From 5th to 10th August we were delighted to work with 12 young performers to create their own interactive Street Theatre piece to be showcased as part of Living Lerwick's Shopping Week. We explored and created different characters based on 9 Shetland Shops. Throughout our discussions we uncovered some strong views the company had on the use of mobile phones.
Our young activists felt that while phones have very good points, people in our community are using them too much. They could list several reasons why phones were good and bad, with the main overall viewpoint being that sometimes they feel phones lead to people not 'being seen and heard'. They shared concerns to do with security, cyber bullying, hacking and the danger of losing human interaction and felt they wanted to make a statement to encourage people to 'Put their phones down' and spend time connecting with other people in real life.
Our creative journey led to an interactive theatre piece consisting of a protest down Lerwick's Commercial Street, live window displays and a short performance in Lerwick's Harrison Square revealing the dangers and positive points of mobiles from the perspective of our shop characters.
Following our show, the students shared with excitement the impact of their work, having noticed several members of the public joining the parade choosing to put their phones away and join in the fun as we marched along the street.
Often Theatre is described as an art form which 'give people a voice'. In this case, the 'voice' of our children was already there....we just handed them a loudspeaker!