New York(shire) – Equal Players on Tour

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, sky and outdoor

By Susan Burns, Creative Producer / CEO at Chol

We were recently given the opportunity, as part of our ‘Equal Players’ programme, to travel to New York City to share practice and to experience amazing connections with artists and educators there. Back in 2018, the idea came about that we wanted to go far away from home and out in the world with ‘Imaginary Communities’. This inspiring city came instantly to mind. The idea grew and grew until Chol’s ‘New Yorkshire’ trip became a reality.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

Our programme included a series of meetings with inspiring people and organisations, including at New York University, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Educational Video Centre. We also visited the Ford Foundation, the United Nations, the City As School and walked the High Line. Yes, at times it felt like a holiday and at times it felt like home. But we were there to work and the work part was by far and away the most exciting part.*

(*maybe except for the bit in the Liverpool Supporter’s Club in the East Village, watching LFC thrash Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League Semi Final. That definitely was a highlight!)

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, shoes and child

The highlight of our trip has to be 8th May. That day, we shared our Imaginary Communities (IC) practice in two workshops with 6th and 8th graders (young people aged 11-14) at Middle School 51 in Brooklyn. Later, we shared practice with Piper Theatre’s young company in rehearsals at the Old Stone House. Teacher and artistic director John McEneny was extraordinarily generous to us and we spent an amazing day with him.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, tree and outdoor

Like New York City, Chol is always a work in progress; under construction. In that spirit, Vicky led the young people at MS 51 through several stages of IC into creating improvised worlds through drama. They loved it, playing around with the form and technique of our work. We learned a lot through them as they quickly offered an expansive vision of IC’s potential and surprised us by articulating this so quickly. They made many useful observations, and we take our hats off to them.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

It’s been wonderful to remind ourselves, while taking in the street art of Bushwick, jostling on the subway, or people-watching in Washington Square Park, that we are part of a bigger world. Evocative experiences in the city, eavesdropping on conversations in many languages, talking with complete strangers. Everything conspires and combines to make this an unforgettable experience. Old worlds, new worlds and imaginary worlds. Always a world of possibility. Our ‘New Yorkshire’ trip has reminded us of that, and the best news is we’ve been invited back to Brooklyn. So watch this space.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, shoes, child and outdoor Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor Image may contain: one or more people, people dancing, people standing, wedding and indoor Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing

PS: We were chuffed to catch up with our mentor Nicole Kidston, from the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, who lives in the city!

An extra shout out to our digital marketer Alistair Flood, who was along on the trip to document our activity and film our work at Middle School 51 in Brooklyn. Watch the video below to see what the young people thought!

 

Subscribe to our mailing list




Chol Theatre will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates, marketing and fundraising information. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@choltheatre.co.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.


Filed under: Projects

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *