Crystal's Vardo is a new play for 7 - 11 year olds to raise awareness of Gypsy and Traveller history and culture and to address the problem of bullying in schools. It has been premiered in Brighton (four separate performances to date) and we now want to take it into schools in other areas.
We want to achieve one performance per week over the next six months
Friends, Families and Travellers
The play addresses, in an entertaining and engaging way, the issue of the bullying of Gypsy and Traveller schoolchildren. A report by the Childrens Society in 2007 showed that some 85% of Gypsy and Traveller children had experienced racism and discrimination and that nearly 70% had experienced actual bullying. Racism against Gypsies and Travellers is still regarded as 'fair game' in the press and media, and much of this stems from lack of knowledge about these communities.
By teaching children about the history and culture of Gypsy and Traveller communities and the way that they have been persecuted through the centuries we hope to foster a better understanding between the travelling and settled communities. Solving the problem of racism and discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers is a long haul but the more we can educate our children the more progress we will make.
To stage 'Crystal's Vardo' in as many schools as possible
Activities» The infrastructure is in place - the play, transportable stage set and actors. We just need to finance performances (about £300 per performance).
Success will be...
Continuing the positive feedback that we have received from children to date and showing the play to thousands more children.
The project will raise the awareness of children about the racism against Gypsies and Travellers and lessen the incidence of bullying in schools. Understanding between communities will be increased over time. Perjorative name calling - gypo, pikey etc - will hopefully be eliminated from our language. People will begin to have a better understanding and respect for one of our most discriminated against minority ethnic groups.
The risk is that we do not secure sufficient funding to complete a whole programme of activities. The unit costs of production are self contained however (although there would be an economy of scale). £300 would pay for one discrete performance - £3000 would pay for about 15. With more funding we could hire venues and invite several schools to participate in a single performance.
We will report each subsequent performance of 'Crystal's Vardo' on our website together with a summary of the reviews and other feedback that we receive on the performances. Substantial donors (if not anonymous) would be invited to attend a performance to see the play for themselves.
Budget - Project Cost: £3,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £3,000 Crystal's Vardo Staging 15 performances of the play in schools
Schools or theatre venues in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex with the possibility of touring the production in London and elsewhere if sufficient funding is identified.
Children from the travelling communities will benefit from the reduction of bullying, name calling and discrimination. Children of the settled communities will be given a better understanding of Gypsies and Travellers. This will also impact on the families of children from both communities.
The play has been written, produced and directed by a member of our staff who has a strong background in Children's Theatre. We are the only national charity working on behalf of all Gypsies and Travellers regardless of ethnicity, culture or background and have been working with Gypsies and Travellers for the past 18 years.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
As well as being FFT's finance officer, Suzanna is the writer, producer and director of this extraordinary play.