A Brief History
The GAP has its roots in drama in education and theatre. We started in 2009 as a youth drama group, named Theatre Ark, in which the members were not just performers, but active company members making democratic company decisions. The aim of the company was clear, to gain real life skills and to consciously use drama as a tool for learning about the world. We owe much thanks to the work of Big Brum at this time for their dedication in supporting our organisation.
After two large and successful productions of The Crucible and The Tempest the company developed and broadened its practice. We produced video works that re-examined Shakespearean monologues in context of what it is to be a young person in Birmingham (Name of Action, 2011) and shortly after the company also branched into photography, training young photographers in portraiture in order to take photos of the youth in Birmingham in light of heavily stigmatised and sensationalist media in the aftermath of the UK riots in 2011 (New Light, 2013).
Since then we have continued to work across Birmingham, and internationally, to create and produce practice and research in creative and cultural action. We have opened creative centres in disused shops and market stalls, worked in Europe and China in drama and education research and practice programmes and supported (and continue to support) local young asylum seekers in creative practices.
The company now runs as a venue and project space working in drama and many other forms of creative and cultural action in both local and international settings.