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Theatre made by young refugees

An Impact Report 2011

“I learn about acting from scratch at Perpanata. I now have many new skills. I meet new friends and my English has improved so much.� Victor, 17, originally from Equatorial Guinea

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About us Perpanata is an internationally focussed theatre project based in Croydon, whose members are exclusively made up of young refugees and young people who speak English as an additional language. The project has its roots in a 2008 year-long partnership with Haling Manor High School, working alongside Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre. The Clocktower’s arts education team runs weekly drama workshops in the classroom for students from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Albania. Theses school-based workshops run for two terms with a further third term taking place out of school at Croydon Clocktower in participant’s own time. The final part of the project sees new members work with existing members to devise brand new public performances for Refugee Week. Past productions have been performed at The Clocktower as well as in schools and colleges and have been well attended by local and new audiences as part of Refugee Week as well as by friends and family. From these humble beginnings, Perpanata has ballooned into a model of best practice when working with particularly at risk young people. Perpanata have produced films and theatre productions and even been interviewed by Sue Perkins on Radio 4. Currently, the project is funded by Croydon Council and managed by the Arts Participation Officer.

Productions Perpanata have for the passed 3 years devised new work to be performed during Refugee Week held annually in June. Performances have included: 2009 – Potato & other Short Stories 2010 – Where Do I Belong? 2011 – Cracked Love More details and footage of these performances can be found by visiting the website

Aims of Perpanata • To give opportunities to young refugees and asylum seekers to develop their interest in the theatre and the arts • To support the integration and well being of young refugees and asylum seekers in Croydon • To recognise talented young people from excluded groups and provide a creative platform for their voices and experiences

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“I like to make people laugh. We do comedy, make jokes� Perparim, 18, originally from Albania

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Facts and Figures*

7 250 160 3 400

= Number of Croydon schools we have worked in = Number of unaccompanied minors we have engaged in theatre making workshops = Number of theatre workshops we have run = Original performances we have produced = Number of people who have watched our performances *Since September 2008

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“I never thought I would perform for so many

people in my life. I want to find a job doing acting, it makes me happy.” Prince, 17, originally from Zaire

“I love it. I like the shows - my first performance I was so nervous, but now I find it easy. I like to come to the workshops every week, they help me learn new skills and I meet cool people” Nishananth, 15, originally from Sri Lanka

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Plans In 2012 Perpanata will be the lead partner for a new international commission of a large-scale participatory theatre piece which is to be presented as part of LIFT 2012 (London International Festival of Theatre) from acclaimed Iranian director Hamid Pourazari. This unique project for Croydon will see Perpanata work with well over 200 local participants of all ages and involve a cast of 80 non-professional performers. The commission will take place during Refugee Week 2012 and is an official event of the Cultural Olympiad and London Festival 2012.

In March, Perpanata have been invited to run specialist workshops at COAST, an International Festival of Community Theatre created with migrant communities in Holland, Germany, Poland and UK, hosted and organised by ACTA in Bristol.

Perpanata will continue to grow in 2012, increasing both its reach and reputation. We want to increase the number of regular participants in the workshops and develop relationships with local, national and international partners who share our artistic and social aims for supporting young refugees. We would also like to share our model of good practice with other organisations who want to support this kind of work. We will look for funding opportunities to help us do all of these things.

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For more information: 020 8253 1034

With thanks to:

All images appear with the consent

anata workshops and productions

of participants (images feature Perp

from 2008 - 2011)


Perpanata Impact Report 2011  

Theatre made by young refugees