ABOUT US

Acting Now is a social theatre company based in Cambridge (UK). Our goal is to transform lives through theatre. We put social, political and civic causes at the forefront of our work and devise creative drama projects that breathe life into the important social challenges facing participants and audiences alike.

We use various drama techniques to engage with people who are at risk of social exclusion. We work with learning disabled people, adults with mental health challenges, the homeless and young people, among others, using theatre to reflect, explore and analyse the issues that affect them. The workshops provide a space where the participants can develop self-confidence, new skills and transform their own reality using theatre. With them, we also develop high quality plays that are performed in the local community.

Acting Now has a good local and international reputation. To scale our impact we work alongside charities and local authorities and strong partnerships have been forged with a large number of community organisations (such as Rowan, Cambridge Cancer Help Centre and Wintercomfort) so as to support their service users in their future endeavours.

At Acting Now we believe theatre is a platform to empower people and a great tool to help those at risk of social exclusion to unlock their potential and drive change in their lives.

OUR VALUES:

  • Promote the development of people for a more just world.
  • Develop projects to imply the voices of people with needs.
  • Promote an organization that is creative, inclusive and non-discriminatory for any their gender, age, race, ethnic or religious group, class, sexuality, disability or lifestyle.
  • Help the vital transformation of people at risk of social exclusion and the development of a community closer.
  • Work on equality but also on personal diversity accepting that every person is unique.
  • Develop inclusive, provocative and quality plays.

Theatre of the oppressed. Created by Augusto Boal in 1971, it comprises a variety of games and techniques that allowed unskilled participants to act and transform their lives, overcoming socio-political oppressions.

The method is implemented in stages. At first, a number of techniques are used to help the participants become aware of their challenging situation. Secondly, the participants are encouraged to analyse the factors which have caused it. Finally, the group acts on what they believe to be a solution to their challenges.

Lecoq Theatre and Physical Theatre.  This pedagogy created by Jaques Lecoq in 1956 works with a range of techniques to stimulate the body, imagination and creativity, including neutral mask, dramatic stories, melodrama, Greek chorus, comedia dell’arte, buffoon and clown.

This method encourages group work, since it is believed to improve emotions and feelings. The idea of Lecoq’s pedagogy “is to work in a common voice, is to be at one and at the same time grounded in the truth of a living character, and in touch with a dimension which transcends human reality”.

Community performance is theatre made by, with, and for a community. This approach highlights the process of the creation of a performance, rather than the final product itself. Petra Kuppers, a well-known culture activist, claims that by organising a performance the participants use their body, voice and experiences to develop a collective production. In turn, the performance becomes a close and direct reflection of real life and aims to raise awareness and generate change.

Group dynamics exercises. We use group dynamics exercises to create a safe space where the participants can share their feelings, show respect to others, give advice and contribute to the theatrical work. The aim of this technique is to give voice to everyone and increase group cohesion.

Our theatre practice aims to:

  • Increase personal well being through participation: Through the creative process, the participants discover new ways of relating with others and of communicating ideas in general. This leads to improved self-awareness, empathy, self-esteem and therefore social equality.
  • Decrease the negative perception of people at risk of social exclusion: Drama is a wonderful way of breaking down barriers and seeing things in a new light. A key aim of the Acting Now is to improve the perception of disadvantaged groups in society.
  • Empower vulnerable people to feel more integrated in society. We manage this by improving the self-esteem and confidence of participants first, and by raising awareness of the issues they face in the local community in the second place.
  • Overcome isolation. People feel more engaged in their local community and have a true sense of pride in the contribution they make to it.
  • Bring different people together. We champion an inclusive practice in our drama workshops and help to build bridges between participants and audiences through the performances.

OUR TEAM

EXTENDED TEAM

Mori Plaschinski - Project Worker

MA Art and social Responsibility, BA Psychology. She has worked in projects combining theatre with social and mental health in Mexico, France and the U.K.  Her work includes drama projects at care homes, drug rehab centres, eating disorders clinics and penitentiary institutions for minors.  Mori joined Acting now in 2017, where she assists the workshop delivery and international coordination. She is the project worker for our drama group with LGBT+ youth alongside our partner organization The Kite Trust.  Mori is currently developing her thesis research at the Charles de Gaulle Lille 3 University based on Acting Now´s work.

Alfredo Sacristán - Researcher and Applied Theatre Practitioner

 BA (Hons) Psychology. Alfredo is a psychologist specializing in educational and socio-community development. He has experience in learning programs for children from four to 18 years of age, including constructivist perspectives and horizontal learning. He then shifted his professional career towards community intervention and the study of developmental cooperation models. Currently linked to the University of the Basque Country and in the process of developing his studies with the Hegoa Institute, he has worked internationally in Zambia, as an international collaborator with a Spanish NGO, and in England as a community worker in creative processes with Acting Now. The latest developments in his career have been linked to the design and implementation of training programs for workers/volunteers from international NGOs.

Rose Clark - Applied Theatre Practitioner

BA (Hons) in Drama. Rose has recently graduated and joined the Acting Now team after volunteering with them earlier this year. Her technique specialises in physical theatre which she has explored numerous times in the last three years. After leading the Theatre Society at the university, she produced and directed multiple productions performed at venues such as the Cambridge Junction, Mumford Theatre, and Covent Garden Studio. She is aiming to study an MA in Theatre Studies specifying in physical theatre within the next year. 

Liv Kaya Aabye - External Researcher and Intern

MA Peace and Conflict Transformation; BA International Relations and International Organizations; Theater Total Completion
Liv Kaya combines her passions for theater and dance and social transformation, both in her academic work and as a practitioner. Together with her partner she founded and teaches at “Improlab Tromsø”, a creative community that organizes six Storytelling, Contact Dance and (Physical) Impro Theater events a month in Northern Norway.
At the Center for Peace Studies at the Arctic University of Norway (UiT) she investigates the transformative potential of performative arts, focusing on how community dialogues shift once artistic approaches are introduced.
During her time at Acting Now she is exploring the practical application of Physical Theater in the social settings in and around Cambridge. She is helping to improve evaluation practices and is developing the international links of the Physical Theater School 

WORK WITH US

Would like to work with us? We will love to hear from you! Please get in touch:
hello@actingnow.co.uk