Music and Drama education awards – Outstanding Drama Initiative finalist

7 March 2022

Did you know that ISTA’s Digital Global Production – 2020 Vision – is a finalist for Outstanding Drama Initiative in the 2022 Music and Drama Education Awards?

The Music and Drama Awards celebrate the extraordinary contribution made by individuals, companies, charities, schools and other organisations to the lives of others through the medium of these two key performing arts.

Our nomination

We knew, as a theatre organisation, the power of bringing people together to talk, share and create. At a time when everything around us was shutting down and closing in on us, we wanted to give young people the opportunity to connect with others across the world, make new friendships and work towards something exciting and fresh. This was a new venture for ISTA – the move to online experiences led us to explore how we could combine theatre and film and how we could continue to make meaningful connections with 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. 

The project ran from January to September 2021. Each month we met with the students online and guided them through a process covering Introduction to Verbatim theatre, how to collect stories and the Hear Us Out technique developed by Artistic Director Dinos Aristidou and performing Verbatim. As well as engaging performance students we worked with those interested in film and music. The film students worked with the editor to learn the techniques needed to capture the performances and the music students, together with the music director, composed all the music used in the final piece. A movement director also worked with the students to create moments inspired by their stories. The artistic team then worked on the edit ready for its premiere in September which was followed by a virtual cast party.

We have had such incredible feedback from the young people involved, their teachers, their parents and the wider community. It has been joyful to hear how this project facilitated space for reflection and connection and gave a creative focus and something for the students to look forward to and be proud of. 

‘This was almost the best thing I have done in my life. It made me get out of my comfort zone and take leadership for the things I do as a filmmaker. I had so much fun thinking about what to film and actually making it happen. I have met so many different people and it was so cool to interact, even just through a screen, and see what other people’s countries looked like. Everyone is so nice and kind and really supportive with everything we do. They are there for us every step of the way while also letting us take control in what we are doing. This experience was THE BEST THING EVER and I would 100% again.’

Student participant

‘The project was really important for me personally to reflect on the past year and to find both the humour and sadness in the isolation of 2020.’

Student participant

‘I loved working with people that I would otherwise never have worked with if Covid hadn’t happened. Covid has affected the whole world but in so many different ways and being able to create theatre about the way it has affected the world together so that everyone can relate to it was great. What we did was really important.’

Student participant

We are immensely proud of this project and all the young people involved. 

Winners will be announced during the awards ceremony in London, United Kingdom 23rd March 2022.

Wish us luck!

Watch the final production of 2020 Vision below.