The theme for this year's Refugee Week (June 17-23) is Our Home. As a Theatre of Sanctuary, Norwich Theatre is committed to being a place of support, safety, and hospitality for refugees and people seeking sanctuary. 'We are really proud at Norwich Theatre to be a theatre of sanctuary, which means we take every opportunity we can to give welcome and hospitality to those seeking refuge and sanctuary,' said Sam Beal, creative engagement project manager.

This welcome extends to everything Norwich Theatre does, acting as a community hub that champions inclusion for all, 'we believe creativity and creative spaces play a vital role in bringing people together and building understanding,' Sam added.

Norwich Theatre is working with Juventas Services to provide a welcoming space in the centre of the city for young unaccompanied asylum seekers (aged 16-25). Hosted at Norwich Theatre Playhouse in the Playroom, an events committee of young representatives will develop a series of evenings featuring Kurdish music and cuisine.

Norwich Theatre’s Theatre Makers: Being Migrant is a free-of-charge weekly workshop at Norwich Theatre Stage Two that provides an opportunity for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to engage creatively and connect with other communities. A platform for diverse theatrical languages to inspire, be shared and celebrate.

Theatre has the potential to achieve much more than entertainment. It can be a place to connect and provide a sense of belonging when lives often feel at sea. A recent participant in the Theatre Makers group said: 'I danced. I sang. I laughed. I have made new friends. It feels like home. This project has given me hope for a new life.'

During Refugee Week, Norwich Theatre will use creativity to extend warmth and hospitality, sharing stories from others about where they find home. Norwich Theatre Stage Two windows will be filled with poetry written by asylum seekers. Its Theatre of Sanctuary groups will host a sharing of work alongside local community groups on Saturday June 22.

On Thursday June 20, Norwich Theatre, in partnership with Norfolk and Waveney Mind, will explore stories of belonging, our sense of home, and our experiences of feeling an outsider. Using simple creative activities and gentle, reflective tools, you will be able to draw out the things we have in common and a sense of our connection. This workshop is open to people from refugee communities, asylum seekers, those who identify as migrants to the UK, and UK nationals.

There will also be a free family film screening of Migration, a cartoon film about a family of ducks who decide to leave the safety of a New England pond for an adventurous trip to Jamaica. However, their well-laid plans quickly go awry when they get lost and end up in New York City.

'In a world marked by division and displacement, theatre can play a powerful role in enabling compassion across our communities, transcending language, culture and background. It can offer a sense of belonging, and at Norwich Theatre, it is our job to hold the doors of our venues open wide,' added Sam.

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