During 2008 and 2009, I assisted with Dove Tales, a community dialogues programme at Theatre Royal Plymouth that aimed to provide a safe space and creative outlet for women who had come to the UK as refugees. The participants were not a homogenous community, but diverse individuals living abroad out of necessity, seeking asylum and often treated as invaders. They did not come to the sessions specifically wanting to do theatre, but to get out of the house, practice English, and make new friends, while their husbands worked and their children studied. As we got to know each other, we found out everyone had a story to tell; I started scribing our conversations and whenever someone said something noteworthy, the group would say, “Make sure you write that down!” They described the differences between their lives then and before, why they could not go back, and the ever-present fear of deportation. We translated their words between English and many different languages, composing poems and creating colourful backgrounds. In this way, the real words of a refugee women’s group in Plymouth, England were communally compiled into a book of their own stories.
More Documentation: Dove Tales childhood ; Dove Tales story-layers
Current information: Theatre Royal webpage