In October 2020, Gloucester Youth Community Action performed a ‘work in progress’ of I Stand For What I Stand On at Gloucester Cathedral under Luke Jerram’s Gaia. The show was also live streamed so it could be watched all over the world.
“Getting a glimpse into the lives of these Gloucester activists is so inspiring, whilst also highlighting the absurdity of the situation: that children enamoured with pop heartthrobs and preoccupied with studying for their GCSEs are simultaneously having to worry about a global crisis that international governments are simply brushing aside.” – Claudia (Producer)
Cheltenham Science Festival
The group continued meeting over the start of 2021 (on Zoom). In the school holidays they managed to spend some time together and further developed the show. In June 2021 they shared the show so far at Cheltenham Science Festival. They also did a talk with other activists including Gina Martin, Tolmeia Gregory and Aja Barber.
Gloucester Rooftop Festival
They then performed the work in progress sharing at Rooftop Festival in Gloucester in July 2021.
“Performing at the Rooftop Festival was really cool and it was inspirational to see other people performing and linking their art to issues in the world. It was a friendly atmosphere and despite the heat, it was great to take our performance to people who weren’t familiar with us. Our previous performances had been in front of people who mostly knew us already, so it was a crowd of new faces.”
R&D at University of Gloucestershire
In the summer holidays the team worked together at the University of Gloucestershire to further develop the show. They were joined by Movement Director Rosie and Lighting Designer Will (and Strike A Light office dog Winnie and one of her gorgeous puppies). They also spent the summer reaching out to other young climate activists both nationally and internationally for them to tell their story as part of the show.
“It has been amazing to be able to have in person rehearsals again at the beginning of the summer to develop the show. Working with a wider creative team has been so much fun and we have all really enjoyed learning about and coming up with ideas for set design and video. As well as adding more movement into the show – although we were definitely exhausted at the end of the 4 days!!”
“Over the past few weeks and months we have been reaching out online to global climate activists to recruit them to become part of our show. We’ve made connections with around thirty young activists from across the world – some of which we already knew, alongside others who we have been getting to know through making parts of the show together! It’s been amazing to hear from activists from so many different backgrounds and listen to their stories, thoughts and beliefs. I’m very excited to feature content from these incredible people in ‘I Stand For What I Stand On’, as it means we are able to give a more balanced and in depth view of the experiences and meaning of youth climate activism for people across the movement.”
National Theatre Workshop
At the end of their R&D week the team were very excited to be invited to lead a workshop for the National Theatre as part of their programme for young people ‘Shaping the Future: Theatre-Making and the Climate’.
“We ran a workshop for the National Theatre which was great fun although we were a bit nervous beforehand. It was great to get a chance to talk to other young people who care about the environment especially as we have lost so many opportunities to do this during the pandemic.”
We’re incredibly excited the show is almost complete and they will be going on tour this October/November. Catch them at Tobacco Factory Theatres in Bristol, Gloucester Guildhall, Warwick Arts Centre and COP26!!
“We are all really looking forward to performing ‘I Stand For What I Stand On’ on tour and hopefully getting to meet more young activists as this has been a huge highlight both at cheltenham science festival and with our global digital cast.”
We’re beyond proud to be working with these awesome young people and creative team on this kickass show and know this is only the beginning.
“Being a young activist at the moment is very scary to say the least. Everywhere you look there are natural disasters and humanitarian crises, many of which have been caused or worsened by climate change. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed and feel totally hopeless but working on this project has given me the opportunity to understand, express and manage those emotions. I’ve realised that despite this, there is still so much we can save if everyone works together, and that is one of the main messages I’d love to give to anyone who watches our show.”