24 Stories of Family Arts

Royal Exchange Theatre
The Dream Project

Best Age-Friendly Outreach Winner

“Cast and production were excellent. Well scripted and such a moving atmosphere. It was lovely to see an older cast and that the theatre recognise that there is a market for older black actors and actresses.” – Audience member

THE DREAM PROJECT invited older African and African Caribbean diaspora people to work together to create an artistic outcome of their choosing.

The result was a storytelling performance called Dominoes and Dahlias (+Oware!). The performance took place in a community garden with live music and African food. The piece was then showcased in the Studio Theatre as part of the Age of Creativity (England’s Creative Ageing Festival).

The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester is a producing theatre in the heart of the city with a rich history of engagement with Greater Manchester communities.

For nearly ten years, Royal Exchange Theatre has developed a robust and pioneering creative offer for older people called The Elders. This includes their public access programme for older people called Elders Mondays – a rolling programme of creative sessions throughout the year. Each year, they recruit a new Elders Company of up to 25 older people who take part in a year-long creative programme to learn more about theatre as well as work intergenerationally with their Young Company. On completion, these people join the graduate programme and continue to engage with the Royal Exchange Theatre, as well as initiate their own creative projects.

To address the under-representation of older African and African-Caribbean people taking part in the Royal Exchange Theatre Elders, the Theatre ran their pilot programme: THE DREAM PROJECT. The aim of the programme was to recruit a new group and invite them to create an artistic outcome of their choosing, such as a performance, an exhibition, or event. Led by two older Black artists, Director, Cheryl Martin and musician, Clive Hunte, the group met every other week at the Royal Exchange Theatre to share stories and devise their artistic outcome.

You can discover all 24 Stories of Family Arts here. If you’d like to discover more fantastic organisations that meet our Family Arts Standards or Age-Friendly Standards explore the Fantastic for Families Directory.

Royal Exchange Theatre is a Fantastic for Families Awards 2023 Winner in the category: Best Age-Friendly Outreach

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24 Stories of Family Arts
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