News

Happy 35th Birthday

Andy Watson

Image: Geese in performance 2022 (top) / Geese in performance early 1990's (bottom)

The first ever rehearsal of Geese Theatre Company took place on 10th June 1987. 35 years on, we are still going strong. In that time the company has worked with thousands of people in the Criminal Justice System, in virtually every prison in the UK and developed innovative projects internationally in Australia, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands and Bulgaria. Over the years we have employed well over 60 practitioners and administrative staff to deliver and support this work. Everyone of them has brought something unique to this work, advancing our practice and helping us refine and develop our methodology.

This work wouldn't be possible without the support of the commissioners, probation officers, prison Governors and staff from the many organisations we partner with,  who see the possibilities that theatre and the arts can bring to their institutions, their services, and the people they work with. We would like to thank all those who have taken the risk of using theatre in their settings. 

Using theatre in criminal justice settings can be demanding, but ultimately it is about the power of creating safe spaces in which people can encounter people: where people can be challenged, supported, pushed, find common ground, and explore differences; where people can explore their creativity on their own terms; where we are all able to rehearse different versions of ourselves without fear of failure. So, of course, we would like to thank all of the men and women who have stepped into the space with us and trusted us to make it safe, be that as audience member, participant or co-creator. 

We look forward to the next 35 years and the possibility of new partnerships, new projects and performances and many new encounters.

Conflict Zone - Reducing Parental Conflict

Andy Watson

Conflict Zone

A brand new training performance exploring the theme of Parental Conflict designed for social care, health, mental health and education professionals, police and others who work with children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Government, "there is strong evidence that conflict between parents – whether together or separated – can have a significant negative impact on children’s mental health and long-term life chances." This performance, originally commissioned by Birmingham Children's Trust and funded by the DWP, follows two fictional families and explores some of the issues which exacerbate parental conflict (financial worries, unemployment, COVID 19) and the differences between parental conflict and domestic abuse. The two contrasting stories powerfully depict the effects of destructive conflict on children, whether parents are living together or apart. The piece asks the audience to consider how professionals can help parents understand their children’s needs and manage conflict constructively.

Delivered during April and May 2022, the training has received amazing feedback:

I thought this was an excellent method of training. I have raved about it to my colleagues and told them they have to attend.”

“It was excellent, so believable. The pace was good, the way the different kinds of conflicts were featured was very thought provoking. Could really feel the experiences of the children and the different experiences even though in the same family. Performances were exceptional.”

"Very powerful training, which will have had an impact on all the professionals attending; a really creative way of putting this across and good to challenge social care professionals about the 'masks' we all where and the importance of being real and transparent"

“Innovative, different, fresh and informative. Loved that the 4th wall was removed and audience were able to get involved.”

If you would like more information about Conflict Zone or would like to book a performance for your team or event then please contact us: info@geese.co.uk 

Online Information Sessions

Keshena Bowie

Interested in finding out more about the work of Geese Theatre Company? Intrigued about the use of theatre in prisons? Researching the role of the arts in criminal justice settings? 

Why not attend one of our Online Information Sessions? 

Our  'Online Information Sessions' are hosted by a Senior Practitioner from Geese and generally last about two hours. In these sessions you will have the opportunity to:

  • Hear about the range of our work
  • Learn about our ethos and theoretical approach
  • See filmed examples
  • Ask questions relevant to your own work, interests and research.

The next session is on 23rd June at 11am
 

Sessions are really informal and attended by a range of people from all over the world, inlcuding prison and probation officers, people with lived experience, and students and academics.

Get your tickets for this event here!

Geese sign up to More Than a Moment pledge

Keshena Bowie

We wrote a statement in June 2020 which shared reflections on our work in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, and highlighted our responsibility to challenge intolerance, prejudice, and racism by taking action. Since then, we joined the discussions led by the More Than a Moment working group as they developed a pledge from the West Midlands arts sector "to take radical, bold, and immediate action, to dismantle the systems that have for too long kept Black artists and creatives from achieving their potential in the arts and cultural industries".

We, Geese Theatre Company, have signed up to this pledge to demonstrate our commitment to make real changes to the systems in which we develop and deliver our work. We are hopeful that by working together, the West Midlands arts sector can create safe creative spaces and opportunities for Black artists and can therefore "reflect and represent the UK of the 21st Century". 

As an organisation with a core belief that the arts should be 'recognised as a powerful vehicle for individual and social change', we must prove ourselves right by taking action now.

If you've not read the pledge yet, please download a copy here. Find out more about the pledge and the working group here.

We look forward to working with other organisations who are signed up, and with the working group, and will keep you posted on the actions/changes we are making as an organisation via our newsletter (sign up here) and on social media.

We acknowledge and thank all of the Black Creative Workforce for their time, honesty and emotional labour in contributing to the process that led to the co-creation of the Pledge, and to the Radically Listening research that underpins it.