The Tarte Noire Project – 2009

The “Tarte Noire Project” funded by Big Lottery 2009 is currently running a series of performances and workshops for women who have experienced Domestic Violence and for women Refugee and Asylum-Seekers, in Torquay and Plymouth. The project is supporting Tarte Noire to regularly visit venues around Devon – returning in each season to hear the ongoing stories of our audiences. Our aim is to reach out to audiences in new locations.

Tarte Noire Project – Report for Awards for All

These workshops have trained women in useful new life skills and given them a sense of achievement. This includes the women refugees and asylum seekers in Plymouth, women in Torquay who have experienced domestic violence, and all women taking part in the project both as actors and audience. The actors have received in depth training that has developed their skills and group cohesion. Together they explored a number of issues that allowed them to engage confidently with challenging subject matters in many different settings. The workshops for women who have experienced domestic violence empowered women to be more independent and find a new direction and purpose to move forward in their lives. The workshops for refugee and asylum seekers provided opportunities to practice speaking English as they spoke of home and of the trauma of displacement, so a strong sense of community grew over time and women appreciated a safe space where they could laugh and cry together.

Benefits to the wider community are that this project has achieved its aim to reach into new towns, villages and cities to ever-growing audiences. Women from different generations and backgrounds have come together to share their views and build understanding and empathy. The refugee women have improved their English and now say they feel more confident to speak out.

This project has responded to the growing demand for training in Playback Theatre. New actors have now had the opportunity to be trained and to perform. Women have grown creatively and have s stronger sense of health and wellbeing through these activities. Very many women say that engaging with Playback Theatre has helped to remove feelings of isolation.