Emerge Festival Dudley by Manic Arts

by Emerge Festival (2018)

In Halesowen, it's almost as though the students were made for the Emerge programme! We have had very little issue with recruitment and although our numbers at Halesowen college have see-sawed a little, on the whole we are very happy with how many participants we have. The location seems very excited about the festival with lots of parents and school friends excited about the work going on within the sessions.

We think that the most important thing about the Emerge Festival coming to Halesowen/Dudley, is that the students have such an incredible platform to display and perform their amazing artistic works and achievements. We have been absolutely blown away by the talent and enthusiasm shown at both labs and we don't think this festival could have come at a more poignant time or to a more deserving group of young people. They've all been super involved in the whole process and are excited to continue!

So far, we've run workshops based around exactly what the young people have displayed an interest in, within in the realms of Shakespeare. So we've done work on Shakespeare in the Movies with Earl's High School which involved scenes from The Lion King based on Macbeth & 10 Things I Hate About You based on Taming of The Shrew – a concept that the Year Tens and Elevens have been particularly drawn too. At Halesowen College, we've done work on Children's theatre, singing with the focus on Blues and the main event for them has been West Side Story and musicals inspired by Shakespeare! Our workshops have been met with a great response and we're excited to kick start 2018 in the same way!

The main development in terms of our personal artistic practice has definitely been surrounding the collaborative nature of this programme. We are loving working with young people on their artistic ideas, on the labs on their delivery and TMC on the admin side of the programme. We've developed our planning structure and how to format our documents to ensure they're the most useful for everyone who needs to utilise them but mostly we've homed in on our Shakespeare facilitation. We've really enjoyed finding Shakespearian themes in the most unusual, our strangest to date is the song Toxic by Britney Spears sung through the eyes of Ophelia...

In terms of early 2018 for our group, we will see the Halesowen College troupe perform at their open day to prospective students of the school. We are also currently in the midst of preparing a sharing for the parents of the Earl's High School group on the 12th December. Our funding application is going to be submitted (we are assured) by our planning team at Halesowen by 18th December just in time for Christmas so that we're all ready for a new, exciting term of Emerge generation and planning in January 2018!