Photo by Robert Day

Shine On

Devised with the Company. Directed by Antonia Beck.

For the first time ever the Community & Education Company worked with members of Coventry’s 50+ communities to create the brand new production, Shine On which ran in B2 from 28 to 30 June 2012.

Shine On presented everyday stories from the lives of Coventry’s older generations. Turning the Belgrade’s usual youth focus on its head, this piece celebrated the memories, rituals, hopes and heritage of the elders in our city, whilst simultaneously showcasing their artistry.

This production was part of the Creative Gymnasium project, which the Belgrade Theatre Community & Education Company championed to stimulate engagement with the arts as a way to promote health and well-being – both through participating in arts activity and as a way of exploring key issues.

Featuring original poetry written by the participants, Shine On told the story of a group of community members who joined forces to save an old tree at risk of being bulldozed to make way for a multi-storey car park. Throughout the play the characters reflected on their lives, and explored important issues such as heritage, regeneration and the nature of age and what it means to be considered ‘old’.

The show was a culmination of workshops which brought together participants from a diverse range of backgrounds and communities. With direction from project leader Antonia Beck, they devised the production themselves, with the aim to challenge some of the stereotypes attached to older people.

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