STUDENTS from a Cambridge school are taking to the stage for a new production which explores their cultural and personal connections to the city.
The Museum of Us, a performance piece by students from Coleridge Community College, is part of an arts project for children called ACTIVATE, which has been funded by Cambridge City Council’s Sharing Prosperity Fund, which supports its Anti-Poverty Strategy.
The production – which will debut as part of the Hotbed theatrical festival at The Junction on Saturday 8 July at 3.30pm – is written, directed and performed by Year 7 and Year 8 students, who are all new to the stage.
ACTIVATE is a long-term arts initiative involving Coleridge students in collaboration with the council and five Cambridge based cultural organisations: The Museum of Cambridge, University of Cambridge Museums (including The Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle’s Yard), Cambridge Junction, NIE Theatre Company and Menagerie Theatre Company, who produce the Hotbed festival each year.
The ACTIVATE project aims to introduce more children to the arts and cultural opportunities available in Cambridge to support and enhance their education.
Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “The council is really pleased to support the ACTIVATE project through our Sharing Prosperity Fund, which is part of our work to tackle poverty and address inequality of opportunity.
“In particular it is heartening to see arts and cultural organisations working together to help young people, who may not otherwise have the opportunity, develop new skills and fulfil their potential in such an enjoyable, life-enhancing way.”
Patrick Morris, Associate Artistic Director of Menagerie Theatre and the Hotbed festival, said: “Hotbed is a festival which features new professional plays alongside high quality community projects. All the performances on show this year are about identity, place and belonging, inspired by the famous quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: ‘What country, friends, is this?’
“Audiences for The Museum of Us will see the Coleridge students reflecting on their relationship to their city, Cambridge, through an artful combination of stories, objects and off-beat performances.”
There will be a second public performance of The Museum of Us’ at Coleridge Community College on Wednesday 12 July.