18th April 2018
It has been a privilege to welcome Lawnmowers independent theater company back to Chillingham Road after a very long break away (will not be repeated!).
For those families who are unaware of what the project is, we asked Claire Hills-Wilson (Artistic director at Lawnmowers) to pen this down for our website...
Lawnmowers wanted to create a package of work to highlight some of the issues faced by Lawnmowers youth theatre.
Lawnmowers Youth Theatre want to do this project to show people they “shouldn’t be judged” to “not jump to conclusions”, “to treat them as equals” and “prove they are not just a label.”
As part of the project Lawnmowers have ran research sessions with Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham, Chillingham Road Primary, Hotspur Primary and Lawnmowers Youth Theatre. The idea of the sessions is to gather research and stories around bullying. What does it feel like to be different? Why do bullies bully?
Lawnmowers will then gather this data and put these real life stories into a piece of Forum Theatre. We hope to show common problems around bullying that will be relatable to all schools involved but also showing what it is like to feel different through the lenses of a young learning disabled person.
Forum Theatre takes real life stories and present them back as the worst case scenario. It’s a safe space to be able to look at issues replay them and look at how it could have been different.
Augusto Boal who came up with the method as part of the theatre of the oppressed model said that it was a “rehearsal for real life”
Lawnmowers feels by doing this project we can stamp out prejudice from an early age and educate people about young learning disabled people so there is never a fear of the unknown that develops later in life.
The package of work we hope to roll out in further schools and would work as both student and teacher training tool.
Sounds fairly on it we thought. The kids were just wax lyrical after the session so we can't wait to welcome Lawnmowers back.