Create and perform a brand-new youth-theatre play that's unique to your group, with resources and community support available throughout
As world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow for the International Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021, acclaimed youth-theatre organisation Company Three and leading theatre publishers and performing rights agents Nick Hern Books are inviting youth theatres, schools, and community groups everywhere to come together and share the stories of the young people whose futures depend on the Conference's outcome.
Join youth-theatre companies from across the UK – including Company Three themselves – to create your own, unique version of a brand-new play, called When This Is Over, and perform it between September 2021 and February 2022. This exciting, mass-participatory cultural event builds on collaborative development of the play earlier in 2021, involving 16 youth theatres from across the UK.
You'll receive extensive resources and support to help you create your production, as well as the opportunity to have your young people's stories recorded in an interactive online archive. All of this is available for a fixed participation fee of £100 (plus VAT where applicable) per company.
For more about When This Is Over, and how getting involved in the project works, check out the video below – and read on for the full information. When you're ready to sign up, fill out our Participation Form here.
If you have further questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with our Performing Rights team.
What is When This Is Over about?
In When This Is Over, a group of teenagers stand on stage and tell stories about their lives.
They start wherever they think their personal story starts. That could be years before their birth or the moment they arrived on this planet. They tell the stories of their infant years, their time at school, as teenagers, during lockdown, right up until the present moment, in the room, right now.
After that, the performers keep going, describing the moments immediately after the play (even though it’s still happening), the day after, the day after that – on and on through their futures – their jobs, their relationships, their midlife crises – right the way through to their deaths.
The stories finish whenever the performers want them to end. That could be at their moment of death, or thousands of years later.
All the stories are told in the past tense and the third person. In a way, they’re a bit like a eulogy at a funeral – a snapshot of a life. But in this case, it’s the people living these lives who get to talk about themselves.
When This Is Over is not directly a play about COVID or the climate crisis, but about the young people who will live through and negotiate the impacts of both. It's a chance to amplify the voices of a pivotal generation at a pivotal time, so that their stories can inform the decisions we take about the future.
When This Is Over is particularly suitable for young people aged 12+. It can be staged without any set, and with limited technical requirements – and can be performed outside, in community spaces or theatres. It's been designed to be simple, flexible and adaptable, making it suitable for your group whatever your specific circumstances.
How can my group get involved?
We're inviting youth theatres, schools, community groups and others to sign up to create their own production of When This Is Over, telling the stories of your young people, and then stage the play between 1 September 2021 and 28 February 2022, forming a mass-participatory cultural event alongside COP26.
To help you create your production, you'll get access to extensive resources, as well as access to a community of companies on the same journey. More information about these resources can be found below.
The play you produce will be based on the stories your young people want to tell, meaning you'll end up with your own unique version of When This Is Over, unlike any other in the world.
What support is available to help us create our production of When This Is Over?
When you sign up, you'll receive a downloadable Blueprint to help you create your production.
Packed with ideas, activities and exercises, the Blueprint provides a scene-by-scene guide to creating the play – providing a framework in which to create your own content – as well as guidance on safeguarding and working with young people in this way. It's based on Company Three's work on When This Is Over so far, and their collaboration with other youth theatres who've been working on the early development of the play. If you've previously performed Company Three's hit play Brainstorm, or were part of their Coronavirus Time Capsule project last year, this approach may be familiar to you!
In order to give you the chance to decide whether When This Is Over is right for your group, the full Blueprint is available to read below, completely for free. This version is non-downloadable and non-editable, with the actual files provided once you sign up.
To expand the Blueprint to full-screen, click the icon in the bottom-right-hand corner of the reader. You can also access it here.
In addition to the Blueprint, when you sign up you'll also be invited to join a community of practice, connecting you to Company Three and other groups who are also creating their own production of When This Is Over – attending workshops, sharing practice, and creating links which we hope will sustain beyond the project.
This community will be centred around an online Hub. As Company Three make new discoveries as part of their own development of their production of When This Is Over, or come up with new ideas, they’ll post them all on the Hub in the form of videos, blogs, podcasts, etc., with these resources available to use however you like. You can also share your ideas and discoveries with the rest of the community via a dedicated message board. Participating companies will receive invitations to monthly online workshops from Company Three, plus tools such as branding kits to use for your production.
The stories your young people tell in your production of When This Is Over will become part of an interactive online archive, collating the experiences and hopes of young people everywhere, just as the people with the most power to change their lives come together.
All of this is available to companies for a fixed participation fee of £100 (plus VAT where applicable) per company, which will grant you:
- a licence for four performances of your production of When This Is Over,
- the downloadable Blueprint, plus access to all of the ongoing resources and support via the community Hub
- the opportunity to have your young people's stories included in the online archive
This fee covers the administrative costs of the project, and also helps support Company Three's ongoing work. However, we don't want finances to be a barrier to companies taking part - so if this will be challenging for your group, please get in touch to discuss your circumstances.
Sounds great! What should I do next?
If you'd like to sign up to create your own production of When This Is Over, the next step is to fill out our Participation Form here. You'll need also need to read and agree to our Terms and Conditions, which can be found here.
Once you've submitted the Participation Form, you'll receive an invoice for the fixed participation fee of £100 (plus VAT where applicable). You'll also receive an email from Company Three providing you with the printable When This Is Over Blueprint and access to the Online Hub.
If you have further questions, please feel free to get in touch with our Performing Rights team. And don't forget, the full When This Is Over Blueprint is available to read further up on this page, as well as here. We hope you'll join us to be part of this exciting theatrical event, and celebrate the stories of young people everywhere.