Tuesday, August 4, 2015
British theater company Little Earthquake gave 100 primary school children the creative reins for a recent original production, granting them the opportunity to be centrally involved in the play’s development, creation, and promotion. The Young Producers project, in partnership with Black Country Touring, Arts Connect West Midlands, and Wolverhampton’s Arena Theatre, placed the children at the center of the creative process in commissioning and creating a brand-new piece of theater for family audiences. Following the belief that listening to one’s audience is a way to build meaningful and beneficial relationships, this one year project aimed to develop a show based off of the sustained input of its eventual target consumers.
Over the course of the 2014-2015 school year, the Young Producers worked to produce “The Boy who became a Beetle,” a play freely inspired by Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. The Young Producers were involved in nearly every part of the production process, from story development to casting to costume and set design, and worked together through an egalitarian voting process.
When the Young Producers saw professional artists and designers embracing their ideas, their sense of ownership and investment in the project increased. Watching these ideas turn into a tangible and successful production, the children-turned-producers got an even greater taste of their creative capacity.