Coronavirus Time Capsule: Belgrade and Grapevine team up on youth project
A national initiative led by Company Three will be facilitated in Coventry for local teenagers
With the closure of schools, cancellation of exams and the recent extension of lockdown regulations, the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a period of massive upheaval for teenagers around the world.
As social isolation and uncertainty about the future further complicate an already challenging period in their lives, the pandemic presents a real risk not only to the physical, but also to the mental health of our young people.
However, one new initiative which has recently begun in Coventry is hoping to address some of these concerns by bringing teenagers together online and providing a space for them to explore and creatively share their own experiences of the lockdown.
Developed by London-based youth theatre Company Three, the Coronavirus Time Capsule is a week-by-week project that has now been made available to groups of young people from across the world. Every week, groups located in countries from Scotland to Kenya, Brazil to Croatia and Australia to the Netherlands will be creating videos responding to a series of themes or prompts.
The first two videos from the Coventry group are now available to watch on our YouTube channel here.
In Coventry, a local group is currently being facilitated by the Belgrade Theatre in partnership with Grapevine – a local charity that supports a range of people from Coventry and Warwickshire experiencing isolation, poverty and other disadvantages.
Each week, the two organisations will be posting a new video offering a window into the worlds of 20 young participants, showing them at home, with their families and in their rooms. Topics explored will include things like home life, school, exercise and friendship. By the end of the lockdown, the group will have created a cumulative time capsule for anyone to watch – and for the participants to look back on and remember this extraordinary time.
The first video created by the Coventry group has now been published, and is available to view on the Belgrade’s website, via its Between Stages hub at wwww.belgrade.co.uk/between-stages. Those interested can look out for further updates on the page or on the theatre’s social media channels.
Ned Glaiser, Artistic Director of Company Three, said: “We are so excited that Grapevine and Belgrade Theatre have joined with this huge network of youth theatres, schools and other youth groups to create their own Coronavirus Time Capsule. We know that the shutdown is particularly difficult for teenagers, living with all that the pandemic has brought and missing out on key rites of passage in their education and emotional development. So we wanted to provide something to provide support, connection and a space to be heard – and a chance to connect with teenagers in similar situations all over the world.”
Hannah Barker, Creative Producer at the Belgrade Theatre, added: As part of our commitment to stay connected with our wonderful participants, audiences, friends and supporters at this uncertain time, we at the Belgrade wanted to use this opportunity to collaborate with our partners at Grapevine to explore new models of creative engagement. We are curious and excited about where it could lead as we all go on an experimental journey together!
The Coronavirus Time Capsule is available for free to youth theatres, educational institutions, student drama groups, amateur companies and community arts projects everywhere. It includes a 20 page blueprint, online working resources and other online materials. Groups can start now, or join later in the process.
The project has been created by Company Three, published in association with Nick Hern Books and developed in partnership with the National Association of Youth Theatres, Scottish Youth Theatre, Youth Arts Network Cymru, the Unicorn Theatre and Central School of Speech and Drama. For more information, visit the Company Three website at www.companythree.co.uk.
For further media information or images please contact Heather Kincaid on T: 024 7684 6703
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The Belgrade Theatre Trust is a registered charity (number 219163). This means that all the The BelgradeTheatre Trust is a registered charity (number 219163). This means that all the money given, raised or earned is not distributed as profit but kept and reinvested in the work that we do. We are reliant on the valued support of our donors and sponsors to ensure that we can continue to develop our artistic and educational work and remain central to the communities that we serve.
- The Belgrade Theatre is supported by Arts Council England who champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. Between 2018 and 2022, they plan to invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
- The Belgrade Theatre is part of a network of organisations promoting engagement with arts and culture in the lead-up to Coventry’s City of Culture year in 2021. In December 2017, supporters of the Coventry bid gathered at the Belgrade Theatre in the heart of the city to watch the announcement live from Hull, with press on hand to broadcast their reactions to the country. In 2021, three Co-Artistic Directors – Corey Campbell, Balisha Karra and Justine Themen – will take over the Theatre’s producing programme for the year, delivering a diverse mix of shows and events to reflect the drive and ambition of Coventry’s City of Culture bid.