“When we share our stories, we are reminded of the humanity in each other. When we take time to understand each other’s stories, we become more forgiving, more empathetic and more inclusive.”
Michelle Obama, speaking at the American Library Association.
Stories are unifiers. We hear other’s stories and understand them through connecting them to our own lives – they are the place in which empathy is born. We believe stories are important and as a company, they are at the core of the work we do.
To be a storyteller is a great responsibility. What you choose to say and to whom can make huge ripples of change, both good and bad. If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that the stories we tell each other hold tremendous power. Highly Sprung create, re-tell and centre stories in our work to inspire change.
Our touring professional works aim to stimulate thought and reflection in audiences, whether that is environmentally in Urban Astronaut and Castaway, in being welcoming to those that are different to us in Roots, or finding positive change within ourselves as in Up, Up and Away.
Ready Box-Set Go, is a new digital resource, remotely delivering unique Highly Sprung projects to schools remotely. This programme builds on our 20+ years of experience leading in-school workshops for primary and secondary, using stories to to inspire curiosity and cultivate an awareness of the wider world in children and young people. An example of this is The Physical Fellowship, the UK’s only physical performance festival exclusively for young people. The festival offers an opportunity for young people to be involved in the telling of stories – the Highly Sprung way. Each year a theme is set, and our artists work with secondary schools to create responses to their chosen stimulus. These have been real life stories of people throughout history such as the incredible life of mathematician Alan Turing and of Malawian inventor William Kamkwamba who built a wind turbine for his village out of scrapyard materials.
Fiction that inspires change and introspection are also often used as inspiration. In past years the festival has seen re-workings of William Golding’s The Lord of The Flies, John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids and VOX by Christine Dalcher to name a few. The brilliant Mark Worth writes original plays for our older Sprung youth groups, Sprung Advance and Sprung Launch, which always contain a moral maze to be resolved.
Launching in March 2021, each of our Ready, Box-Set,Go packages centre around a story, real-life event or Highly Sprung performance using our signature approach for engaging young people in movement, play, storytelling and drama. Each package consists of a box filled of exciting physical and digital resources including props, activity materials, creative challenges and workbooks. These boxes support a set of live and pre-recorded Highly Sprung activities led by our professional artists. We are so excited to still be able to offer creative opportunities to schools. We believe that now more than ever our young people need to be involved in the creation and telling of stories, to navigate and make sense of these strange times together.