Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr’s speech ‘I have a dream’, (celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013), DREAM NATION invited people from all walks of life to take part in a brand new multi-platform arts project. They envisioned and celebrated local, contemporary society from a wholly multi-racial perspective.
During the project, 600 people living in areas fast changing in their racial make-up, creatively articulated their views of contemporary British identity. In King’s words, the aim of DREAM NATION was to bring people ‘to come together and sing with new meaning’, exploring how King faced the issues he spoke of in 1963, and examining how we’re challenged by them today.
We invited communities across South West England to write haikus inspired by Dr King’s vision for change. These were displayed on a specially commissioned, travelling installation created by stage designer Colin Falconer. This was unveiled in November 2013 at Guest Projects in London, before touring across South West England.
We also wanted to find another way for participants to share and enjoy their own and others’ creations, so we’ve brought all the work together in our first publication – the Dream Nation e-Book! It’s a chance for the participants to see their work in print, and to share it with friends, family and fans. Check out the Dream Nation e-Book here. Use the buttons on the interactive map and at the base of each page to move from group to group and see what the participants wrote!
DREAM NATION incorporated the launch of Tangle Company, our resident ensemble of sixteen actor-singers drawn from the best of the UK’s African and Caribbean theatre talent, and the inaugural performances of two specially commissioned poetic works by African and Caribbean writers, in response to Dr King’s speech.
The writers were Patricia Cumper MBE, Alia Bano, Inua Ellams, , Rex Obano, Chino Odimba, Louisa Adjoa Parker, Christopher Rodriguez, Tawona Sithole, Paula B Stanic, Pauline Walker and Andrew Whaley .
DREAM NATION toured South West England during 2014, in collaboration with South West England’s Partnership for Multi Racial Theatre, a consortium of 20 arts organisations in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon.
DREAM NATION is supported using public funding from Arts Council, England. It is produced by Tangle, and launched at Guest Projects (www.guestprojects.com) by personal invitation of Yinka Shonibare, MBE (RA).
HampshireShow: Dream Nation Performance date: 3rd February 2014 Performance Time: 7pm Exhibition Dates: 3 – 10 February 2014 Exhibition Times: 10 am – 5 pm Mon-Fri | 10am – 1 pm Sat Venue: Proteus Creation Space Price: Free To book: No booking required Website: http://www.proteustheatre.com/?page=Exhibitions
Devon Dates and DetailsShow: Dream Nation Performance date: 26th February 2014 Exhibition Dates: 26 Feb – 3 Mar (For Tiverton School Attendees only) Venue: Tiverton High School Price: Free To book: Only available to Tiverton High School Parents, children and teachers.
Somerset Dates and DetailsShow: Dream Nation Performance date: 4th April 2014 Performance Time: 6 pm Workshop Dates: 17 – 21 March (Various Locations) Exhibition Dates: TBC Exhibition Times: TBC Venue: Wellington Arts Centre Price: Free To book: http://www.takeart.org/ Website: http://www.takeart.org/projects/entry/dream-nation
WiltshireShow: Dream Nation Performance date: 30th April Performance Time: 7 PM Workshop Dates: 9 – 15 April (Various Locations) Exhibition Dates: TBC Exhibition Times: TBC Venue: Salisbury Arts Centre Price: FREE To book: http://www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk/ Website: http://www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk/
Patricia Cumper MBE will be writing a new poetic work for DREAM NATION, inspired my Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech. Pat is an award winning writer, director and cultural leader. She was Artistic Director of Talawa (www.talawa.com) from 2006 – 2012. She was a founder member of The London Hub of Sustained Theatre (www.thelondonhub.com) which she chaired for two years. Her plays have toured the UK, the Caribbean and the USA. In 2002 The Key Game premiered at Riverside Studios garnering four and five star reviews. She has written award winning works for BBC Radio 4 and The World Service, as well as broadcast adaptations of The Color Purple and Small Island. She recently judged the BBC Audio Drama Awards and Chaired the panel for the inaugural Barry Reckord Bursary. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.
Designer is Colin Falconer who studied interior and environmental design at Duncan of Jordanstone College, University of Dundee, and Theatre Design at Nottingham Trent University. His set and costume design work includes productions for Theatre Royal Bath, the Watermill Newbury, Hall for Cornwall, Salisbury Playhouse, Sadlers Wells, Rifco Arts, Kali Theatre, and The Menier Chocolate Factory amongst others. Current work includes Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange and There We Have Been/Everything and Nothing www.colinfalconer.co.uk
Project Director is Anna Coombs Anna has worked in theatres across the UK, including senior management posts at The Marlowe Canterbury and The Oxford Playhouse. From 2002 – 10 was Head of Projects at Hall for Cornwall, Truro, where she led its producing, education and new writing programmes and directed Marlowe’s The Jew Of Malta with Joseph Mydell as Barabas – the first black actor to play a Marlowe protagonist in the UK. At HfC she also produced RESPONSES (2007) ten original new plays in response to the English Renaissance, bricks & mortar (2008) with 40 African and European artists, Beach Combing (2009), 3 new plays at London’s Theatre503, and Anyone Can Write (2010) a training programme for mid-career professional playwrights. In May 2010 Anna took up an attachment at The National Theatre Studio, followed by a director’s residency at NITRO. In 2011 she returned to The NT to direct Koa Odour Antony’s play Makmende Vies for President, in English and Swahili, for The National Theatre African Playwriting Project. She has directed all of Tangle’s productions, most recently The Crossing (2012). She is a Research Associate (African Theatre) at SOAS, University of London, and a Panellist for Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)’s Guest Projects Africa. She also works as a freelance consultant, specialising in fundraising and business planning. She is also a freelance casting director most recently casting Sizwe Banzi is Dead for Matthew Xia at London’s Young Vic Theatre.
This workshop was so helpful! Nothing was bad, nothing sad. Thank you this helped loads! Xanine
Very inspiring, teaches you the changes we have all faced and made. Now and then how much happier the nations are. Jess
The workshop was good as it was very interactive and informative. Lewis
Great workshop and really well led. Good balance between delivering learning with fun. ColinPROTEUS THEATRE AND CREATION SPACE |HAMPSHIRE CELEBRATION EVENT 3rd February 2014
A beautiful opportunity to express our race memories in a contemporary paradigm, change will come every time people share and listen and act. Malcolm
Smile smile smile, don’t worry be happy! One love … in harmony! Freedom. Action and reaction more than words. Cool running. Still determination and dream. A journey one step at a time why walk it if you can run, why run if you can ride. The mother of invention. Pete Seeger – if I had a hammer I would hammer all day long. Turn turn turn. Ray HarveyCOURT FIELDS SCHOOL, WELLINGTON Year 10s Afternoon workshop session 19 March 2014
I enjoyed learning in a different way and all the practical work oh, and the song! I would change so everyone is equal and fair. Kayleigh
It was really fun I enjoyed all of it and it wasn’t all serious so that is good! If I could change one thing I would make everyone have equal wealth. KaneHAMP ACADEMY Year 4, 18 March 2014
I will remember Mish and his song that he is South African like me. And that Mish was an old granny in a game and I will remember Segun and he played granny with me. Lucy
I will take away and remember Mysh and his song and Segun. I will remember the games we played and the fun we had. Molly
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