into the production in the most inventive and playful ways, brought together by the central theme of exploration and discovery. It was inspiring to see the imaginations of the young people brought to the stage by the Polka’s professional actors and creative team.
Stay tuned for an exciting collaboration between YPT and Polka Theatre coming soon…
Post by: Karen Gilodo, Education Services Director for Young People’s Theatre