In collaboration with Europe Direct Düsseldorf, English Theatre Düsseldorf will be offering a Youth Theatre Project that will bring together students from Düsseldorf and its Sister City Reading for a theatre weekend that concentrates on the theme, All of Europe's a Stage. We are grateful to the Landesregierung Nordrhein-Westfalen for their support in providing funding for this project.

The Workshop will bring together approximately 40 students ages 14 - 16; half from the Goethe Gymnasium School and half from the Reading School Grammar School in Reading. The students will be divided into 4 subgroups, each with a specific sub-topic and comprised of a mixture of German and English students, in order to give them the opportunity to work with new people from different countries and cultures. ETD will provide one workshop leader per subgroup to work with the students over the two-day period, in which they will participate in research, theatre exercises and games, scene work and improvisation. Under the overarching theme of "The Future of Europe," they will explore questions about Climate Change, Identity, Brexit and 75 Years of British-German Friendship. Additionally, they will work towards creating a short (10-15 minute) performance based on their groups’ topic, to present on the final afternoon.

The individual groups will be led by the four theatre pedagogues and coordinated by a project leader. All the workshop leaders are fluent English-speakers who currently live in Düsseldorf. A filmmaker will also be present for two hours per day to document the work over the weekend and will then edit a short video to provide the schools with a reminder of the project.

Throughout the weekend (Friday and Saturday nights) the Reading students will stay with host families from the Goethe Gymnasium school and in addition to the theatre workshops, the students and English Theatre Düsseldorf will partake in a supervised city tour and activity in English.

Overall, the workshop aims to provide young people with a platform to collaborate with students from different cultural backgrounds and to express themselves through theatre on significant international themes. Students often feel their voices are not heard and this is an opportunity, in a comfortable and supportive environment, to provide them with a “stage” to express how they feel about current topics surrounding Europe. With the implementation of Brexit this year, it couldn’t be a better time to give these students a voice to express themselves on what Europe means to them.