We will collaborate with professional theatre makers and participants from the local community to create a bespoke family theatre show for the town of Diss. This live community event will celebrate the redevelopment of Diss’ Heritage Triangle and highlight the town’s history in an entertaining, imaginative way.
The promenade adventure will weave audiences throughout the alleys, courtyards, gardens and buildings of Diss presenting artistic expressions of the town’s past. Dramatic scenes, songs, poetry and film will lend clues to a fictional mystery that will unravel the hidden history of Diss at points along the physical journey, thus revealing the heritage of the town in an engaging and immersive way.
Utilising heritage interpretation resources currently being developed and input from Diss museum, our Arts and Heritage Outreach staff will engage the local community, across generations, in a research and development period to uncover the stories of their town. These will be used as inspiration for a series of drama workshops. From the workshops we’ll develop the ideas that will eventually form the narrative of the play and inform rehearsals.
The community company of performers will rehearse at the Corn Hall, presenting the play in Spring 2017.
We will work with Leach – interpretation consultants working on the Diss Heritage Triangle and Corn Hall project – to look into the best ways of transforming the live theatrical experience into a lasting legacy beyond Spring 2017. For example an audio adventure which individuals can use to explore the town in their own time.
This sort of artistic project has never happened in Diss and is aimed at engaging young people, families and the elderly. It’s a theatrical event reaching beyond the Corn Hall walls to people who’ve quite possibly never visited the venue. Our outreach staff and The Keeper’s Daughter have already developed links with local schools, the youth centre, museum and residential homes. These will be drawn on to engage participants and audiences.
We will be using conventional marketing to reach our audience in the run up to the performances but we’ll also be presenting snippets of street theatre: preludes to the full piece that set-up the mystery of the narrative and hook people in. Likewise our marketing will play into the mystery of the story leaving visual clues and plot points related to the mystery around the town which will only be revealed as part of the story.
The Corn Hall Trust was established in 2010. Its aims are to provide a quality programme of music, theatre, film, art, comedy and exhibitions at affordable prices, and for the whole community. From the outset we have been able to attract consistent audiences aged between 50-75, however to truly serve the entire community we need to reach out to younger audiences, the elderly and other hard to reach groups. We believe this project has the potential to stimulate great interest in the community, and to create the potential for building and strengthening links with the audiences we’re seeking to engage.
• Keeper’s Daughter, together with our Arts and Heritage Outreach staff, will work with young people to interview older generations and provide workshops with schools and local residents using resources such as the new Heritage website and Diss Museum to come to understand the history of the town and local area.
• 4 drama workshops to develop research into artistic presentations.
• Writer to write first draft of play and workshop first draft with community actors.
• Play to be completed and begin weekly rehearsals with cross-generational community company
• Performances and possible filming or audio recording