Positive Stories for Negative Times is an international participatory project by Wonder Fools in association with the Traverse Theatre.

Welcome to Season 2, which is 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. The plays are written specifically for the times we are living in and will be free to participating groups from September 2021 — July 2022.

Get Involved

Wonder Fools are inviting any group working with young people aged between 6 and 25 to get involved. All participating groups will be sent their chosen script to perform rights free, a handbook of exercises to help their group explore, perform and document the play, and given a pin on the map where they will be able to upload and share their final performance with other youth groups around the UK and beyond.

Groups can include youth theatres, schools, colleges or anyone working with young people in need of some creativity and connection. No theatre experience is necessary as the handbook provides a step-by-step guide through the process. The entire project is designed to work either live in the space, through blended learning or completely online.

This year, there’s no set outcome, it’s all about going on a process together. Start with a Positive Stories play as a stimulus and then create anything you want. Here are a few examples of what you could produce:

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Get Involved

The Plays

Positive Stories For Negative Times: Season 2 includes 7 exciting new with varying and flexible cast sizes. The writers have been working with the new Positive Stories 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 of based around devising and are a blue-print for your group to base their own work around.

Spyrates 2 (Spies vs Pirates): Journey to the Forbidden Island
by Robbie Gordon and Jack Nurse

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+

Explore Spyrates 2 (Spies vs Pirates): Journey to the Forbidden Island

At First I Was Afraid… (I Was Petrified!)
by Douglas Maxwell

A feel-good comedy drama about a girl who keeps a diary of all her anxieties; but as she moves from Primary School to Secondary, from normal life to Lockdown, all of her worries appear to come true. Ages 11 +

Explore At First I Was Afraid… (I Was Petrified!)

The Raven
by Hannah Lavery

A play full of adventure and an exploration of what shapes and what divides us, exploring issues of blended families, bullying, overeating, depression and isolation. Ages 11+

Explore The Raven

Thanks for Nothing — Season 2
by The PappyShow with Lewis Hetherington

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 +

Explore Thanks for Nothing — Season 2

Revolting — Season 2
by Bryony Kimmings

A series of tasks and actions that make a narrative to be performed with props. We are agents of the revolution. How do we revolt? How do we not get into trouble? Where do we get power, and then how do we use it for good?

Ages 13 +

Explore Revolting — Season 2

The Skirt
by Ellen Bannerman

An absurdist feminist fable for the next generation of feminists. Ages 16+

Explore The Skirt

Write to Rave: Step Pon
by Debris Stevenson

A play about the political power of a rave. Who has the right to rave, to dance and move freely? What is it to feel truly free in your own skin? It tells the story a queer group of humans trying their best to rave whilst the world tries its best to stop them.

Ages 18 +

Explore Write to Rave: Step Pon


The pins on the map below represent all of the groups that are participating in the project.

Season 1 (2019—20)

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.

Visit Season 1      Buy Book