Public involvement in research to be turned into drama in groundbreaking new play

On my travels so a cut and paste of a news release about an exciting new project.

Those who know Y Touring will also be pleased to hear that it has found a loving home at last.

New theatre company: Theatre of Debate Ltd. announces inaugural project

Press Release: 13 November 2014

The creation of a new theatre company, Theatre of Debate Ltd., was announced yesterday by Nigel Townsend, former Director of Y Touring Theatre Company.

Theatre of Debate Ltd. will develop the considerable legacy of Y Touring, continuing to tour nationally with new writing that explores complex science-based issues.

Y Touring was an operation of Central YMCA, which toured schools, theatres and community centres nationally, exploring social and ethical dilemmas through its unique Theatre of Debate format. After 25 years Central YCMA closed Y Touring in September 2014.

Artistic Director Nigel Townsend said: “Now more than ever, as we move towards a population of more than 10 million and we face among many other challenges, the challenges of climate change and the food crisis, and the threat of disease, we need to engage our audiences in informed debate about our futures and the world we want to live in and the role science, the arts and digital technology will have in achieving that future. That is why we are excited at having the opportunity to keep the offer of theatre of debate open to young people through live theatre, digital technology and cinema.”

Theatre of Debate Ltd.’s inaugural production will focus on patient and public involvement (PPI) in medical research, with support from the Wellcome Trust, as well as a new partnership with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), a partnership of OUH NHS Trust and the University of Oxford. Theatre of Debate will develop this work, which will tour schools nationally, while working towards a sustainable future with new partners in the years ahead.

Dr Sophie Petit-Zeman, Director of Patient Involvement at the NIHR Oxford BRC, who was also Y Touring’s Scientific Adviser, said “This is a hugely exciting step for Nigel and his team and for us in Oxford. We were keen to work with Y Touring as part of engaging and involving patients in research, but with the creation of Theatre of Debate we can now build an enduring partnership capitalising on enthusiasms and skills across the BRC and beyond.”

Lisa Jamieson, Head of Engaging Science at the Wellcome Trust, said: “For 19 years, Y Touring has been one of the most successful and high quality projects in the Wellcome Trust’s Engaging Science portfolio, and is extremely popular with students and teachers, as well as researchers, charities and the wider public engagement community. We look forward to seeing how Nigel and his team grow, bringing their inimitable approach to tackling tricky issues to new and varied audiences.”

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