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Storytelling event engages Shrewsbury youth

Monday, March 13, 2017

Two seasoned performers visited Shrewsbury last week to present an interactive storytelling workshop to some of the town’s young people.

Professor Allan Owens and Yosuke Ohashi were visiting University Centre Shrewsbury on behalf of RECAP, the Centre for Research into Education, Creativity and the Arts through Practice at University of Chester’s Faculty of Education. Yosuke Ohashi is a founder member of Taichi Kikaku Theatre Company in Tokyo, and he is working with Professor Owens on Prof Owens’ Pre-texts series of shows.

Professor Owens explains: “The #60 Pre-texts Tour is founded on my practice-based research into drama as an excuse to ask ‘How can we best live together?’ With a copy of the co-authored research monograph Creativity, Education and Democracy (Adams and Owens, 2016) in my pocket, I’ll be engaging people in the UK and other countries with these issues through pre-texts as a form of public discourse.”

The performance took place at The Hive, which holds a weekly youth development group aimed at young people in the town, and explored some of the oral storytelling traditions of Japan and other countries as well as incorporating input from the young people themselves.

The Hive’s Progammes and Projects Manager Emma Croall says: “Every Thursday after school, young people can meet at The Hive and socialise in a safe, fun environment. Over the past few months, they’ve engaged in watching films, playing games, and have even started to form their own band. When the University approached us to see if we could host Professor Allan, this seemed a perfect opportunity. The feedback we had from the youth cafe was fantastic, and they'd enjoyed the creative interactivity of the session.”