Toolbox and methods

In this section, you will find a description of the tools and methods that were found to be useful during the research carried out throughout the T.E.E.N. project.

The tools are meant to act as inspirational reference points for you to adapt to your own needs, structures, projects, and desires. One of the most important things we have discovered throughout our experiences of working with teenagers is that there are no hard and fast rules, so by all means use the tools and methods we include here, but make sure you adapt them accordingly.

1. Pepy’s Diary

We asked everyone involved in the project to create a diary in which they could not only reflect on the performances they had seen, but also on the wider world and how the performances they had seen might impact the public sphere. The goal was to intertwine ideas about life, theatre, writing, and public debate in order for the participants to understand that performances actually inhabit a public space and that there is no way to escape the spectator’s subjectivity.

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2. Three Questions on Criticism

Everyone involved in the project was asked to answer three questions about theatre criticism. This was used as a starting point to reflect on what theatre criticism is, who uses it, and how they go about it. This tool is especially good if you work with a group over a longer time, where you can go back and look at the starting point together with the participants as the project develops. The questions can also be answered in audio or video if the participant prefer other medias than writing.

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3. Post-Show Questions

Questions were developed by the Stratagemmi Association who specialize in audience development, and the Codici Association that promotes research and social transformation. In the project, they were used by the Italian team to help them to express their feelings and opinions having journeyed to the Italian festival Santarcangelo dei Teatri in 2017, where they had met another group of teenage theatre-goers.

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4. How to write about performing arts

The Norwegian web platform for teen critics ungestemmer.no was opened in 2012 by Norsk Scenekunstbruk. Since then critics, interviews and videos have been uploaded from all over the country. The tool How to write about performing arts was made by the Norwegian Union of Critics as a guideline for teenagers using the platform wanting to express their critical thoughts about their art experiences.

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5. Hacking the Theatre

Every workshop began by watching a performance together. Groups then explored how they could form and express their opinions, and then produced a ‘hack’. This was intended to allow and inspire to express themselves and comment on their experience in ways other than writing a review. For example, they might make a video that presents an idea about how the audience are let in and out, or they may offer suggestions about the production of supplementary learning materials.

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6. Talking about Theatre

These tools were developed by Matthew Reason, Professor of Theatre and Performance in the Faculty of Arts at York St John University, and helps to initiate conversations about theatre from six different points of view. The tools were presented to the TEEN ambassadors during a workshop in the April festival in Denmark in 2017.

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7. The Kitchen Table Format

The Kitchen Table manifesto was written by the teen ambassadors as a handbook for facilitators who want to host a Kitchen Table discussion. Whilst the content of the discussion is of course flexible, the format should remain consistent. The format has been growing into its form and has been presented at several festivals in Europe and Asia. The format will also play a major part in the TEEN 2 project that will be launched in 2019.

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8. Experiencing Theatre

Questions about young people’s habits and engagement as theatre-goers, as well as expectation and experience cards that can be printed, ready to use.

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Pre knowledge

Two needs were identified as fundamental: increasing the knowledge about audience development’s processes and about the target of the project. This led to organizing two workshops, one to develop expertise and a second one to train crucial skills for the development of the process.

Here you find one presentation developed by the Fitzcarraldo Foundation, and one by  Codici Association. They were used during the training workshop for professionals at the TEEN projects kick-off meeting in 2016. they aimed to give the professionals common ground for further work on the theme.

For more information, please contact the Fitzcarraldo Foundation: Alessandra Gariboldi and the Codici Association: Stefano Laffi

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