We were funded by Arts Council England in 2018 to devise and produce a piece of promenade theatre and a short film in partnership with the Birmingham Pen Museum and Turves Green Girls School/Four Dwellings Academy. Working with 36 girls we explored the history of the women of the Birmingham Pen Trade. Each participant was allocated an anonymous pen pal from the corresponding school and they wrote to one another by hand for several weeks, before meeting at the Museum, rehearsing and performing together.
We discovered 90 percent of all pen trade workers were women,
who were often unable to write themselves, so we wanted to delve into
their industrial history and try to tell some of their stories, whilst exploring the
power of the written word with a group of young, technology savvy participants.
‘Forewords,’ was the first promenade piece of theatre
ever to be performed at the Pen Museum!