Mural co-created with young people from Withywood & Hartcliffe working with Bristol artist Amy Hutchings (2018)
People deserve high quality arts in their lives, even if they can't pay.
Brave Bold Drama works to dismantle the barriers that can prevent some members of the community,particularly in Hartcliffe and Withywood in south Bristol, from engaging with the arts and accessing opportunities to explore their own creativity.
We partner with other community organisations to provide creative workshops for community members. We commission artists like animators, musicians, visual artists, dancers and poets to join us when we needs creative skills we can't provide ourselves.
We take bespoke creative activities and pop-up street theatre to community events, local festivals, schools, children's centres, libraries and parks.
Community Art Principles
All our community art activities are totally free of charge. We deliver activity in partnership with other community organisations, and activities happen in accessible spaces and at convenient times, often as part of a larger event or as part of a regular programme of activities that's headed by the partner organisation.
Projects that run over several months have multiple entry points for participants. Maybe you'll come to everything, maybe you'll do a bit halfway through, maybe you'll come and celebrate what's been made at the end. If people tell us they'd like to do something, we do everything we feasibly can to make that happen.
We develop our community art projects in collaboration with the communities of Hartcliffe and Withywood. Our artistic director lives in Withywood. We keep an ear out. People message us on Facebook and suggest things. We regularly attend council-led Families in Focus multi-agency network meetings which gives us detailed, up-to-date intersectional understanding of our immediate area's needs and interests.
Theatre Making Principles
The theatre we make is award-winning, and for all. We are best known for our family theatre, and we never forget that true family theatre needs to speak to all ages, not just the children. We carefully craft thoughtful layers into all our devised work so that all ages of audience have something to relish. No-one should feel our show is not for them.
Our family shows are boldly non-didactic. They are glimpses into multi-faceted worlds. Of course our shows discuss ideas, for example resilience, selfishness, absent parents and environmental activism, but these ideas emerge organically from within the world of the play and are not writ large. We do not believe family theatre should be simplistic, saccharine or superficial. Our shows do not end with neat and tidy resolutions, but leave our family audiences with questions to discuss together afterwards.
The family theatre we produce also features playful audience participation, original music, multi-roling and post-show interactive play sessions where we invite our audiences to explore the props and costumes for themselves. This is vital. They see that we make our shows out of everyday things. The invitation is clear...now it's your turn to play.
In 2019 we began also making theatre for people living with dementia with our Arts Council funded show, Wonderland. This work continues in 2020 as we partner with Frenetic Fox Theatre to create postable multi-sensory experiences for care home residents living with dementia.
Knowledge Sharing Principles
We are committed to sharing what we learn from our community work freely and accessibly for anyone who is interested in our work in any capacity. Please send any information requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. We started publishing project evaluations on our website in 2020. See some examples via the links below. If anyone wishes to know more about our work, we commit to giving you a response within 5 working days.