Did you know that 50% of people that work in youth theatre are volunteers? From the Fri 5 – Sun 14 May 2017, it’s Voluntary Arts Week across Scotland – a time to celebrate and share the work of voluntary arts groups. We’ll be shining a spotlight on some of the youth theatre leaders who volunteer their time to create brilliant theatre experiences for young people.

Collision Theatre CompanyNext up in the spotlight is Clara Bloomfield who leads Collision, a voluntary youth theatre organisation in Fife, who internationally acclaimed playwright Gregory Burke called the “Royal Shakespeare Company of Buckhaven”

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Clara Bloomfield, a theatre maker and director who, as part of my practice, acts as Director for Collision.

Collision collaborates with young people to create work that responds to the everyday and explores the world in which they live. Through performance and participation Collision encourages a greater dialogue surrounding what it is to be a young person today through the exploration of people, place and identity.

Collision have a specific approach that is rooted in responding the young person’s experience of their communities. Through devised performance and new writing, they present work locally regionally and nationally.

Since its inception in 2013, Collision has created work for and with young people at The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Rose Theatre London, Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, various theatres across Scotland, and in non-traditional performance spaces, including parks and nursing homes. The company has created work and for with the National Theatre of Scotland, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, Hearts and Minds, Kingston International Youth Arts Festival and Scottish Book Trust.

How would you describe your group in 5 words?

Collaborative, ambitious, bold, aspirational, brave.

How did you get involved in running your Youth Theatre?

Collision was set up as a collaboration been the young people and me back in 2013. It was response to nothing being in the area and the group aspirations to make ‘guid art’ here in Buckhaven and share it in a wider context.

What role do volunteers play in your organisation?

At present we are entirely run by a team of volunteers who take on all roles within the organisation: Artistic Director, assistants, chorographers and young leaders.

What do you enjoy most about Youth Theatre?

  • To theatrically explore the young person’s position in the world and the world in them. To use theatre as a platform for discussion, to share that conversation with their communities and then its placement in a wider world’s discourse through taking our work on tour.
  • Our team have much better artistic ideas than me
  • The banter – we laugh every week together
  • The collective sense of togetherness – they come from a small community and so they support one another in and out of the Company.

What are you working on right now?

We’re just about to perform our Juniors show “Alice in Wonderland” as part of the Voluntary Arts Festival www.collisiontheatre.com/alice-in-wonderland

Voluntary Arts Festival runs from Fri 5 – Sun 14 May 2017 and is a project of Voluntary Arts who work to promote and increase active participation in creative cultural activities across the UK and Republic of Ireland.


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