About our 'Broken:Live' Emerging Artists Programme
'Broken:Live' was the first fully inclusive project that our team developed with and for Emerging Artists and adults living with chronic illness or invisible disabilities. It has been the backbone of our Influence Programme ever since, taking various forms over the last 6 years, depending entirely on what the artists themselves wish to do during each season.
To date, the project has supported over 75 artists online and in the real world, with a significant focus on supporting those who may be house or bedbound by chronic illness - and those who work with, care for or support them -so this programme has evolved to provide artistic outlets and skills development for those who are often unable to access training or artistic expression through more traditional means, much like our own core team did.
This part of our work is all about enabling artists working in puppetry, theatre, film, and audio to develop and share their skills, enabling them to tell the stories of their own lived experiences in a way that suits their needs and nurtures their ambitions, treating them like the emerging professionals and valued, talented colleagues that they are, and not labelling them as 'participants' merely because they might be disabled.
All Artists decide for themselves if they wish to be included in our public portfolio and to what extent - some of them choose to share their experiences publicly, to raise awareness of their conditions or showcase their talents, while others choose to share their work in our closed creative spaces, or without disclosing who they are, or whether they personally have any disabilities or not.
Artists featured here are therefore a beautifully diverse mix, and many of them come to this programme because they wish to develop a better understanding of inclusive creative practice in their own work, and they know the best way to do that is to directly interact with others who have that lived experience.
We actively encourage all our artists to be autonomous and stay true to themselves, and will always support them in the decision they make - so you will never see us using them or their work unless they have expressly asked us to, and whatever we do share will ALWAYS REMAIN THEIRS, and be CREDITED according to their wishes.
To discover past projects our Broken:Live! Artists have been involved with and take a look at what's next for this group,
check out the 'INFLUENCE PROGRAMME' pages
Meet our 'Broken:Live' Artists
Broken:Live Puppetry Film maker
Lizzie came to us looking for support to develop her puppetry film about living with EDLS.
As one of our first ever Broken:Live Artists to be awarded a paid commission, Lizzie received a grant of £500 and a small equipment allowance, alongside an annual subscription to Stan Winston School of Character Arts, and several hours of mentoring through our creative team in support of her professional development and to help her produce her film. This support was something we were able to provide thanks to our Arts Council England grant, and gave Lizzie the opportunity to tell her own story the way she wanted to.
You can check out Lizzie's work on Instagram @cresshead_puppetry where you will find her short film, and loads more inventive puppetry that demonstrates without a doubt that having a physical difficulty like EDLS doesn't have to stop you from living your dreams.
More recently, Lizzie was also able to join us for several shadow puppetry workshops online and has now joined our creative team for our 'Forest of Kin' pilot writing season.
Sarah Lee Pettifer
Broken:Live Puppetry Artist
Hi, my name is Sarah and I am lucky enough to be part of the Broken Puppet Theatre Company. During lockdown last year, I was introduced to Clare and Marie (virtually) and I was honoured to be offered a scholarship with the company, making puppets.
I’m currently in my third year of uni doing my illustration degree and everyone at BPTC has been so helpful and inspiring. I’m actually learning so much from these guys in such a short space of time, it’s unreal!
I had never made any puppets until I found Clare and Marie. This was a whole new world to me and a world I’m so proud to be part of now. The support and encouragement BPTC give me is so uplifting and precious in my learning. I can’t thank them enough. I’ve made quite a few puppets now and I’m excited to carry on my journey with them all! I'm hoping in the near future I will be working full time within art and of course, the puppet world. See you on the big screen soon!
Since joining our Broken:Live programme as an emerging Puppetry Artist, Sarah has gone on to have her work included in an exhibition by Daniel Lismore, and the team here couldn't be prouder of the beautiful work she is now creating, which includes work for her university courses and even some shadow puppetry short films!
Thanks to Sarah for sending us these photos! >
" I really do make use of the Stan Winston School of Character Arts Subscription that BPTC Funded for me. You’ve all inspired me and helped me and I will never forget what you’ve done for me. I am now concentrating on some massive projects I’ve been offered…. But, I will always be here if you need me for anything and if I can help, then I will. I’ve loved and will cherish my journey with you x" - Sarah, Feb 2022
Find Dan's work here:
Dan interviewed our whole team and produced our 'Broken:Live in Lockdown'
Video Podcasts that were part of our Arts Council Funded Project during the first 6 months of the pandemic.
During the lockdown my main sources of revenue were my work as a support worker and as lead singer in a band. Sadly due to covid, these revenue streams were unable to support me.
After searching for work I found an advert for the Broken Puppet Theatre Company.
I rang Clare and spoke with her at length about my current situation. She was able to find a good fit between my skills and their needs.
I was greatly supported during this period of great uncertainty and helped to be part of a new team. The Broken Puppet Theatre Company is filled with these kinds of supportive and understanding people. We worked on a meet the team podcast which I was helped to make and introduced to lots of similar people all in various situations. During this time my mental and physical health was not in a good place due to the stresses and strains of the pandemic and various financial concerns I was under. However, the small glimmer of hope was my interactions with them.
I have really enjoyed seeing various emerging artists go from being nervous and shy, to coming out of their shells and making wonderful puppet figures or films about their various illnesses. It's a fantastic testament to the excellent and vital service of this company.
I personally don't think I've had a harder year in my life than in 2020. But on the flipside I count my blessings that I was lucky enough to meet and receive as much kindness and help as I have from them. Clare and the rest of the team are little miracle workers and I am so lucky to have found them.
The way they work is fantastic, inclusive and understanding. They should be role models for the rest of us. Xx - Dan Reid, 2021