Once Upon A Christmas Song is an alternative to the classic, familiar Christmas play. Building upon our recent experience of holding theatrical workshops with participants living with dementia, we will create and tour a Christmas production that originates from the memories and ideas of those living in care. By creating an original play that will be framed by Christmas themes, we are providing theatre that accommodates the needs of our audience in care while progressing our artistic values. This new work will offer stimulation for those living in care and offer an insight into their minds to our public audience. It also celebrates the artistic abilities of our participants within the arts.
In October, a team of actors, a writer and workshop leader facilitated two weeks of theatrical workshops with 4 care providers, whose participants live with memory problems and dementia.
The playwright (Alexander Moschos) is now writing a play that entertains the participants ideas and stories. It focuses on establishing an alternative Christmas story that's receptive of the minds of our participants, entertaining, vibrant and taking artistic risks.
The production will be supported with live music picked by our participants and adapted by a musical director. We will cast an ensemble of professional actor/musicians and rehearse the final play to performance standard. The play will then tour as a professional, pop-up theatre, transforming care home spaces, throughout December to the 4 care centres involved in the project as well as 10 others across London and the South East. These care centres include local authority day care and respite, residential and dementia cafe's run by The Alzheimer's Society. During the tour we will hold public performances, sharing this new theatre, created with those isolated from the arts with public audiences. This new play will offer a seasonal, theatrical experience that is compelling to both our audiences living in care and the public.
Use of funds
This campaign will contribute to our design, costume and set budget. It will fund lighting hire and a stage managers fee. These are all crucial to a touring production of this nature because when we arrive at care centres, the transformation of a space is as engaging as the play itself for our audience, so we need to create all the aesthetics one would expect when going to the theatre. A stage manager will allow the show to run to the professional standard it deserves, and means the producer can concentrate on that job instead of taking on another role or relying on volunteers.
Funds at 70%
This production will go ahead no matter!!! We have some funds in place, and we truly believe that anything is possible with the right people involved. Only reaching 70% of funds will mean we have to reduce the budget in certain areas e.g costume, set, props and the creative team will be reduced, which will mean some aesthetics will suffer. It also means the producer will take on voluntary work.
But...we work hard, and have been for a few years now, so no matter we will get this production on the road to all the care centres that are ready and waiting for a little theatrical joy in their dinning room!
No matter your donation, it will make a huge difference and just spreading the word is a massive help.
Hurdles & Hopes
We want to create theatre that excites both our audience with dementia, the general public and the arts. This project offers a unique way of staging the anticipated ‘Christmas Show’. It builds upon the success of our last project and is a step towards our long-term plan of touring to a variety of spaces across the UK with exciting, original, pop-up theatre that’s engaging for all. We’ve found that working with participant’s benefits our artistic values. We want to expand upon this for a Christmas production. In the past, we’ve toured classic texts because they’re stimulating for all. However, creating plays with our audience as participants also achieves this, contributes to the arts and advances the work of our artists. We feel that this method is the best way to create theatre for our target audience in care and to audiences at regional arts venues and non-conventional spaces. This project will reach a wider audience and raise awareness of our participant’s artistic abilities.
Our work is popular with care centres and we want to continue to surprise them with unconventional theatre. This project will encourage care providers and arts venues to take risks when booking theatre, giving scope to more projects of this kind.
We want to revolutionise the way theatre is perceived in care. This project will encourage arts companies to offer high quality theatre to those in care and not underestimate their wants and abilities.
Our hurdle is money, which, as a new charity we are finding our feet with funding, currently working from project to project which means that we do not have reserves. We currently have some funds in place for this project, but creating theatre of this nature working with highly experienced professionals is costly - but we want the best for our audiences, so we'll keep working hard to meet our goals!
3 months ago
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED, SHARED, SUPPORTED AND SHOWED INTEREST IN OUR WORK. YOU ALL HAVE ALLOWED US TO HIT THE TARGET TO PULL THIS PRODUCTION OFF TO THE HIGH STANDARD OUR AUDIENCES IN CARE DESERVE!
3 months ago
We have a new play title!
The Project is Once Upon A Christmas Song - where we took theatre workshops into dementia cafes and day care centres to come up with ideas together for our Christmas play. Writer, Alexander Moschos has now written that play using may of the characters, places and circumstances that came out of that workshop. He calls this play - Desert Dust at The Star of Bethlehem
Here's our show poster, designed by Ana Maio
3 months ago
Design drawing from our brilliant designer Ana Maio!
3 months ago
A little insight into our workshops for this project, click on 'workshop video' to watch