Positive Stories for Negative Times is an international participatory project offering organisations that work with young people a process, newly commissioned plays, and training by the best theatre artists working in the UK free of charge. It is produced by Wonder Fools in association with Traverse Theatre, who also co-commission the plays. So far the project has culminated in:
8747 young people participating from 652 groups
16 plays commissioned
81 digital performances
22 live performances
17 countries represented including the UK, South Africa, India, Australia, Singapore, USA, Canada, Italy, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Season Three saw the creation of the Positive Stories Festivals; four two-day festivals happening across Scotland with partner venues Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh), Ayr Gaiety, Eden Court (Inverness), and Perth Theatre. These were delivered in association with Youth Theatre Arts Scotland.
Sign-ups are now closed but we are working towards Season 4 of the project which will open next year. If you’d like to express your interest in signing up then drop us a message here and we’ll be in touch. You can also join the Wonder Fools mailing list and follow us on socials to stay up to date.
Being part of the project is completely free. Come and join groups from all over the world and explore the Positive Stories Plays. You’ll be sent your chosen script to perform, a handbook of exercises to explore and given a pin on the map where you’ll be able to upload and share your final performance with other youth groups around the UK and beyond. Groups can perform the play or make something entirely different using it as a stimulus. Past seasons have seen podcasts, films, art works – you name it. Whatever you make, all we ask is that you send us something to celebrate your involvement.
Positive Stories for Negative Times: Season 3 includes four exciting new plays with the return of two previous season devising plays. The writers have been working with the Wonder Fools’ Youth Board to ensure that the plays are not only made for young people, but with them too.
All the ‘plays’ are very different and we believe there’s something for everyone no matter their size, age or experience of making theatre. We say ‘plays’ because not all are traditional plays, some are based around devising and are a blue-print for your group to base their work around.
A group of school students in the bottom set maths class lock their teacher in a cupboard. They all have various motivations that are gradually revealed and are faced with the question: what do they do now?
Ages 14 +
Two groups of children meet. They look the same; they imagine similar things; they make almost the same noises; they dance in almost the same way. But one group is a digital version of the other; they are the face we see reflected back to us online; they’re exciting and demanding and hard to live up to.
Ages 10 +
This is not a play, but a process. It explores what it means to be thankful in this world we live in today. It’s a mix of games, challenges and exercises for you to tell your own stories, in your own way.
Ages 11 +
Featuring spies, pirates, robots, talking animals and everything in between, ‘Spyrates’ is an interactive, playful and imaginative adventure story with an accompanying process drama.
Ages 6 +
The pins on the map below represent all of the groups that are participating in the project.
Season 2 was all about coming together, embarking on new processes and changing the way we think about theatre for young people. Wonder Fools and the Traverse Theatre have co-commissioned some of the UK’s most exciting voices to create new work for those between the ages of 6 and 25. Artists include Bryony Kimmings, Douglas Maxwell, Hannah Lavery, Debris Stevenson, The PappyShow, Wonder Fools and Traverse Young Writer Ellen Bannerman.
Last year’s writers were Sabrina Mahfouz, Stef Smith, Chris Thorpe, Bea Webster and Wonder Fools. Featuring a staggering 2,700 young people and nearly 282 groups spanning Outer Hebrides to Madrid, Stockholm to Quebec. Check out the amazing work from Season One here. You can also buy the anthology of all 5 plays.