Youth Theatre In Lockdown

June 1st, 2020 | Posted by Rachel - (0 Comments)

After a few weeks of lockdown, we were missing our youth theatre member so much! We decided to start to investigate how we might meet online and continue to be creative together in lockdown. After many hours of investigating and researching how this might work for us we launched Growtheatre Youth Theatre Online. It has been a real learning journey that our lovely members have got on board with and helped us to slowly surely get right! I look forward to every session so much as they are full of fun, creativity, friendship and some really good chats!

We try and make our sessions as dynamic as possible and get our members working both indoors and outside. Household objects, amazing finds in our gardens and backyards, the whole family’s wardrobes and pets, cuddly toys and plastic fish have made their way into our sessions. I am very grateful to our parents for being so supportive of Growtheatre, whilst their children raid their homes and gardens during sessions!!! And for also sending us so many positive and kind messages.

We have had quite a few children and young people join Growtheatre Youth Theatre Online – everyone has commented that it has been great to be able to make new friends during this time! An unexpected surprise is that geography is not a barrier to joining the Youth Theatre during lockdown and Evie, our amazing volunteer who is a student at the University of Sheffield, has continued to volunteer with us from her family home in Hertfordshire and her 2 younger sisters have joined our Junior and Intermediate groups too!

Enough from me – lets hear from our Youth Theatre members about their sessions.

Juniors

“I have been making potions, making costumes acting stories and running off to get things out the garden and in the house. I think it is way more better than being on a screen all the time. Plus I get to see my friends more often! The games are really fun. Thank you!” Leo

Intermediates

“I have really enjoyed Growtheatre online. It is really nice to see my peers and meet new people, even if it is just virtually. It is fun trying out new versions of games that can work online. Though I prefer doing Growtheatre in person, it’s really nice to do what I love again as acting is not something that is easy to do at home with a sister or brother. Although not everyone can get outside, it has been really fun finding ways to incorporate things outdoors with acting online. The sessions I loved most were the ones where we had a theme and focused on it for the whole session. For example, I loved the time our theme was about magic and we created potions using outdoor materials, wrote a spell together and performed it in groups for our peers.” Sophia

“Doing drama online is fun but at the same time is a bit strange. I have enjoyed meeting new people and playing new games, I especially enjoy Mafia, that is super fun. I love all the sessions and everyone is so different and full of great ideas. Also, I like how every week when we do different challenges, there is a different theme. Like when we got to go outside and make potions. I don’t live in Sheffield, and have just joined for the online sessions. Everyone has been really kind and positive to me and I really appreciate that.” Isla

Seniors

“I’m a member of the Senior Group at Growtheatre and because of the coronavirus, we haven’t been able to meet up like we normally would, so this half term we’ve been meeting via zoom. At first this was quite strange and difficult to get used to but since the weeks went on it became clear what wasn’t possible, which would normally be possible in our sessions; but also what we could do and experiment with which would otherwise be impossible. Games and activities have a whole new experience to them now and it’s very fun. I really enjoy being able to see everyone in the Senior Group during the current pandemic, which might not have been possible if it weren’t for the opportunities that meeting online provided.

This half term we’ve been taking part in the Coronavirus time capsule. This is an international project run by Company 3 in London and its aim is to document how young people are living in the current state of the world, being forced to stay home, not being able to see friends, etc. Every week we made a short film with everyone in the group being involved, each time talking about a different aspect of our new COVID lives. In the session we would discuss the theme that had been set for that week and split into small groups where we talked about what are plans were. We could then make our contributions to the film by ourselves and it would be edited together for us to see the next week. It’s been great fun since it lets everyone’s unique and individual ideas be shared with everyone. It’s always fun seeing each other’s parts of the film when we show it in the weekly meetings with lots of laughs and some very creative approaches to the brief. It’s been a great half term with lots of fun despite everyone being stuck at home!” Dillon

Growtheatre Online

May 11th, 2020 | Posted by Rachel - (0 Comments)

Growtheatre Online

Over the past few weeks, Growtheatre has taken to running our Youth Theatre Sessions online. We have been using a virtual platform to connect with the Youth Theatre members each week and it has been really nice to still be able to get creative inside and outside of our homes.

Both the Juniors and Intermediates have been very impressive with how they have adapted to running the sessions online. Each week is filled with group games, lots of fun and laughter! We have been making pieces of drama about mystical characters, and making costumes out of things you may find in your gardens! It is great to know that the enthusiasm for getting outside and exploring is still alive when we hear stories about daily exercise in the woods and beyond!

The Seniors have taken a slightly different approach to their weekly sessions by joining in with Company Three’s project, Coronavirus Time Capsule. The Time Capsule is an opportunity to capture the lives of teenagers emotions, thoughts and movements through the current crisis. The video’s have really amazed us and have been extremely thought provoking and full of emotions every week.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue with the Youth Theatre every week, it just shows you can have as much fun indoors and in your garden as you can in the woods! We also can’t wait to be back there as well!

