We Deserve Better - Letting Young People speak for themselves

We Deserve Better - Letting Young People speak for themselves

Our second week of Youthquake research and development brought us to Hartlepool. The young people in Hartlepool had a strong sense that the system is stacked against them and apathetic to their needs. Within these stories, however, there was a determination that the narrative of deprivation in Hartlepool would not be an endless cycle. Not all young people want to leave their home city for something better – they wanted to solve the problems and change their home for the better.

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Post Traumatic Growth - the psychology behind Thrive

Post Traumatic Growth - the psychology behind Thrive

For the last twenty years or so, psychologists have studied the incredible strength of character that can emerge in a minority of people when they face painful events. Twenty years of research tells us that these events needn’t destroy us – in some cases, they can make us stronger. Some people become wiser, others kinder, others more connected. Pain develops people in all kinds of ways. This field of research is called Post Traumatic Growth, and forms the basis of the psychology surrounding the characters in Thrive.

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Interview: Dan Morgan - Life On the Road

Interview: Dan Morgan - Life On the Road

You can wake up in one city, deliver a workshop in another and do an evening performance in another before heading back to another hotel. Most of the work I have done has been for young people and it isn’t unusual to engage with over 500 people in a day. A lot of the time, we take theatre to people that may never have experienced it before and it’s great to hear their stories when you chat to them afterwards and see how they connected with the work. For me, that’s a pretty powerful feeling.

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Stripping Away the Actor’s Ego – performing immersive theatre for young audiences

Stripping Away the Actor’s Ego – performing immersive theatre for young audiences

As an actor, I’ve been very comfortable with immersive theatre for a while. In 2014 I took an immersive one-on-one piece (one performer, one audience member) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And I performed it a lot. I’m talking 5 hours a day, 6 days a week for a whole month. Audiences laughed with me, cried with me, shared food with me. One person even asked me out on date. (I didn’t realise it was actually a date until I was on it – yep, that was awkward.) I was pretty sure I’d totally sussed out the immersive theatre vibe and nothing could throw me. But of course, immersive theatre with younger audiences is a whole different game.

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In Safe Hands - some thoughts on the next generation and the future of Britain

In Safe Hands - some thoughts on the next generation and the future of Britain

Last week saw us begin the process of making a brand new show. A show about difference and how the fear of those ‘other’ to us can spill into hate. And what a week we chose to begin that process.

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6 Ways to Thrive When You Feel Low

6 Ways to Thrive When You Feel Low

Our current touring production Thrive follows 3 young people as they face a pretty challenging experience. This is particularly traumatic for our characters, but we all go through times where we feel down, stressed or angry – it’s part of human nature. To mark World Mental Health Day, we asked some of our young people and staff what they do to to help them Thrive and stop them feeling down; here's some of their top tips!

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Thrive - Frequently Asked Questions

Thrive - Frequently Asked Questions

Zest makes work that is often described as interactive, immersive, site-specific or promenade. Because our shows are a bit different, audiences can sometimes have lots of questions or feeling wary about coming. With the Thrive tour just around the corner, here are some of the frequently asked questions about Thrive to help you get the most from the experience.

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The Perfect Jenga Tower - the dramaturgy of Thrive

The Perfect Jenga Tower - the dramaturgy of Thrive

People often say that if can’t explain what you do to a small child then you don’t have a real job – I have this problem a lot as a dramaturg. Dramaturgy is a sort of “story-science” for theatre – an understanding of the right amounts of a recipe to put into a production to make sure it’s just right and that the audience can follow what’s happening. It’s this role that I’ve been doing on Zest’s new show, Thrive

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How Making Thrive Helped My Own Grieving Process

How Making Thrive Helped My Own Grieving Process

When Toby from Zest approached me to be in Thrive, he knew the project would be close to home. At the time myself and my brother were looking after my mum who was sick with Cancer at home. I told him at the moment my mum was my top priority and I will let him know when I can. He would always check in on me and my family and never pressured me to do the show. Toby texted me on my birthday wishing me a happy birthday and sending his wishes and love to my mum. Unfortunately, the day after my mum passed away.

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