ISTA present...

A festival of Verbatim theatre

September 25 - September 26, 2021

Booking Closed

This event is a live screening of the ISTA’s first-ever Digital Global Productions which includes two films – 2020 Vision and The Diary of an extraordinary year.

Watch the trailer

Artistic information

A festival of verbatim theatre

This is a 2 day event screening ISTA’s first-ever Digital Global Productions.

Saturday 25th September 2021 – Premiere of 2020 Vision at 1:30pm (CET)
Sunday 26th September 2021 – Premiere of Diary of an extraordinary year at 1:30pm (CET)

The performance on Sunday will be followed by a cast party on Zoom for all who’ve been involved.

Focusing on the unique approach to Verbatim Theatre called the Hear Us Out technique developed by artist Dinos Aristidou, this project captures the experiences of the events of 2020 from the unique perspective of young people.

We invited 60 young people from 9 countries- China, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Kenya, Portugal, Switzerland, UK, USA – to share their experiences of 2020. These stories were then sent to a young person from a different part of the world to be performed. These performances were then filmed by a core group of participating film students with original music also created by a number of the young people involved.

Stories of the extraordinary year of 2020 have been shared and have traveled across borders creating connections between young people in different parts of the world.

So many incredible stories were gathered that it outgrew the original concept of one single production. Instead, the final project has resulted in two original and innovative verbatim digital productions – 2020 Vision and Diary of an extraordinary year.

2020 Vision

‘Because, you know, we were kind of just being thrown into something very new.
And the unknown is scary.’

When a global pandemic closes down the theatres, a troupe of international players decide to travel across time zones and through the rocky broadbands to tell their stories and bear witness to a year of turmoil and discovery.

Diary of an extraordinary year

‘And, you know, just like all things, you know, time passes, so it won’t always be like this.
And I just need to keep my head up and strive to be the best I can be.’

A collection of verbatim monologues gives us a month to month account of the inner worlds and experiences of young people around the world during the extraordinary year of 2020. How do you capture a year? How do you capture a moment in time?

The creative process

The Hear Us Out verbatim technique, developed by artistic director Dinos Aristidou, has been used for the gathering, dramatising and performing of the stories that make up this project and accompanying films.

Following a series of workshops, each performance student was asked to record a story reflecting on the extraordinary year. These stories were submitted to the creative team and then sent to a student in another part of the world. For example, a student in Hong Kong would have their story performed by a student in Kenya. In addition to the individual stories, schools were challenged to create and devise a collaborative movement piece, based on an element from one of the stories. Music students worked together to create original music and film students met to develop the skills necessary to capture the performed stories and movement pieces.

Once collected, the filmed stories were woven together into a full script ready for editing.

The artistic director, along with a full creative team – film director, composer/music director and movement director – worked together with students to put together and capture the stories, devise collaborative movement pieces and to create the original soundtrack for the productions.

The finished productions are approximately 1 hour in length.

The creative team

Artistic director and writer – Dinos Aristidou
Film production – Mike Bindon
Music – Matt Baker
Movement – Helen Abbott


Your ticket purchase will give you full access to both productions.

The event is free but a donation is appreciated.

All donations from this event will be used to support ISTA operations in the 2021-2022 season, to ensure we can continue to provide events, resources and creative learning experiences to teachers and students around the globe.

Download & Forms

Please find below the relevant documentation for you to download:


Starts on Saturday 25 September at 13:30
Finishes on Sunday 26 September at 14:30
(CET - Central European Time)