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Forest Forge is one of the UK’s leading small-scale theatre companies. It is based in Hampshire and for the past thirty years it has been creating innovative and exciting work for the region.
Forest Forge creates work that shares people’s stories and experiences with the aim of inspiring, engaging and transforming the communities we work with.
Forest Forge is committed to making theatre accessible by touring work directly into people’s communities. We make theatre that sometimes, challenges and is sometimes unexpected, but always inspires.
Forest Forge focuses on:
- Creating inventive theatre that shares people’s stories and experiences
- Championing new writing, to help share people’s stories and give a voice to individuals and communities
- Bringing audiences and artists together, as we believe this is the best way to create engaging, relevant theatre
- Intertwining all aspects of our work and challenging the traditional notions of audience, participant and artist
Forest Forge lives by its mission by creating work that delivers to one of its three strands of work.
This strand is about transforming communities and making an impact. It sees Forest Forge work with local communities in the New Forest and Hampshire to deliver life-changing projects and give participants the opportunity to work directly with professional practitioners and share their own experiences. Like the company, this strand is deeply rooted in the local area.
Work in the Galvanise strand aims to:
- Transform communities in the New Forest and Hampshire by bringing people together and taking theatre performances into the heart of the chosen space
- Share the public’s experiences and stories through the presentation of professional theatre
- Incorporate Creative Learning as a key tool for transformation
- Make the work feel relevant to today’s society
Forest Forge believes that theatre enriches the lives of young people and families. It is a key way to make a difference within communities and a vital building block for maintaining audiences for the future. This strand of work will explore the young person’s point of view and share stories across the generations.
Work in the Ignite strand aims to:
- Excite and encourage audiences to use their imagination
- Use a variety of elements and media (e.g. choreography, live music, puppetry, digital media)
- Be focused on children and young people, but will provide entertainment and interest for all members of the family
- Over 80% of the For You strand is delivered in Hampshire and the New Forest, with professional touring primarily serving rural venues.
This is the innovation arm of the company’s work. It allows us to push the boundaries of the art form, explore different mediums and develop a cross-art form way of working. This is work that broadens the horizons, reflects on contemporary issues and approaches stories from a new angle. It also uses new media. We want to create theatre that is thought provoking, inspiring and will really encourage audiences to think or reflect on what they have seen. This strand will tour locally and also beyond our usual borders.
Work in the Forge strand aims to:
- Challenge audiences by addressing difficult subjects or approaching stories from a new angle
- Commission writers to create exciting new work
- Include tours of second productions of shows that are too important not to be seen by new audiences
- Develop a cross art-form way of working, which includes digital platforms
The Company is managed by a Board of Trustees who meet on a quarterly basis. The Company actively seek to encourage representation of our two main funding bodies at Board Meetings, in order to maintain a close working relationship.
The day-to-day running of the Company is in the hands of the Artistic Director (who is also CEO) and General Manager.
The Company’s annual touring season runs for approximately ten months of the year. During this time the company recruits up to five performers (per production), Stage Managers, Props Makers, Musical Directors, Choreographers, writers and other freelance artists.
The Company’s programme of Creative Learning runs throughout the year, providing regular long-term residencies, projects and made to measure workshops.
Forest Forge Theatre Company seeks to achieve genuine equality of opportunity, whether it be required by legislation or not, in all aspects of its activities. The company wishes to reflect the diversity of communities within the United Kingdom. This aim is achieved through the implementation of its Disability Discrimination and Equality Plan and its Race Equality Action Plan, as well as its Equal Opportunities Policy.
The Company is a member of the NFDC Forest Arts Forum, the National Association of Youth Theatres, the South West New Writing Network, the Ringwood Chamber of Commerce and is an Approved Member of the Independent Theatre Council.