Life changing theatre for young people

There is an opportunity for young people aged 16 -25 at risk of or with experience of homeless (or vulnerable and NEET young people) to get involved in a legacy project with Cardboard Citizens, in partnership with St Vincent’s Housing Association and Depaul.

cardboard citizens

Cardboard Citizens has been making life changing theatre with and for homeless people for 25 years. We tell stories that need to be told. Stories from other worlds, stories that help their tellers get a handle on their lives.

Choices, Voices, Changes follows a successful residency with St Vincent’s Housing Association earlier this year, where we engaged young people from Manchester and Blackburn in a two week long series of workshops, culminating in them devising their own forum theatre pieces, based on their own experiences. They then shared their work with an audience of young people, support workers and professionals at Z Arts. The residency acted as a catalyst for positive change for many of these young participants, with lots entering positive outcomes.

You can watch our short film, which explores their journeys and the process: the young people describe just how transformative their experiences have been. They do a much better job than me! A longer version is also available.

“Before, I would never have thought of being a teacher, I just didn’t have the confidence- and now, I have this new-found confidence…it changes you a lot”

We are now entering the second phase of the legacy project attached to the residency, and are keen to open up access to allow other young people to get involved. This second phase will see young people explore a variety of topics (details below). Stimulus will be provided, but workshops will be very much lead by young people’s experiences and specific areas that arise through theatre related games and exercises. You can find out more about how Cardboard Citizens approach theatre and theatre of the oppressed here.

“It helped me massively with my anger issues. I’m now working to join the fire service.”

Young people will work towards creating their own Forum Theatre performances, sharing these at Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre alongside Cardboard Citizens national touring production, Cathy, which comes to Manchester in January 2017.

The workshops support young people to build confidence, explore barriers they face, rehearse strategies for overcoming those barriers and to develop employability skills. PEARL qualifications can also be offered alongside the workshops.

“I’m now studying to be a personal trainer…I’m a totally different person.”

When: Thursdays 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Manchester Foyer, 61 Booth Street West, Manchester, M15 6PP

Wed 12 Oct: Trip to see Wish List at Royal Exchange (Date TBC)
Thur 13 Oct: Welcome Session: Human Rights & Young People’s rights
Half Term break
Thur 03 Nov: Conflict, extremism post Brexit & Community Cohesion
Thur 10 Nov: Conflict, extremism post Brexit & Community Cohesion
Thur 17 Nov: Substance Misuse & Young People
Thur 24 Nov: Substance Misuse & Young People
Thur 01 Dec: Relationships
Thur 08 Dec: Relationships
Thur 15 Dec: Housing and the benefits system
Thur 22 Dec: Housing and the benefits system

Christmas break (term ends 23 Dec)

Tue 3 – Fri 6 Jan, 10am – 4pm: Forum Theatre Intensive (TBC)
Thurs 12 Jan, 6:30 pm – 8:30pm: Rehearsal (dates TBC)
Fri 13 Jan: Sharing at the Royal Exchange, group watch Cathy at Royal Exchange (dates TBC)

Please note: schedule is subject to change whilst we await confirmation of dates for trips; the topics we explore in workshops may change depending on the group and their preferences.

To signpost or refer a young person, simply fill out the sign up and induction forms attached and email If you’d like to talk about the project in more detail, feel free to drop me a line and I am happy to give you a call. 1-1 info meetings or group info and taster sessions can also be arranged with young people and support workers or project managers, and we can always fill out the paper work once young people have found out more about the project.