‘Acting on our Shared Future’

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In December 2018, as part of our wider alumni youth conference ‘Young Voices’, we brought together 16 new participants from across the UK and Germany, to explore their culture and heritage together through drama.

Finding Foundations & Building Bridges

The young participants – aged 16-18 – met each other for the first time at the youth conference in Berlin, and quickly dived in to the intensive drama workshops, run by German actor and workshop leader, Ulf Peter Schmitt.

The workshops focused on two different aspects of heritage and identity. The first, ‘Finding Foundations’, challenged the participants to share their own personal local identity, with the second workshop ‘Building Bridges’ encouraging them to consider the similarities between their different local, regional and national heritage.

Before arriving in Berlin, all participants completed a piece of preparation work on the two workshop topics, answering the questions:

Finding Foundations:

  • Describe a place/monument/tradition/issue that is part of your own local heritage/identity
  • Why is it important to you and why do you want to share it?

Building Bridges:

  • Describe a moment when you saw at least 2 people connect from different backgrounds
  • What brought them closer together?
  • What similarities did they have?
  • How did they remain close and united afterwards? What was their ‘bridge’?

Creating the Greek Chorus

From the stormy weather of Kiel, to singing in local choirs, from river punting, to breakdancing – participants came up with a plethora of different ideas which symbolise their local heritage. They bonded over their similar experiences of people from different backgrounds connecting – through a shared love of drama, music and dancing, to a passion for sport, to social media bringing young people closer together.

All of the participants’ responses were combined to create a Greek Chorus text, which was shared with the group for the first time in Berlin. Along with fun drama games and trust exercises to get to know each other better, the group spent the rest of their workshop time in Berlin practising for their final performance.