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A Reason to Read

A Reason to Read is an ongoing project between Cap-a-Pie, English Literature students at Newcastle University and Looked after Children from Gateshead, supported and hosted at Northern Stage. The project brings together young people from diverse backgrounds to explore canonical texts and build relationships and understandings. So far we have explored Beowulf, The Odyssey and Journey to the Centre of the Earth through the drama.

In this project we use an approach we first heard about in 2005 when Cap-a-Pie visited Brown University, USA. Cap-a-Pie artist Gordon Poad was part of a project looking at a new framework for improving literacy skills through performance – ArtsLit. This approach involves taking canonical texts and using performance to enable participants to engage and apply these texts to their own experiences.

Thanks to; School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics and Institute for Social Renewal at Newcastle University and Catherine Cookson for funding the project; Northern Stage for support and space within their Stage 3 initiative; Dr Stacy Gillis and Dr Ruth Connolly at Newcastle University and Chris Hulme at Gateshead Council.

Newcastle University