Live Youth Theatre share their experiences of lockdown in 'The Reconnection Collection'

Claire Maggie Dowens takes a look at Live Theatre's new video, exploring young people's experiences of lockdown: 'The Reconnection Collection'.

Claire Maggie Dowens
15th February 2021
Credit: YouTube
As part of Live Theatre’s new online programme, Live Wired, which launched in September last year, comes the innovative short film, The Reconnection Collection; a montage of creative work produced by Live Youth Theatre members in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Featuring a spirited blend of performance, poetry and voiced animation, the young members have joined together to create a heart-warming and funny piece of entertainment. No matter what your own personal experience of the pandemic might be so far, there is something in this film that everyone can relate to and is certain to spread some much-needed cheer during our third national lockdown. 

Live Youth Theatre is recognised as the largest free theatre and drama programme for young people aged between 10-25 in the North-East of England and offers them the chance to devise plays which are inspired by their own opinions and views. Despite being unable to run weekly classes at the Live Theatre in person due to social distancing restrictions, the theatre’s freelance drama facilitators and its’ young members have immediately bounced back and reconnected via the popular online platform, Zoom.

An impressive 100 young members signed up for Live Youth Theatre’s Autumn term which began last September. The programme helped to create the brilliant short film, The Reconnection Collection, and was delivered in weekly online sessions by some of the region’s most talented theatre-makers including Liv Hunt. Reflecting on the collaborative process she said: “I'm super proud of the young people who worked on the project this year. It's been a tough old year, but they were still able to bring heaps of energy and creativity to the sessions. And strangely, I feel like I've got to know them more as individuals despite not being in the same room together! They're all mint and I can't wait to see what they do next!”  

Award-winning filmmaker Brett Chapman also worked alongside Live Theatre’s drama facilitators and young members and commented: 

“Getting to curate this film has been one of the highlights of the last year for me, no question. Seeing so much creativity from so many young people is super inspiring, especially in the midst of what has been such an uncertain time for everyone in the arts.”

The project feedback from everyone involved has been extremely positive. Live Youth Theatre member Connor discusses the rewarding impact which the online programme has given younger people: "There are very few places that have provided young people with the experience, education and the abundance of self-worth that Live Theatre has done. What's even more impressive is how Live Theatre still continues during the pandemic by going online, giving young people the confidence, hope, and a supportive community during the hardest of times.”

Elaborating further he said: “Live Youth Theatre’s film was a complete curveball to what we knew as theatre. It allowed us to explore our emotions, opinions, and current experiences about lockdown while living in the moment, displaying an incredibly intuitive mixture of theatre. Live Youth Theatre is truly a safe haven for those of the future." 

Helen Green, Children and Young Peoples Lead said: The Reconnection Collection perfectly captures members’ feelings, their imagination, their friendship, and energy. It is a credit to their resilience, and their unwavering love of making theatre together.” 

The Reconnection Collection is available to watch online for free at https://www.live.org.uk/now-online-reconnection-collection

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