Theatre crowdfunding to raise £16,000 for drama workshops

Croydon Guardian: Sarah Milne and Norrin Radd outside Matthew's Yard Sarah Milne and Norrin Radd outside Matthew's Yard

A new theatre company has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £16,000 to provide drama workshops for people with mental health problems.

Untapped Theatre Company is specifically designed for people with mental health vulnerabilities to enable them to work alongside others in the community to explore their creativity and develop dramatic skills.

The theatre group will offer weekly writing, drama and theatre workshops and will put on monthly high quality productions in the studio theatre at Matthew's Yard and The Edge.

It was founded last month by local writer and creative arts workshop leader Sarah Milne and performance artist Norrin Radd.

They are working with Untapped, a Croydon-based social enterprise that brings art and craft workshops, activities and training to vulnerable community groups across the borough.

They need to raise £16,000 to fund the project by the end of the year and are offering a set of unique gifts such as tickets, drinks with the cast, signed scripts and limited edition prints and t-shirts in return for donations.

The first sum of money will fund the theatre group's first big production in April.

Miss Milne, 43, said: "We hope to use the medium of drama and theatre to break down barriers between different groups in society and challenge the stigma associated with mental health.

"This will be a platform for people to express their talent and including everyone when the group performs people won't know who suffers from schizophrenic or depression.

We hope to do productions in schools and to have discussions with pupils afterwards about mental health."

Mr Radd has suffered from depression and was diagnosed as suffering from chronic schizophrenia in early adulthood.

The 44-year-old who will lead workshops, said: "As a performance artist I understand what people will be going through.

"A lot of people are being diagnosed with mental illness and this group will show those interested in the arts they are not on the scrap heap. We hope to empower people and restore their confidence."

For more information on Untapped Theatre Company or to get involved email milnesarah@me.com. To donate visit http://bit.ly/untapped-theatre-launch

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