An upcoming collaboration between Silent Voices Uganda and Likeminds, an Amsterdam based Performing Arts Company, Our Stories-Decamerone Youth Theatre Production Apprenticeship, is a young people’s theatre apprenticeship programme.

Our Theatre Production Apprenticeship and Social Change Theatre programme is designed for participants between the ages 25-45 with a minimal qualification of a degree in any field but with priority given to degrees in the creative arts.  Even though the programme gives room to a good number of young people, we realized it leaves out a good number of young people too.

Our Stories-Decamerone Youth Theatre Production Apprenticeship, is a young people’s theatre apprenticeship programme idesigned to bridge this gap and is open to participants between the ages 13-24 without any academic qualification limitation.

The Decameron-project is a multimedia platform for nowadays stories. Within the project, youngsters collect stories from total strangers, transform them into art and present them on stage and online. The Decameron- project is history writing whilst making art. The project conceives a myriad of theatre performances, short films, spoken word, music and urban myths. And it conceives a community, since the people that are being interviewed by the young artists, also form the first group of audience. All interviews, recordings of performances, texts, films and music are being placed on the Decameron-website, which works like a sample of contemporary life.

 

In practice the project works quite simple. The youngsters have the assignment to go out on the streets to interview people they don't know. The interviews should be based on the themes of Boccaccio's Il Decamerone, translated off course to contemporary daily life. These interviews, or even better, these real-life anecdotes are the basis of the piece of art. That may be theatre, film, songs or poetry, but rule is that they make these pieces of art themselves. Meanwhile during the whole process, they are being coached by professional journalists and artists. Eventually, the art should be presented offline and online. The life presentations are in the presence of the people they interviewed. After the presentation, the owner and the young artistic interpreter of the stories meet and have a discourse on the result – the thin line between fact, faction and fiction. The day after all content is placed on the Decameron-website, www.decamerone.nu, in order to preserve the stories for the unknown future.

 

Over the last three years we have been testing and improving the working method of the Decameron-project. The results are numerous. Our youngsters translated hundreds of new, contemporary stories into art. We set up several small festivals to present all the stories. We let them travel to other countries to gather stories from abroad. We produced Decamerones in commission and free at hand. Sometimes the theme was very specific, sometimes more open. It appeared that basically any theme or context is possible, moreover any artistic approach is possible. Our youngsters made Decamerones about broken hearts, elder Surinam Jews, imprisoned people and taxi drivers. It’s a very versatile and flexible concept. At the same time it connects strangers, it builds a community, creates a library of new stories and gives the youngsters a working method and artistic instruments to develop their careers as emerging artists.

OUR STORIES-DECAMERONE YOUTH THEATRE PRODUCTION APPRENTICESHIP

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