The Journey So Far

five young participants for Sportivate Birmingham workshop assume different poses in a forwards motion, 3 standing and 2 kneeling down.

Extant is passionate about engaging and developing strong relationships with partner venues. We are currently working with two major arts venues in the Midlands and Northwest: mac Birmingham and The Lowry, Salford Quays. 

Read on about specific projects that have taken place as part of our journey so far, or follow this link to find out more about Upcoming Activities

8 participants sat around a table during a workshop at St Peters Church

Manchester and Birmingham:

So far this year we have run the following workshops and courses in these regions:

‘Move It’ Project funded by Sportivate Birmingham and Sportivate Salford. Parallel physical theatre projects involving 15-25 year olds with visual impairment or other disabilities, which ran separately at mac Birmingham/Queen Alexander College, and The Lowry, Salford.

Living with Sight Loss course in collaboration with Action for Blind People Manchester. The main aims of the forum style workshop were to increase mobility and empower individuals to lead more independent lives.

Birmingham Vision Harbonne and St Peter’s Social Groups. Extant worked with Birmingham Vision to run workshops for two groups in the local Birmingham region. The sessions focused on different areas of performance including poetry, song and drama techniques.

artist Karina Jones leads a group of 5 standing in a circle, all dressed in black. They are in a large, wood-floored rehearsal space in mac

The Chairs drama workshops. Coinciding with our UK tour of The Chairs throughout April, Extant ran a series of free tour workshops at each venue to introduce visually impaired individuals to the play and explore its themes through drama skills. Led by artist facilitators, these offered professional development opportunities to visually impaired practitioners to plan and deliver the sessions.

Watch a clip from the workshop session at The Lowry here.

Picture ofvolunteer Samuel Wilkins in the mac rehearsal space, holding a piece of recording equipment in one hand, guide dog at his feet.

During one of the workshop sessions at mac Birmingham, volunteer Samuel Wilkins came along to interview participants and artist Karina Jones about their experiences with Extant - click to hear the interviews (mp3)

black and white photo. Two youth theatre participants practise a movement sequence with white canes, moving across the stage.

London 

We organise various artistic opportunities across London, including Extant Exchange, a networking opportunity for visually impaired creatives to share skills from their professional practice, and Extant's Youth Theatre project, 'Unexpected'. This project saw a small yet devoted group come together over 4 months to share and explore experiences of sight loss. This was developed into a ensemble performance piece, which the group presented at the Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton in April 2016.

Spirit of Resistance sharing event - participants gather in groups in the foyer at Stratford Circus. Centre, an elderly woman wearing a bright red scarf speaking to a young female access worker
Recently we also concluded our intergenerational project 'Spirit of Resistance', which marked the anniversary of Extant's first national tour of 'Resistance' in 2005. Working with groups of people aged between 17 and 98, the project explored themes of resistance and resilience that emerged from the play. Participants then came together for an informal sharing, directed by Jules Tipton, at Stratford Circus in June 2016.