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New focus for Trestle: Expansion of mask work and emphasis on youth provision

Trestle, the St Albans based mask and physical theatre company, is to expand its highly acclaimed mask making business, backed by a programme of workshops and performances. Participatory and performance work for 11 to 25 year-olds will be Trestle’s priority. A year of consultation, reflection and restructuring followed Arts Council England’s decision not to award National Portfolio funding to Trestle.

The Company has reviewed its mask making business and will be taking the creative stimulus of Trestle’s work with young people and physical storytelling theatre into its mask resources and workshops. Driven by the last five years of international influences and cross-cultural collaboration, Trestle aims to take the masks in a new direction, with the offer of digital and live resources to support training, participation and performance.

Emily Gray says:

It was tough losing Arts Council subsidy, of course, but focusing on what we do well, and what our stakeholders would like us to offer, has driven a creative process which has been liberating and fruitful. In the past year, with a reduced, but highly effective staff team, we toured three productions, developed arts programmes for young people at Trestle Arts Base and Platform, and continued our workshops and training across the UK and abroad.Looking forward, we will launch a new website, deliver work with and for young people which responds to our masked and unmasked performance and continue collaborating with our partners and supporters.’

In the next year, Trestle will enjoy working with its new partners, looking for innovative ways to fund new performances and inviting young people to experience and shape the Company’s work. Trestle continues to have a good relationship with the Arts Council, who have a vested interest in the lottery funded Trestle Arts Base.

In the past year, Trestle has consolidated a number of strong international and local partnerships and been nominated for two awards; the Peter Brook Empty Space Award for Collaboration and the St Albans Mayor’s Pride Award for Cultural Innovation. Trestle has also been successful in securing funding from two Local Councils; St Albans District and Islington, where Trestle is in a partnership developing Platform, the new youth arts hub at Hornsey Road Baths.


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