Our Lives as Art - New Vic Theatre

Posted on 24 November 2016

From railway carriages to labour wards, through art galleries and a circus, New Vic Theatre's Ages & Stages company took the audience on a memorable journey, exploring relationships with creativity, art and their own memories.

As part of the Back to the Drawing Board exhibition series, the performance on Wednesday 23rd November was part of the University's continuing research collaboration with the New Vic Theatre, and feeds into research into many themes, helping to develop understanding of the inter-generational links and creative bonds between places and artefacts, the cultural heritage of the local area, community engagement and creativity in later life.

Following the performance, the audience were invited to take a look at another collaborative project - 'Pictures of the Future' - an interactive installation with the Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC) and New Vic Borderlines, lead by Sue Moffat, Founding Director of New Vic Borderlines, and Mihaela Kellemen, Director of CASIC.

The installation contains a projection of Peter Rice’s mural, Bridgewater artefacts, ordinary day to day objects, empty frames, voice overs and musical documentaries made by diverse communities which took part in previous CASIC research projects. Participants are encouraged to create and visualise a bright future for Stoke-on-Trent by filling empty frames with their own ideas and aspirations, drawing themselves in the projection, and writing about their aspirations, wishes and ambitions for Stoke-on-Trent. This living and interactive installation will act as a bridge between past, present and future and as a boundary object that can unite communities around ideas about the future.

Click here for photos from the performance and installation, which runs until 26th January

Ages and Stages is a theatre company based at the New Vic Theatre, developed from Keele's RCUK-funded research into ageing and culture, led by Prof Mim Bernard and New Vic's Jill Rezzano, making work with and for older and inter-generational audiences.

The Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC) is rooted in Keele University’s tradition of multi and trans-disciplinary research and its commitment to community engagement. The Centre builds on existing relations with the award-winning New Vic Theatre, with which Keele developed a specific methodology of knowledge co-creation and of community engagement, entitled ‘Cultural Animation’.

The ‘Back to the Drawing Board’ exhibition takes place from 9th November 2016 – 26th January 2017, in the Chancellor’s Building, Keele University. The exhibition celebrates the long and remarkable creative lives of Pat Albeck and Peter Rice. Pat Albeck is one of the leading designers in modern Britain, having worked in the textile, pottery and paper industries and for John Lewis and the National Trust. Peter Rice was one of the pre-eminent stage and costume designers in modern British opera and theatre. For more information, see the Arts Keele website.

For further information about Ages and Stages, please contact

Professor Mim Bernard
Professor of Social Gerontology, Keele University
Tel: 01782 734067
Email: m.bernard@keele.ac.uk

Jill Rezzano
Head of Education, New Vic Theatre,
tel: 01782 381366
email: jrezzano@newvictheatre.org.uk

For more information about CASIC, visit their website