Information on current and previous participation projects.
Alongside our main artistic programme, Improbable run Participation Projects that explore ideas and processes from the company’s work. We aim to work with a range of different people, who sometimes have had little or no experience of the arts. We work with people from a range of backgrounds and ages from within and without the theatre community.
We, use spaces such as local libraries, to connect with people who may not normally encounter theatre in its traditional sense. Working in this way is at the heart of how Improbable works.
Building on the success of Impro For All, Impro For Elders worked with over twenty 60+ people local to Church Street in Westminster to explore improvisation and story telling. The project was a partnership with Church Street Library and aimed to give older people from the Church Street area access to the uplifting shared experience of improvising together.
As a company rooted in improvisation, we believe that it is a deeply democratic art form that fosters a sense of community and empowerment amongst its participants and audiences alike. In an age of increasing digital complexity it is determinedly live, and about the people who take part; their energy and what they offer.
Project Directors Andre Pink and Caroline Williams worked with the group to create a performance shown at The Cockpit in a double bill with Improbable’s improvised show Lifegame on 30th November and 1st December 2016. In a special version of Lifegame, one of the Impro For Elders participants was the on-stage guest each night.
“What I have gained out of it is immense and given me positive energy which I was certainly lacking before taking part in the project.” Participant
“I actually feel years younger! I was surprised at how much energy I had and how my body could do things I thought I could no longer do.” Participant
“I thought it was the best theatre experience I’ve seen and felt this year. Inclusive, moving, funny, full of possibilities” Audience member
“A thoroughly enjoyable evening – both shows were filled with joy, humour and passion. I always enjoy Improbable performances, and the Impro For Elders concept is a fantastic one.” Audience member
You can watch a short film about the project here:
This project was funded by Create Church Street, part of the Church Street Futures Regeneration programme, and Arts Council England.
In Autumn 2015, Improbable worked with Church Street Library to develop an ensemble of local young people who worked with Improbable over eight weeks before presenting a final performance in Church Street Library. The performance took the audience on an alternative tour of the library, inspired by our discovery that a theatre stood on the site of Church Street Library for a hundred years from the mid-19th century. Funded by Westminster Council through the Church Street Ward Councillors fund, this project was part of Made In Libraries, a Westminster initiative to support more live performance in libraries across the borough.
Improbable ran an adult community theatre group at St. John’s Wood Library, plus worked with library staff and volunteers on a training and consultation programme. The performance created with the community group was presented in a double bill with Improbable’s show Animo, and the professional and community shows shared the same props and objects. An Open Space event facilitated by Improbable for Tri-borough library staff provided an opportunity for them to exchange ideas and information about running future cultural events.
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