Exploring the intricacies of the cyber world and the fine line between banter and bullying.
In 2016 The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust teamed up with leading anti-bullying charity, Kidscape, to deliver a creative hands-on learning project which uses theatre to support the health and well-being of young people aged 16-19 affected by cyber-bullying.
Made possible through the generous support of the Pure Land Foundation, who champion initiatives that promote social, spiritual and emotional wellness, the project's aim is to work with a group of young people to gather their stories and experiences, and make them into a new and relevant play to be performed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket; informing parents, siblings and peers of the issues around young people’s cyber activity. When digital barriers separate and even hide the people we engage with online, are young people equipped emotionally and morally to exist in this ever-widening and controlling digital landscape?
The story so far...
Since October 2016 the Cyberscene Project has partnered with 4 Further Education Colleges in London and delivered 36 hours of theatre-based workshops, positively engaging with 112 students to develop material for the play. The students have worked with the project's director, writer and producer to share their voice and thoughts on what needs to be said about this issue and how. One student, from Leyton Sxith Form College, comments that:
Sometimes we become so assuming that nothing bad will happen to us because we're so knowledgeable, that nobody really thinks of the consequences - that we could be a cyber-bully or that we could be cyber-bullied.
... What happens next
Our commissioned writer Emily Jenkins, winner of a prestigious Fringe First Award for her play Rainbow and Director Guy Unsworth, Associate Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, are now embarking on creating the play, which will be performed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 29 October, 2017.
Cyberscene students completed two days of workshops in February, on the Theatre Royal Haymarket's prestigious stage. The students from the 4 colleges bonded for the first time and worked with ideas in the initial sketch draft of the play.
Educational material relating to the play for schools and colleges is now being developed, with the intent to explore publishing the play-text to accompany the educational resources as part of the project’s legacy.
Why Cyberscene? Aligned with Masterclass' mission to provide opportunities and experiences for young people, the heart of the Cyberscene project is about using theatre to give young people a voice, create a lasting legacy from their own perspective, help and inspire other young people in similar situations and to raise awareness of the issue.
If you are interested in a career in theatre, take a look at TheatreCraft, London’s largest careers event for 16-25 year olds which Masterclass founded in 2003.
Previous Community Projects Masterclass' previous community projects include, The Bravo 22 Company, a pioneering theatre recovery project for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and the Play Project which supported children and young adults at Great Ormond Street Hospital School and Richard House Hospice.