Innovative pop-up performance concept puts arts at the heart of the community
- Glade Theatre LAUNCH PARTY – Highbury Fields, 8th Sept 6.30pm ‘til 10pm – Drinks / Picnic Party / Performances
A new costless way of bringing live arts to the heart of communities is launching today in London and beyond.
The Glade Theatre is a concept that enables people to set up their own impromptu performance spaces in parks, playgrounds and public spaces wherever they are.
Today’s launch event will see more than 20 performers – musicians, dancers, actors, poets, puppeteers – take to the impromptu stage on Highbury Fields.
The brainchild of journalist, Stefan Simanowitz, the concept first took shape this summer after he was caught in shower on Hampstead Heath with his 3-year-old godson.
“The two of us took shelter beneath some trees and to the pass the time I did a rendition of Singing in the Rain,” Simanowitz explains. “When I’d finished, my godson made me swap places with him, sitting me down on the bench whilst he performed his own song. That magical moment planted the seed of the idea.”
Over the summer, Simanowitz returned regularly to this spot and to other leafy glades around the Heath and around London. He enlisted the help of friends and passers-by who came to perform or just be part of the audience.
A Glade Theatre banner was printed and painted and a delicate 10ft x 8ft fabric stage procured. Easy to transport, the sign and the stage are hung from the boughs of any tree and illuminated at night. The programme for performances is fluid much like a “open mic” event only without a mic. A board at the side of the stage lists performers and a sharpie allows people to add their names and chose a slot.
Adults and children of all ages are welcome and audience members are encouraged to get involved. Even if they don’t want to perform the audience can sing along or take part in interactive activities such as “Chatterbox” – a friendship speed-dating circle where each person speaks to their neighbour for 3 minutes.
The beauty of the concept is that is accessible to anyone and fully scalable. Anyone can set up a Glade Theatre wherever they are. They can make their own banner or order one for just £30 (+P&P). The fabric theatres are also available at cost price.
“Last year Charlie Brooker joked that he couldn’t wait for lockdown to be over so he could stop sitting at home scrolling through his phone and he could go down the pub and scroll through his phone there,” says Simanowitz. “But when lockdown lifted, people in the pubs weren’t on their phones. It was almost as if they realised that real human contacct requires real humans, speaking to each other face-to-face. It is this connection that the Glade Theatre aims to provide a platform for,” said Simanowitz.
Last month, a dance performance at the Glade Theatre prompted one audience member to step up recite Khalil Gibran on the importance of culture:
“If there come the singers and the dancers and the flute players, buy of their gifts also. For they too are gatherers of fruit and frankincense, and that which they bring, though fashioned of dreams, is raiment and food for your soul.”
For more information contact email@example.com or phone 07799 650791
Visit THE GLADE THEATRE www.gladetheatre.com (site under construction)
TWITTER @GladeTheatre / INSTAGRAM – @thegladetheatre
To order a 3m x 2m banner (£30+ P&P) contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch video about the #GladeTheatre here https://twitter.com/StefSimanowitz/status/1434927405429309441
Music tonight will include singer song-writer Ilana Lorraine who runs the music night at Fambula Gardens and Sessions 58 that has been incubating new musical talent for a decade
Singer song writer, Katya The Artist, will be performing her ground-breaking new single, “I’ll take your number” at 6pm