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Extended Universe Project

Extended Universe Project

Extended Universe
Extended Universe is a transmedia theatre project, with 4 theatres across Europe collaborating with 4
theatre makers and young people to co-create a connected story in multiple parts across multiple
platforms. We will be investigating new ways of telling stories across cultures and borders in
countries where young people have become increasingly politically active. We are exploring how
artistic collaboration across borders in the UK, Greece, Spain and Denmark can create more relevant
theatre specifically for young people.
Extended Universe will explore and reimagine what theatre is through collaboration and
experimentation. There are huge changes taking places across the whole of Europe and recently in
the UK, Spain and Greece especially. It is essential to work closely with young people now to ensure
that our culture is inclusive, diverse and highly relevant for the future.
Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of the story get dispersed
systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated
experience for the audience. Ideally each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding
of the story but also functions on its own.
 To make theatre more accessible and attractive to young people, to build more diverse and
sustainable European theatre audiences
 To give young people a voice through theatre, inspiring them to engage more deeply and
more often, resulting in more authentic and relevant work
 To increase organisation and artists’ understanding of young audiences’ behaviours, tastes
and engagement
‘We are all susceptible to the pull of viral ideas.
Like mass hysteria. Or a tune that gets into your
head that you keep on humming all day until you
spread it to someone else. Jokes. Urban Legends.
Crackpot religions. Marxism. No matter how
smart we get, there is always this deep irrational
part that makes us potential hosts for selfreplicating
information. ‘
Neil Stephenson, Snow Crash

Engaging Young Adults
In order to get the best results, each theatre is developing a Youth Advisory Group who will inform the
whole process and work closely with the artists. These young people will be at the heart of this
project alongside other young people engaged through the wider activity, all will join our network of
artists and partner theatres. A unique and innovative space will be created to inspire new forms and
new approaches to storytelling in theatre for diverse young audiences. Over three creative
workshops in Athens, Barcelona and London the artists will create work produced as live theatre
events and digitally on platforms including Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr.
Each country will identify a core group of 10 young people (aged between 15 and 25 years old) who
will act as ‘project advisors’. Ideally this will include young people who do not engage in theatre, and
therefore who can bring new perspectives to our work. These might be politically engaged young
people, or quite disengaged young people. Some young people might be interested in the arts, and
therefore develop specific skills within this project, but ideally this a smaller proportion of the group as
the focus is on reaching new audiences.
Participants will engage directly with the artists developing and creating the work, sharing their own
ideas and experiences in response to the 3 key themes (UTOPIA, POWER, YOUTH CULTURE).
Through a series of workshops, the young people will influence the narrative that is developed,
feeding back to the artists at each stage of development to ensure the work feels as relevant as
possible to the widest group of young people from this age range. Engagement will take place both in
person (in each country) as well as digitally (email, shared files shared app, social media) to enable
the young people to share ideas with their peers from other countries.
Each partner has a budget to increase engagement with young people through specific workshops led
by expert workshop leaders local to each city, to engage with the themes of the project and the local
artist and artistic lead. The groups engaged will depend on specific links to each partner, and
priorities identified by the local artist.
As the audience shares this media environment with the artist, it is natural to try and build this into the
development process. We will trial engagement with audiences in different ways, testing out material
both off and online.
 Sharing of project # to track engagement on Twitter and to collect audience research /
 Trial use of live digital events for development period – Facebook Live, Instagram Live,
Periscope – to invite those from other countries to observe, comment or engage with artist /
peers from partner countries at different stages of development. E.g. a sharing of a
development residency in London could be shared electronically with young people in
Denmark and Greece, who could comment in real time.

Main Activities Timeline
WORKSHOP ONE – ATHENS (Μοn 10 – Fri 14 December 2018)
Expected Results
 At least 2 live productions and 2 digital productions across the same week in May 2020
across multiple venues, locations and online. All interconnected.
 4 Youth Advisory Groups (1 in each country): 40 total participants
 At least 4 additional workshops: 80 participants
 At least 4 ‘digital audience engagements’ through development period
 8 blog posts written by Youth Advisory Group
 Engagement with young people to explore 3 key themes
 4 artists (commissioned) and 4 mentors (to support development) engaged over 18 months
 1 Overarching narrative / framework for the artistic output (live/digital)
 4 transmedia tests to see how narratives can work across live/digital platforms.

Project Partners
Boundless Theatre, UK
Entropia, Greece
Sala Beckett, Spain
Teater Grob, Denmark


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