I Love Donny

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I LOVE DONNY was an installation, using postcards, to create a map of the town through the experiences of the people who live there.  Members of the public were be invited to share their favourite stories and memories of Doncaster, write or sketch these on a postcard and add them to the map.  There was also a Twitter account, allowing people to tweet their responses or go online and read other peoples’ postcards and see the town through someone elses’ eyes.

 

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For more details of what people wrote see https://twitter.com/ilovedonny2016

3 September 2016  DNweekeND 3

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VILLAGE OF DREAMS     SATURDAY 10AM- 4.30PM     I LOVE DONNY- HAYLEY ALESSI

Do you have a favourite spot in Doncaster? An interesting story, experience, or happy memory to share? Come and write a postcard to Donny – describe the things you love about the town, write or sketch it on a postcard and help create a map of the place and people who live here. Read it, add your own card, and be inspired. You can also ‘tweet’ your experiences to: @ilovedonny2016

The Village of Dreams is at the Village at Waterdale Shopping Centre and will take over empty shops, current businesses and the outside area with interactive performance, arts and crafts, music and more all day Saturday

DNweekeND is a member of the Without Walls Associate Touring Network, a group of festivals and arts organisations working together to extend the reach and benefits of the existing Without Walls programme in areas where there is low engagement with the arts, bringing high quality outdoor work to diverse audiences across England. For more information on the work of Without Walls ATN, please visit: www.withoutwalls.uk.com/atn/ .

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images by Hayley Alessi©2016

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One Tribe – sharing a brew

Tea and coffee are often used as an anchor, when we can’t address a subject or hug someone we often offer a cup of tea or coffee.  A simple but caring gesture as well as something we share with others as part of our daily routines.  It can soothe and comfort or remind us of family and friends.

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One Tribe are a group of refugees and asylum seekers from the Conversation Club at Balby in Doncaster, working with artists Janet Wood and Bob Adams at DARTS.  Sharing A Brew was a performance project commissioned by Right Up Our Street to help integrate the group more into the local community.  The overall aim was to bring members of the Conversation Club and the general public together and promote more interaction and integration between the diverse communities within Doncaster.

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As Theatre Maker on the project my aims were: to give a voice to the community we were working with, build the confidence and skills of the participants involved, deal with any material created/given to us sensitively, and create an immersive shared experience for both performers and participants.

We decided upon a site specific performance subverting the idea of a traditional tea shop and using the space to: recount personal stories and experiences, explore our similarities and rituals around ‘sharing a brew’, make music and sing, and end with a celebratory afternoon tea in an informal setting.

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One Tribe, Sharing A Brew performance 14 December 2015

With a street performer playing magic tricks and encouraging people in to the reception area, visitors were asked to place a marker on a map of the world to show where they were from.  We had a sensory box with different types of tea/coffee/herbs/spices in for people to guess the contents, and pictures of people from around the world sharing a hot drink in different settings and ceremonies.

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Participants were guided, in groups of 5-6, into one of two rooms where there was a performer, sharing stories and experiences based around tea or coffee in their own countries.  Each performance lasted 10-15 minutes, with an invitation for audience members to share their own memories, before being invited into the second performance, and the large Garden Room to hear some music and share a drink of tea or coffee with other One Tribe members.

There was also a Reflection Room where some of the more intimate and thought-provoking experiences we were asked to share were transcribed onto scrolls of paper, along with a Red Cross leaflet with information on the refugee and asylum seeker process.  It was important to us that we shared these without putting the words into someone else’s mouth, or editing them in any way.  Presenting them on paper with an invitation to share them was a more sensory experience for the audience members, and the act of unfolding them added to their significance.

 After the performances everyone gathered in the Garden Room to join Janet and Chad in making music, singing the One Tribe song and listening to performance poetry and rapping.  This was followed by afternoon tea and cake, where all the guests, performers and others from the Conversation Club all sat together, chatted and talked about the performance.

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‘Thank you for inviting me to attend the event yesterday. It was a very special, moving experience and I felt privileged to attend. The movement between the very harrowing stories shared on paper and, in the story that I heard, a very personal, humorous story, was sensitively handled. I came away thinking how it is the ordinary things in life that make us who we are, even if it is extraordinary ones that shape our lives.

 

Sharing a Brew artistic team:  Hayley Alessi, Andrew Loretto, Janet Wood, Bob Adams and Chad Chavabonga, with One Tribe members and Lord Hurst

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Venue: Lord Hursts Tearoom, Doncaster

Images by James Mulkeen 2015© and courtesy of Right Up Our Street

Supported by Arts Council England and the Lottery Fund