We Could Be Heroes

We Could Be Heroes is a collaborative theatre project, written and performed by young people. It builds on Prof’ Philip Zimbardo’s “Heroic Imagination Project” research. and involves Bootworks working in residence with a group of young people or emerging artists to create and devise a new piece of theatre based around the theme of ‘Heroes’.

This exciting new project is rooted firmly in empowering young people to speak out and voice their thoughts, fears, and desires on the society, culture and world they live in.

It is designed to adapt to any size group and language. The aim is to redefine heroism and make it more relevant for a 21st century world. Central to the HIP’s mission is to redefine the way we look at heroes and heroism (in turn; villains and villainy), and empower young people to stand up to oppression and help each other: developing a network of ‘heroes-in- waiting’.

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Originally written and devised by the company

Directed by Robert Daniels 

The pilot performance was developed with graduates from the University of Chichester (cast): Mohammed Abdurrahim, Curtis Arnold-Halmer, Natasha Dockerill, Simon Froud, and Chantelle Walker

The touring version was originally written and devised by the company with Nick Walker. This project was developed with support from The Point Eastleigh, Redbridge Drama Centre, b-side festival, The British Council, The University of Chichester, and was funded by Arts Council England. It was re-devised in 2018 by Curtis Arnold-Harmer and Froud with animation and videography by Georgina Rose.

This project was developed with support from The Heroic Imagination Project, The Point Eastleigh, Redbridge Drama Centre, The University of Chichester, The British Council, and Arts Council England.

Special thanks to: Roxanne Carney, Molly Scarborough, Nick Walker, Sophia Walls, Emily Walsh, Dr Philip Zimbardo, and The Heroic Imagination Project team.

1 Project, 2 outcomes:

This piece explores and embodies and applies the ideas and theories of Zimbardo and the Heroic Imagination Project (“HIP”), with participants asked to explore those little instances of heroism in our daily lives, to huge battles undertaken in the name of liberty. Core themes are inspired by conversations with Dr Philip Zimbardo in 2016. His work with the HIP  – who support this project and its research – has been pivotal to the themes and topics explored in this show. The project developed 2 (related) outcome: one that toured, and one that was re-devised each time with a new cast.

Central to the HIP’s mission is to redefine the way we look at heroes and heroism (in turn; villains and villainy), and empower young people to stand up to oppression and help each other. A network of ‘heroes-in-waiting’. We look at the cult of the heroic icon; the oft tragic hero of our childhoods gone bad. We throw out the archetype and start afresh.

You. And us. Together. A network of heroes in the making.

The Exchange Project involved Bootworks working in collaboration with a group of young people or emerging artists, over a 2-week intensive residency exchange, to create and devise a new piece of theatre based around the theme of ‘Heroes’.

Each time we work with a new group, the content changes. It’s re-written, produced, and devised anew; allowing the new cast to present their unique cultural, gendered, generational, and personal experiences, and build on the wider mission.

Each version of this show will be steered and directed by the core team, but it’s content and themes will be shaped and positioned by the participant’s critical, cultural, and creative voice.

The Touring Show was a result, and continuation, of the pilot project with the core team, and is no longer available for touring. 

While we are not actively touring this project, If you are interested in this project, and would like to talk more about how it could fit with your programme, get in touch with us: info@bootworkstheatre.co.uk

Click here for a (pdf) document with more detail on the project and how it works: We Could Be Heroes (promo pack)

A full-length video of the show (in its current guise) is available on request. A trailer link is here: https://youtu.be/d4t3SFr23H4

Core themes are inspired by conversations with Dr Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect, renowned psychologist, and director of the renowned Heroic Imagination Project, in 2016. His research with the Heroic Imagination Project (“HIP”) – who also support this project and its mission – has been pivotal to the themes and topics explored in this project. 

For more information on the themes and issues in this performance, including education and research materials on the Heroic Imagination Project, go to: 

heroicimagination.org 

youtube.com/HeroicImaginationTV 

Join the social mission and become a Hero-In-Waiting!

Facebook:  /HeroicImaginationProject

Twitter: @HIPorg