The Imagination Station

About the Project:

Commissioned by the Plymouth Cultural Education Partnership as part of With Flying Colours, a City-wide 3 year Playmaking project for young people, The Imagination Station is the name of our project; a project to co-author a brand-new show for ages 8-13 with young people across 5 schools in Plymouth (4 Primary & 1 Secondary). The project received additional support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Starting in Spring 2020, the project has continued throughout the summer, culminating in Autumn 2020.

Visit the With Flying Colours website and see all of the work from Year 1 of the project here.

Phase 1- Content generation

We ran workshops across 4 of the 5 schools exploring the questions: who, what, where, when and why? This was to generate the content for the piece, such as types of characters who would feature, the location it would be set in and the questions it would ask the audience. We managed to do this stage of the project by March 2020, when we then had to finish due to Coronavirus.

Phase 2- How will we tell our story?

We wanted the young people to still have a say as to which story we were telling. The workshops had generated up to 15 possible options, which the team then narrowed down to the 3 top choices based on the votes young people had given elements of the stories during our sessions. We asked our videographer Zoe Bloss to help us make 3 story pitches for the show ideas, which you can view here.

We sent these videos to the young people to vote on their favourite. We received the most votes, overwhelmingly, for one of the stories, so then we could start to think about how we would tell this story. Part of the Above Bounds devising process is to write our story into a poem. This is in place of when writers would typically write a treatment, which is a summary of the storyline and the stage before writing the script. We decided to write the chosen story into a poem and ask our illustrator Clare Willcocks to create images to accompany it. The story is called -The Golden Penguin.

We then began the task of deciding 'how' we could tell this story in the time of social distancing, making sure everyone was safe, both audiences and artists. Chloe Benbow is our designer and she specialises in creating puppet walkabouts. We wanted to have something which could be enjoyed both digitally and live in person, so we are currently working on a plan to bring our story to life later in the year. Keep watching our Vlogs on Youtube to find out more as the piece develops.

Project Credits

Above Bounds Producer/Artistic Director Helen Bovey
Direction & Dramaturgy Nicole Redfern
Co-authored by Chelsea Vincent & Helen Bovey
Music by Joshua Lucas
Sound Design Daniel Harvey
Puppet Design & Construction Chloe Benbow
Outreach & Movement Victoria Horan
Videography Zoe Bloss
Illustrations Clare Willcocks