“Its the best part of my child’s week”

Parent of Growtheatre Senior Member

“I get to see everyone again”

Intermediate reflecting on what they like about the online sessions.

“I think there really good fun”

Junior member reflecting on their sessions.

Christmas!

December 19th, 2019 | Posted by Rachel - (0 Comments)

Modern Christmas Stories, Pirates and Boris Johnson … Oh My!

What a term it has been at Growtheatre! Another fun filled term with three completely brilliant groups. The lead up to Christmas has been particularly busy preparing the two younger groups for their Christmas sharing and working with the Seniors to decide what their next pieces of work will be when we return in the New Year!

This Term our Juniors have been focusing on the theme of Pirates! We had a few super sessions whittling and designing our very own pirate weapons! We had swords, daggers and even a trident! They worked very hard to make them perfect, ready to be used in their Christmas Sharing pieces. We decided that it would be fun to explore what would happen if a pirate was to meet a VIP character … like the queen or even Boris Johnson! Each group created some fantastic ideas and they were very funny! We are very lucky having such a dynamic young group that aren’t afraid of any task put their way!

The Intermediates have had fun exploring the role a narrator plays and just how important they can be! The Intermediate group always bring fun and laughter to each session and are a very friendly group, we knew no task would be too much! Their Christmas pieces explored typical Christmas stories but not as you know them! We had a very modern Mary and Joe meeting Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, Scrooge and The Grinch teaming up to steal Christmas AND a story about a ghostly girl who got locked in her school many many years ago and no one saw her since! We are incredibly proud of the middle group and we are looking forward to seeing what the next term brings!

Politics seems to be a running theme across all three groups, but the Seniors in particular focused on Global Warming as their theme this past term. They are a very thought provoking and considerate group that created such wonderful and sometimes hard hitting pieces about why it is so important to look after our planet earth. No matter what this group is presented with, they never fail to amaze us with their skills and talents!

On behalf of all at Growtheatre, we would like to take the time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

-Paige

Seniors and Politics!

December 10th, 2019 | Posted by Rachel - (0 Comments)

Seniors and Politics!

For the past few weeks in the senior group at Grow, we have been taking our ideas on politics and the world around us and using them to create a piece of drama. For example, one week we listened to a song given to us by Rachel all about Global Warming, and in groups we developed a short performance based on the idea of Global Warming and how it affects us right here where we live. We spent 2 weeks developing our ideas and our performances.

After the two weeks we then shared what we had created to the rest of the group. One of the groups focused on how actions that seem small to us, can have a big impact on others and that we need to be aware of where we live and how to look after it. In the performance they showed simple everyday actions that lots of people do that has a negative effect on the environment, E.g. driving to work/school every day or littering. But halfway through the performance they began showing us what we can do to improve the way we go about those actions like, using public transport more and recycling as much as you can.

In a different group, the focus of the piece was the Sheffield floods in 2007. The group devised a piece of movement based physical theatre using the original song that we listened to, to show the ways in which the floods affected families all over, whether that was because of homes being destroyed or even something as tragic as loss of life.

In recent weeks at grow, we have been beginning to think about what we would like to do for our Easter show. We all came together as a group and began to brainstorm ideas for what we will be working up to in coming terms. We wrote down some ideas, themes, different types of productions we would like to work on and even specific roles we may enjoy like directing, set building or lighting. We wrote all of our thoughts down on a big role of paper so that we can come to a decision of what we would like to create!

Written by Greg – Growtheatre senior member

An Even Better Arbourthorne

October 27th, 2019 | Posted by Rachel - (0 Comments)

Community Fridge

Here at An Even Better Arbourthorne we have been working really hard on opening the second Community Fridge in Sheffield! We have made some great partnerships including Aldi, Coop, Tesco and Fareshare Yorkshire. We have a brilliant team of volunteers that help run the Community Fridge and as a community, we are combating Food Waste!

We have been fortunate enough to be joined by two brilliant students from University of Sheffield that came to write an article on the Community Fridge and the work we have been doing on the project! Please give it a read here!

We are really grateful they took the time to write such a fantastic piece and are thankful of their hard work. We love running our Community Fridge and we are looking forward to seeing what lies in store next!

-Paige

Senior Blog

October 27th, 2019 | Posted by Rachel - (0 Comments)

Musical Half Term

This Half Term, the senior group have been working with music and exploring how it can create effect and change the atmosphere of a scene. We developed our understanding on music in performance by practising using games which Paige and Rachel had prepared. For example, for one of the games we were split into three groups then and given three different songs (Park Life, Mission Impossible, Funeral March). From this we we had to take it in turns to go up and create a scene using improvisation and the music we were given. We were advised not to use dialogue and not to plan ahead. This made us focus on the music and the character we were creating. We then had to go up one by one and either add to a previous section or create a new scene. We had to freeze in position before we left the scene.

