Positive Stories for Negative Times: Season Three is an international participatory project offering organisations who 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, Ayr Gaiety, Eden Court, Perth Theatre and Youth Theatre Arts Scotland with plays co-commissioned by Wonder Fools and Traverse Theatre.
Wonder Fools and the Traverse Theatre have presented two seasons of the project so far, reaching over 7000 young people from 16 different countries including UK, South Africa, India, USA, Canada, Italy and Sweden.
Wonder Fools are inviting any group working with young people ages between 10 and 25 from anywhere in the world to get involved remotely. Priority will be given to Scotland based groups to take part in the festivals. Groups can include youth theatres, schools, colleges or anyone working with young people in need of some creativity and connection. If you’ve never made a theatre performance before then don’t worry you’ll get a handbook full of drama exercises and online support sessions to help you through.
Wonder Fools and the Traverse Theatre have commissioned 4 new plays from some of the UK’s most exciting voices to create new works for ages 10-25 years old. Artists include Tim Crouch, Robert Softley Gale, Leyla Josephine, Sara Shaarawi with the return of two devising guides from the previous season, Bryony Kimmings, and The PappyShow with Lewis Hetherington.
Plays will be free to participating groups from 23 January – 1 September 2023
This season, we are taking Positive Stories out on the road and want to get more young people involved than ever before! We have two pathways you can take, like previous seasons, participants can get involved and create anything they like with their chosen play or process. Or for the first time ever, groups have the opportunity to perform at a Positive Stories Festival at one of our four new regional hubs across Scotland in Summer 2023, these are Eden Court (Inverness), Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh), Ayr Gaiety (Ayr) and Perth Theatre (Perth).
Groups can sign up from all over the world by exploring the plays with their young people remotely. You’ll be sent your chosen script to perform rights free, 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.
Deadline for Festival sign up: 17 February 2023
After exploring the plays, groups based in Scotland can also apply to perform as part of four Positive Stories Festivals in Summer 2023. Festivals will be over two days and filled with workshops and performances. The festivals are a great opportunity to come together in person, learn new skills, meet other groups, showcase their work and most of all, have fun! Festival dates are:
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh: 24 & 25 June
The Gaiety, Ayr: 1 & 2 July
Eden Court, Inverness: 8 & 9 July
Perth Theatre, Perth: 15 & 16 July
You can sign up to both pathways on your sign up page.
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 +
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.