Project information

Connected: A radical new Idiot devising project

'Taught by an Idiot’ is Told by an Idiot's education strand and Connected is our ambitious new project that will ignite the imaginations and creativity of people, young and old. Through a purpose-built digital platform UK-wide groups will connect to create their own 'Idiot inspired' live performance

May 2014 - September 2015

Charity information: Told by an Idiot

Told by an Idiot logo
  • Need


    Access to digital technology is often only available to those who can afford to pay for it. This can also be said of theatre too. We will try to solve these problems within this project for 4 groups of people across 2 years and, using this model in the future, for many more. Also, like many small charities we have no in-house digital expertise to use it to its full potential, both as a tool in our creative process and as a tool to invigorate our participation work.


    Connected will be a uniquely designed project to engage people from different backgrounds and ages in live theatre and digital technology. It will offer a fun and interactive web-based experience, a deeper understanding of career opportunities in the industry and develop transferable life skills such as confidence and collaboration. It will also pilot a new forum for Told by an Idiot- a web based devising platform to take our devising process to a new level.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To expose groups, young & old, to digital technology, live theatre and joint artistic collaboration


    » Design a ‘rehearsal room’ digital platform and facilitate long distance creative and cultural exchange.
    » Over a 2 year period run 1 project a year of weekly playful, fun, live Idiot devising sessions over 2 UK regions, in both a physical and virtual space
    » Devise a script based on personal stories and accounts from the participants’ lives to facilitate UK-wide deeper exchange and engagement.
    » Facilitate the groups to successfully perform their live performance together using digital means and our bespoke platform

    What success will look like

    The project will bring together 4 diverse groups from 4 UK regions and digital practitioners to successfully create a devised piece of theatre together across the web.

    Aim 2

    To explore digital technology’s role in devising theatre and to measure its potential benefits.


    » To create a devised piece of theatre developed from the sharing of experiences and live action on an online digital platform.
    » Provide the necessary tools including expertise and hardware to fully explore the potential of technology in creating live theatre across UK regions.
    » Conduct regular evaluations of the technology during the project to insure its successful use and to assess the usability of the platform.
    » Record and analyse participants’ personal accounts to assess the ease, enjoyment and usefulness of the digital platform in the creative process.

    What success will look like

    The success of the digital platform and the processes used will determine whether digital technology can benefit the Idiot devising of theatre & education projects.

    Aim 3

    To provide tangible skills for diverse groups & expose them to the working of professional artists


    » Conduct a series of workshops with professionals which familiarize the participants with all areas of devising live performance.
    » Use activity to foster tangible life skills for participants including confidence, team working, understanding of others & use of digital technology.
    » Provide the opportunity to collaborate with people from different backgrounds & provide a liberating experience to take risks, play and be spontaneous
    » Provide opportunities for regional theatre-makers and digital artists and help enhance their profiles by involving them in the project.

    What success will look like

    We will ask the participants what transferable skills they feel they have learned and whether they would like to know more about any of the careers they have had access to

    Aim 4

    To pilot a cutting edge digital participation project that can be reproduced in the future.


    » To own all the digital equipment used by each group in order for Told by an Idiot to have the facilities to recreate the project after years 1 and 2.
    » For the project to become a regular Taught by an Idiot project to be applied in the future across other parts of the UK and the world.
    » To ensure that any digital infrastructure needed is built in a way which is exactly appropriate to the development of Idiot devised theatre.

    What success will look like

    Connected's success will mean that it will feature in Told by an Idiot’s business plan 15-18 and be a main Taught by an Idiot project in each future years.

    Aim 5

    To pilot and maintain successful partnerships with new artistic communities.


    » The project will be built on the creation of strong partnerships between regional theatre venues, their local communities & a UK wide digital provider
    » The project will connect groups of people with creatives from all around the UK where future professional Idiot collaborations could occur

    What success will look like

    All partners will continue collaborating together on educational or professional productions in the future and we build on the community relationships established by repeat visits

  • Impact


    The project will have long term changes to our Taught by an Idiot strand and also possibly on our professional creative process. It will offer long term changes to the participants too. Success will be to roll out Connected in UK regions and other countries and for the unique devising platform to become an everyday tool for the company. Success will also be for the young people to have gained digital, live theatre and life skills experience, and taken part in a true long distance collaboration.


    The failure of the website technology and the internet connections in both locations is an identified risk. We have dealt with this by working with C&T, a company very experienced in digital projects in harder to reach locations. A further risk inherent in any project is the willingness and openness of the participants to experiment. This is why we are not prescribing the content of the project. They will provide their own material from areas of their own lives that inspire and interest them.


    Donors to this project will receive a monthly email update concerning all developments. They will also gain access to the online platform allowing them to view parts of the projects as they occur. Donors will also receive an invitation to the final sharing of the piece in the UK.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £35,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £7,000 Website and digital equipment Building of bespoke platform and purchase of digital equipment
      £5,500 Tech support and WIFI Increasing WIFI capabilities in venues and ensuring continuous tech support Connected 2014 & 2015
      £12,500 Creative Fees Cost of artistic and workshop leader fees across the 2 years
      £4,200 Running costs Travel, accommodation, props, costumes etc across Connected '14 & Connected '15 pilots
      £4,000 Project Manager Connected project manager to run Connected for both 2014 & 2015 pilots
      £1,800 Contingency 5% of costs estimated contingency
  • Background


    The project will occur in four different UK cities across 2 years (2 cities each year) & will also occur on the unique Connected website. Groups of diverse people from 4 different UK regions will meet in the chosen local theatre space. The website will act as a ‘rehearsal room’ where the groups (2 groups each year) will regularly join together online to discuss their ideas, share material, and ultimately perform. They will also perform live in their venue to their friends and family.


    4 groups in 4 UK regions, each being of various ages & backgrounds, as well as future groups in the UK and internationally. The creative artists involved will benefit as will all host theatres through outreach to new audiences and inter-regional sharing of practices. Told by an Idiot will also benefit from new digital skills, an online participation platform, a new yearly Taught project that can span the UK & further and a new understanding of the role of a digital platform in devising theatre

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Told by an idiot is a professional and critically acclaimed theatre company which produces unique work on stage and through its Taught by an Idiot participation strand. For Connected it has secured collaborations with high quality partners who will deliver success including the digital company C&T from Worcester, UK. Combined with Told by an Idiot, there is more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of Connected.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Hayley Carmichael

    Co-founder and co-artistic director of Told by an Idiot, Hayley is a critically acclaimed actor and has devised and performed in most company shows.

    Paul Hunter

    Co-founder and co-artistic director of Told by an Idiot, Paul is critically acclaimed actor/director and has directed/acted in most company shows.

    Dr Paul Sutton

    Paul leads C&T and has over twenty-five year’s experience in Drama, Education, Applied Theatre and Digital Media both in the UK and internationally.