Up2 Theatre is a new Theatre collective made up of individual theatre practitioners. With its roots in Yorkshire, Up2 aims to create theatre with, and for, the communities for which it serves. This may involve small to mid-scale touring in both urban and rural settings, site specific work and work that is relevant to time and place. With a focus on new pieces and lesser-performed contemporary theatre, Up2 will create work to challenge beliefs, provoke thought, garner a sense of community and, most importantly, entertain. There are, however, two particularly important elements to the work that Up2 undertake:
- Inclusivity. Up2 practitioners place utmost importance on making their work accessible and inclusive. This refers to both the diversity of practitioners that we will aim to integrate into our work as well as the inclusive experiences we offer to our audiences. Each performance will be accompanied by an offering of a workshop connected to the production, in which anybody will be welcome to participate and, most importantly, to contribute to the performance that they will then be attending. This may include learning an element of the production, devising separate segments to incorporate into the following performance or by recording media to enhance the production that they will then attend. Many community performers have been able to access large-scale professional productions in recent years, however these often risk being exclusive to seasoned performers and those who are able to commit the level of time that a full-scale production requires. The aim of Up2 is to create the opportunity for involvement from a single one-off workshop to hopefully engage a greater section of the community.
- Music. Up2 practitioners greatly value the use of music and will aim to incorporate it into their work to enhance the theatre experience. This is not necessarily in the form of musicals or of traditional actor-musicians but rather an acknowledgement that music, particularly acoustic singing, is an accessible form of storytelling that can both engage and involve audiences. Where possible Up2 will explore as great a range of styles as possible, with a focus on new and bespoke compositions. Music used will adhere to our first aim of inclusivity and will therefore be used to encourage involvement wherever possible. This may take the form of songs learned during a workshop preceding a performance or a piece of music encouraging audience participation during a performance.
Up2 practitioners are all freelance and, as such, are not exclusively engaged in this collective, but they will offer creative support to each other’s projects and seek collaboration wherever possible. Equally, the use of the Up2 brand is not exclusive and can be applied to any work undertaken individually by members of our collective with the majority agreement of other members.