The biggest theatre engagement programme ever staged in Cornwall is opening a treasure trove of stories and inspiring creative talents from the Isles of Scilly to the Tamar.
Wildworks, the UK’s leading landscape theatre company, will employ more than 60 artists for the latest phase called Hello Stranger.
It is part of We Are Shining, an 18-month celebration led by the acclaimed company and supported by Cornwall Council’s Good Growth programme.
The overall aim is to reach more than 70,000 people and inspire towns, schools and diverse communities across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Hello Stranger will explore how they would describe the place where they live and its history, myths and character to a stranger arriving on its shores today.
Activity ranges from a dramatic collaboration with homeless charity St Petrocs to working with refugees on a project where nine Cornish artists will be paired with nine people displaced from their homeland, resulting in a touring installation.
Other teams of artists are now engaging with disadvantaged and marginalised young people, connecting with people living with disabilities, building relationships with Women’s Institute members and reaching out to those in farming and hospitality.
Another creative project involves Death Cafes – where people meet for food and drink and discuss the end of life.
As a big part of Hello Stranger, Wildworks has forged partnerships with secondary schools and colleges across Cornwall.
One-day workshops in ten schools will allow the team to introduce their innovative approaches to theatre to hundreds of pupils.
On a bigger scale Wildworks will work intensively with five secondary schools – Five Islands Academy on the Isles of Scilly, Fowey River Academy, Bodmin College, Looe Community Academy and Treviglas Academy, Newquay – and their wider communities.
Wildworks CEO Emma Hogg said: “We have named this huge range of creative activity Hello Stranger because anyone and everyone is invited.
“Our ambition is to engage with as many different people as possible across the length and breadth of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, spanning geography and demographics by working with schools, colleges and a whole host of diverse groups and organisations.
“We will spark conversations through live and digital creative activity, drawing people together and generating and rediscovering a treasure trove of ideas, artefacts and stories in a way and on a scale that has never been done before.”