York Theatre Royal announces Collective Acts community engagement programme

York Theatre Royal has announced Collective Arts, a programme of creative community engagement taking place while the building is closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The theatre is planning a series of digital activities and events aimed at bringing together York’s creative community of all ages until the theatre reopens.

Juliet Forster, Associate Director at York Theatre Royal, said: “We are all finding the current circumstances challenging, and are missing the joy of social gatherings, external stimuli and shared experience. But challenges can also be a great spur to creativity, and we are really keen to find as many ways as possible to bring people together, to inspire creative responses and enjoy what we make together.”

One activity open to all is the Lockdown Legends Challenge, a weekly creative project which invites people to submit responses to challenges such as filming one minute plays, designing costumes and creating production model boxes. A new challenge is released every Monday morning on the theatre’s social media channels and submissions are then posted on these channels during the week.

The theatre has also adapted the delivery of the nationally recognised Arts Award so that these can be undertaken from a home setting. Their new guide is specially designed to be used by children and young people aged 5 to 25 years old, supported by their parents/guardians, to keep them busy, engaged and inspired by the arts at home.

Another project aimed at engaging young people during this time is the Coronavirus Time Capsule. Working with a group of 20 young people, week-by-week the theatre will create a cumulative video time capsule, recording teenage experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Time Capsule is a new international project run by Company Three and youth theatres across the world will be taking part and making capsules of their own.

The theatre is also organising a photography competition called In Focus which is open to all ages and abilities. They are asking people to send in their photos that show the realities of life in Coronavirus Britain. The deadline for submissions is Friday 8 May and all entries will be judged by a team from the theatre’s photography group.

Over the next few weeks, York Theatre Royal will be releasing more projects and opportunities for people to take part in.