Children’s Theatre Company Based in Stroud, UK

Extraordinary Theatre for the Very Young

Aurora is a New Children’s Theatre Company based in Stroud.  Founded by Lucy Cassidy in 2019. Aurora’s work will have a clear visual identity: European in style and drawing strongly on the experimental theatre background of its collaborators, the company will focus on creating (non-verbal) dance-like theatre with a filmic score and will perform their work on stage as well as in unusual spaces.  Work will be made through improvisation and play and then structured around a score. Inspired by the work in Reggio Emilia and it’s Artistic Director’s passion for child-led learning, Aurora places children at the heart of it’s process and product – making & performing alongside them in performances that spill out into participatory experiences.

Artistic Director, Lucy Cassidy has a commitment to making art for everyone – and her work has been described by peers as European and “Art on Stage” – with the founding of Aurora she intends to bring theatre work of the highest quality to an international festival, The National Theatre and right into her local community.  Collaborating with local, national and international artists – the work of Aurora will have a strong visual identity and range from lightweight touring pieces in community sessions to installations and performances for international festivals of children’s theatre. 

Kin is the company’s first performance although “Can You See Me” (Concept & Direction by Lucy Cassidy 2016) – provides a strong template for the company’s work (Kin sees some of CYSM’s creative team re-united). As Aurora’s first piece, Kin will be lightweight and practical – something that can easily tour at a sensible fee – provide a calling card for the company’s work.  But Aurora’s ambitions stretch beyond the small scale and 2020 promises to be a busy year for the company with plans for organisational development, a residency at Hawkwood, Stroud (R&D for a new piece about fitting and not fitting – first developed @ The Place – Early Years LAB with La Baracca in November 2019); and a visit to Take Off festival planned for October 2020.  Lucy intends to build her pool of collaborators and find an excellent company producer to take her into the next ten years.  The company will also continue to build its relationship with local producers and stakeholders such as Strike A Light and GL4 as well as starting to become visible on the Children’s Theatre Scene.  Aurora is keen to be part of a joined up vision for culture in Gloucestershire and will to work closely with Create Gloucestershire – continuing conversation with Pippa Jones and Louise Bardgett to tie in with Create Gloucestershire’s wider children and young people cultural education plans and in particular to respond to a need Create Gloucestershire has identified with library partners around early years work. Aurora will also be building on the Cultural Commissioning Work with the NHS and the importance of creative input for mothers and fathers as they bring children up to ensure good maternal/paternal well being – as they create participatory stay and play experiences. 

Aurora will also be looking for a home in 2020 and are in conversation with local musical story telling company Playcircle and Filskit children’s theatre company – about setting up a hub for children’s theatre in Stroud/Nailsworth – complete with rehearsal, performance and storage space.  Early conversations around this are already in progress and a supportive environment nurturing excellent theatre for children is just a few steps away. (under construction)