Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts


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This current theatre production is supported by the University of Sussex School of Psychology, the Attenborough Centre, the Widening Participation team, and the School of Media, Film and Music.

THE GIRLS, CLF Art Cafe, Bussey Building, Peckham, 17-29th September 2012

THE PROJECT is a film and theatre company under the artistic direction of BAFTA award winning writer/director Ray Harrison Graham. Their aim is to produce ground breaking theatre, by creating productions based on the life experiences of school-excluded young people. These talented but untrained young people perform lead roles within productions, supported by theatre professionals working alongside them.

Their current production, ‘The Girls’, running from 17th - 29th September at the Bussey Building in Peckham, is the result of many months of hard and rewarding work with young people who had once attended Pupil Referral Units, after being permanently excluded from their mainstream schools.

Prof. Robin Banerjee and Fidelma Hanrahan, from the School of Psychology at Sussex have been working closely with THE PROJECT, carrying out research to investigate and better understand the development of disaffection in young people and how theatre and schools can re-engage them. This work also includes the ongoing development of an Education Resource Pack for secondary schools which uses acted out scenes from ‘The Girls’ as a basis for reflection and discussion. The pack focuses on pertinent issues for disaffected youth today such as the perceived importance of peer reputation, and conflict with authority figures. It is envisaged that the resource will provide an opportunity for staff and pupils to reflect and grow in awareness of the source of their own behaviours, emotions, and attitudes.

Funding for this work has come from The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation working with the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex. A workshop last August in the Attenborough Centre Creativity Zone was organised by the Attenborough Centre together with the Sussex Widening Participation team, with additional film resource provided by the School of Media, Film and Music.

See the CLF Art Cafe for further information.

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By: Matthew Knight
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Last updated: Friday, 21 September 2012