Ladies and Gentlemen:
Welcome to this performance of CROSSING LINES.
The performance here in Newbury is one of the first highlights of a major European project called Power of Diversity. A collaborative project with nine other partner festivals from all over Europe. It is part of the “Creative Europe” programme and is fifty percent funded by the EU Commission. It is also generously supported by Arts Council England and Greenham Common Trust.
Over the past 18 months, German theatre company Pan Optikum have created small productions with many young people in our partners’ cities across Europe.
Some of the performers from these small performances were then invited to come to Freiburg where six weeks of rehearsals created this performance Crossing Lines, which is now touring to our partner festivals. In this way, the project has created an international community that transcends borders and has also been a great pleasure to work on.
As we produced our projects last year we asked the young people taking part about their hopes, their fears and their visions of the future – both for themselves and for the world in which they are living.
Two themes emerged, questions of individual identity and self-awareness but also the bigger questions of the challenges our fractured societies and our planet face.
In this performance that they have created, young people find themselves in the aftermath of a global catastrophe. Cast adrift and isolated they have to rediscover their individual identities.
Finding other survivors they form new tribes, micro-societies based on their own arbitrary rules. But it is not until they open their eyes to others and embrace the wider diversity of the new world around them that they find their path to a new future.
Finally, a piece of practical piece of information:
Small stages will be moving all around the space during the performance, so we ask all of you to get ready to move. Through choosing where you stand you’ll be able to experience entirely new perspectives.
With this information let us wish you an enjoyable evening and present tonight’s performance of Crossing Lines.
Juliet Coveney (project manager)
Simon Chatterton (producer)