We then used what we learnt to create a performance in groups. Our brief was to include music and the theme of truths and lies. In one group, we used the Funeral March as the music to start the performance. This was because of the slow and sinister atmosphere we wanted to create. In our performance we were a group of pathologists about to perform an autopsy. We decided to use a little bit of dialogue throughout and tried to focus on the on the tempo of the music. Our twist around the stimulus of truths and lies was that one of our pathologists was under cover and actually was there to steal the body.

In another group we decided to use the song ‘Park Life’. Our piece focused on a stabbing that occurred in a park. We used this plot as we believed that it could link successfully with secrets and lies. At the beginning of the performance we created a ‘park scene’ by incorporating ideas from the the game we had played before. Whilst the song was playing, we all portrayed different movements and gestures to communicate to the audience what setting our piece took place in.

Blog Written by Gracie and Beth – Growtheatre Seniors

It’s showtime!

July 16th, 2019 | Posted by Rachel - (0 Comments)

What a term! We have had a fantastic term with Growtheatre, it has been filled with fun, laughter, and most importantly adventure. This Sunday saw our Junior and Intermediate groups perform their Summer Sharing, assisted by a handful of our wonderful Seniors giving the audience a taste of what they have been working on.

Small but mighty is the best way to describe our Junior group. They have worked extremely hard this term and created a brilliant piece of work that explored the poems Ivy, Magpie and Conker from the Lost Words book. They also spent some time beautifully crafting their own costumes to wear and we think they did an amazing job!

The Intermediates put on a show stopper performance which not only allowed their audience to jump into the pages of the Lost Words, but took them on a journey as they used the woods to explore their chosen poems. The Intermediate group work so well as a group and really took their time to make sure every scene was perfect!

Last but not least a massive Thank you to the Seniors who have provided us with lots of laughter and creativeness this term. As this group performed at Easter, they were allowed to choose what we explored every week, from improvisation to stage combat and even having the honour of working on an original play by one of Growtheatre’s very own, we have had a fantastic term with them and they never fail to amaze us with their ideas and enthusiasm.

I can’t help thinking #childhoodunplugged when I think of Grow Theatre. I strongly believe you are providing something very special, and in a similar vein to The Lost Words, you are offering beautiful experiences and opportunities that are being lost – or have already disappeared – from other avenues. Parent of child that attends Growtheatre.

We are very proud of all three groups and we can’t wait to see what next year brings! – Paige, Rachel, Sophie.

This newspaper’s made for … wearing?

What can you do with a newspaper? Our seniors had a fantastic session where they took your everyday entertainment item and transformed pieces of paper into magnificent, extraordinary characters!

The group manipulated, cut, shredded, twisted, shaped, tied and stuck parts of newspapers together to create characters and paraded them in their very own mini fashion show! We met a wonderful pirate called Red Handed Roger, a fairy with beautiful constructed wings and a queen that LOVED heinz ketchup?!

Each group did an amazing job, taking stories from newspapers, bringing them to life through their characters and creating ensembles that possibly could give high end designers a run for their money! See below for the fantastic creations!

Is there anything they can’t do? – Paige

Lights, Camera, Action!

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by Rachel - (0 Comments)

Warning: Extreme amounts of praise and electronic applause ahead!

At the Youth Theatre this week, our Senior group had their sharing. Families and Friends were invited to come and watch their work which they have been working extremely hard on for the past few weeks. And what a night it was!

The session was filled with a wonderful script, lighting and directing by 3 very talented members, and performed with the highest of standards by a wonderful cast of senior members. A comedic section of improvisation that opened up the floor between the actor and the audience, and had the whole room stunned with the level of improvising these members could do on the spot. And a wonderfully choreographed physical theatre piece that transported their audience behind the four walls of family life, and through the use of movement, explored the lives of 6 characters, who showed struggles families can approach sometimes.

I know I speak on behalf of myself, Rachel and Sophie by saying we can not congratulate the Senior group enough for the work they have created, we are very very proud of you and you should all be so pleased with the pieces of work you created! You are all such a talented and lovely bunch of young adults, an absolute pleasure to work with each week! – Paige

Juniors and Intermediates

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by Rachel - (0 Comments)

What a week!

We have had such an exciting and over whelming week at Growtheatre! Our two youngest groups have had a wonderful time outside in the woods this week! Not only did we manage to be explorers creating in the woods, but we also welcomed loads of new friends to our session and it was very lovely to be able to bring a friend to share our fun theatre activities!

We are working from a wonderful and beautifully illustrated book called ‘The Lost Words’, and is a book that has been created to save words that are being taken out from the Children’s Dictionary.

We have been taking inspiration from one of the wonderful poems, Magpie, and exploring how we can bring the words off the paper and bring them to life through the use of freeze frames, physical theatre, speech and sound! Both groups have worked fantastically and it has been brilliant to be able to develop their ideas whilst using nature and being in the woods!