German Pilot Projects

Frederick Ensemble Witten

Development, Sense and Orientation for people younger than 27, with and without migrant background

“Frederick” is a well-known children’s book, written by Leo Lionni. It revives the old fable of the cricket and the ant – with a turned story. The moral of the story is no more “who wants to eat has to work”: Just like the cricket, mouse Frederick dedicates himself to artistic activity in summer instead of building up stocks like the other mice do. When all theses stocks run dry in winter, Frederick sustain the other mice with his colours, words and sounds and they hold out together. “Frederick” is a hymn to art. It says art is not only beautiful, but necessary. For everyone.

They do exist, the “young people”, who are not covered by society. They don’t get into what is called a well-ordered life or social participation. They can’t be like everyone and develop aversions to offers of education or help. They seclude themselves and feel neither seen, nor wanted or needed. Worthy humans are in danger to get lost in society.

In Frederick Ensemble Witten they find a stage. On this stage, there are different rules: Everyone can be him-/herself, they can test themselves and experience the wonderful power of play. Theatre demands and even more encourages.

In Frederick Ensemble Witten, they find a group. The social cohesion and teaching with tools of theatre is unique. Reliability, accuracy and liability are explored in a positive way.

In Frederick Ensemble Witten, they find a sense. The aim is not to work in isolation but present the result in public and furthermore to contribute to the society with artistic means. 

The Frederick Ensemble Witten forms a theatre group, where the young participants find a place of productive work. Guided by a theatre pedagogue and supported by a social pedagogue they are given a structure, backing and a task in their lives. They show who they are and what they can do. In the first period, they learn basic techniques of acting: interaction, bodywork and improvisation. Things almost everybody can learn. Things that are fun. In the second period, they are looking for cooperation with local public institutions, for example schools, refugee homes or nursing homes. Then, they go on tour with their compiled play.

The Frederick Ensemble Witten is voluntary and unbureaucratic. You can simply come around, try out, join in. Word is getting around that participants are going to leave the project socially stabilised and new participants come along, trying out this unusual approach. For establishing the project, it is set up for minimum three years and has capacities for 25 participants during the whole project.

Frederick Ensemble Witten is also ideal for young people with language problems. Nowhere else is it easier to learn a language than on stage!

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