In 2019, Bond Street Theatre initiated a five-week cultural exchange program in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Working with refugee and migrant teens from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, we conducted a program that engaged teens as advocates for inclusive societies and equipped them with the creative tools to champion tolerance and mutual understanding through the arts!
"Theatre made me more self-confident... and more funny too!"
"It helped me to understand the opinions of different people regardless of age, race, nationality, language, etc."
Although migrants and refugee families contribute to the growth and development of Saint Petersburg, the current sentiment of “Russia for the Russians” has intensified each year, and the level of tolerance among the local population has declined. Theatre training encouraged teens to share their voice! Revealing their feelings of being outcasts in a new country at this crucial time in their lives has encouraged empathy and understanding in audiences. After the post-show discussions, young audience members clamored around them for autographs and selfies - now, they feel like “rockstars”!
"There are a lot of messages in just one small piece of theatre and that's the reason people and I love theatre"
- Sergei, Cameroon, age 15
"I enjoyed most that we succeeded to everything together - we succeeded to make a castle."
- Sarvinoz, Tajikistan, age 12