Nine cultural organisations have joined forces to create Doncaster’s first ever storytelling festival to celebrate diversity and different cultures and languages. Hosted by Doncaster Cultural Education Partnership together with local literacy campaign Doncaster Stories, the festival is bookended by National Storytelling Week, starting Monday 1 February, and finishes on Thursday 4 March with the grand finale of World Book Day.

The storytelling festival will be hosted on the Doncaster CEP website and involves several local organisations:

 

  • Doncaster Stories
  • Cast Theatre
  • Adult Family and Community Learning
  • Doncaster Libraries
  • BME United Doncaster
  • Hungry Little Minds
  • darts
  • Heritage Doncaster

The Doncaster Storytelling Festival will create a programme of free (or subsidized for those who need it) virtual events from different organisations that families and schools can access in one place instead of being overwhelmed by competing offers. Whilst COVID restrictions mean that the festival will be online for its first year, it’s hoped that in the future it can be celebrated with a series of free in-person events.

Activities include live workshops on Microsoft Teams, a young writers club with Cast Theatre, storytelling videos exploring different identities and cultures, book giveaways, and content from popular children’s authors. There will also be creative resources that take children away from screens after a day of home-learning such as using a dice to build a story and heading outdoors to play in the mud.

There’s even an opportunity for volunteers to create their own storytelling videos as part of the festival, and they’re especially interested in working with people from minority backgrounds – anyone wanting to get involved with the project should contact Phil Sheppard, phil.sheppard@literacytrust.org.uk.

For more information about the festival, please visit doncastercep.org.uk/storytelling-festival/ where families can find a full schedule of events.

 

Here's what Cast is up to as part of Doncaster Storytelling Festival:

 

Theatre at Home (plays to watch from your sofa or classroom!)

A Tale of Two Houses by Handprint Theatre


Available now online until 04 March 2021

Free to watch!

Yellow lives in their happy yellow house, in their happy yellow way until one day their yellow world is changed as Red moves in next door, living in their red house, in their red way. >A story about accepting others and celebrating our similarities and differences.  Handprint Theatre present an accessible theatre show for Deaf and hearing families, exploring the importance of community and how we communicate with each other. 

This vibrant performance is fully accessible for Deaf and hearing audiences.

Cast are working in partnership with Handprint Theatre to bring a fantastic theatrical storytelling experiences to D/deaf and hearing families, made by D/deaf and hearing artists.  Their work combines storytelling, physical theatre, British Sign Language and a passion for empowering young people.  Their work is accessible to both D/deaf and hearing audiences, not segregated by allowing a sharing of stories which communicate across language, disability and culture.

 

Sammy and The Beanstalk

Available now online until 21 February 2021

Cost
: £5 (If you would like to watch Sammy and the Beanstalk but cannot pay for a ticket, email ticketing@operaupclose.com and we will send you a link.)


Eight-year-old Sammy and her dad used to have lots of fun together, making up stories and mixing potions in their kitchen.  But something outside is scaring Dad and he doesn't have the energy to play anymore. As Sammy ticks off the days until her mum gets home, Dad becomes more withdrawn and a mysterious vine starts tapping at their windows. What does it want? And is there anything Sammy can do to help Dad be brave once more?

Olivier Award-winning OperaUpClose presents their fun and spooky, contemporary urban fairy tale, which draws inspiration from classic winter tales, both cosy and gothic, as well as opera, theatre and film to create a thrilling story-telling experience, in a wonderfully intimate setting.

 

Spring Festival - Lunar New Year Activities

As our friends at home in Doncaster and across the world, and particularly those in East Asia or with East Asian heritage, celebrate the Spring Festival and the lunar new year, we have pulled together some fun activities and experiences to do either at school, on your own or with family.

Key Stage 2 Teacher’s Resources


An in-depth workshop plan and accompanying resources on Chinese Storytelling and the Ode of Mulan, will are available on the school’s section of Cast’s website.

 

The Old Man vs The Monster
Written by Naomi Sumner Chan

Every New Years Eve a village in China is attacked by a terrible monster who lives in the sea. The villagers are beside themselves in terror, until one day an old man arrives and says he knows how to get rid of the monster once and for all!!
This brand-new retelling of The Legend of Nian, a traditional Chinese folk tale explaining the customs associated with Spring Festival/Chinese New Year.

Available as a filmed story for you to watch:

and to download here so you can read time and time againIt's  accompanied by an activity sheet, which you can dowload here.

 

Storytelling Fun

  • Pass the Story and Story Starters. Who likes telling stories? We do! Join our mischievous storytellers as they create a story quite out of the ordinary, taking our audiences on twists and turns until... well, we don't know what happens in the end, that is up to you!  Storytelling for both deaf and hearing families as we ignite our imaginations to remind us all - you can find a story anywhere! Download the handout here.

    (Created and performed by Handprint Theatre for D/deaf and hearing families to enjoy featuring both BSL and captions). 
  • Create your own Flying Book! A fun visual arts activity that will give you the perfect place to store your wonderful stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More info on the above activities will be released throughout the month, so keep an eye out!

 

The Young Writer’s Club Writing Showcase

Throughout Doncaster’s Storytelling festival, 24 young people aged 10 – 21 have been taking part in weekly script writing sessions. Their wonderful writing will be showcased on 18 March 2021, performed and celebrated by professional actors.


Keep an eye on our social media and and our website for information on how you can watch these performances.