[T]he writer of a new play about the pressures facing young people hopes it will encourage them to share their experiences.
Award-winning playwright Kevin Dyer says his fast-paced production is based on real life stories.
The play will be performed in 10 local schools across South Lakeland and Barrow during April and May.
“This play is about the world of young people and what is going on in their heads. Young people are still busy working it all out and this is a story of a 15 year-old navigating one ordinary and yet extraordinary day,” said Kevin.
“I wrote the play after listening to a group of young people who live in South Lakeland telling me their stories. After writing it I took it back to the group and tweaked it and changed it, depending on what they liked and what they found authentic.
“The performances will hopefully lead to a deeper conversation between young people, professionals and parents. We adults make the world that young people grow up in and some of the pressures come from mum, dad and the family,” added Kevin.
The play will be the first to be performed as part of a new initiative called Applied Theatre in Cumbria (ATiC) which will take plays focussing on community safety and health and wellbeing issues into schools.
Councillor Philip Dixon, South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC’s) Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “We know theatre is a powerful and effective way of engaging with young people and over the coming weeks they will see a performance which will inform, entertain and deliver real impact.”
ATiC is a partnership investment initiative between the South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership and cultural education charity, Curious Minds, Arts Council England’s Bridge Organisation for the North West.
Commenting on the project, Curious Minds Chief Executive, Derri Burdon, said: “We are delighted to be able to be part of this exceptional initiative, which champions the voices of young people, as well as providing valuable opportunities for children and young people across Cumbria to benefit from experiencing a high quality, professional theatre production in their own school.”
A joint investment will enable a series of professional theatre performances to be delivered by the Brewery Arts Centre over the next two years.
ATiC Project Manager Tricia Gordon said: “We are delighted the project includes young, emerging apprentice actors from across Cumbria and gives them the opportunity to experience the world of professional theatre first hand.”
The theatre project is backed by the South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership, which is made up of a range of organisations including SLDC, Cumbria County Council, the police and fire services and voluntary organisations who are helping to tackle crime and disorder and promote community safety.