The Rainbow Bridge and The Macaw’s Garden were produced as part of an anti-racist residency funded by Tower Hamlets Equalities Initiative. The young people involved in the process worked with a team of drama tutors, musicians, writers, visual artists and video artists. The overall aim was to establish a safe and creative environment within which the participating young people would feel able to express themselves.
In 2000 Half Moon took up a residency at Thomas Buxton Infant School with six days of workshops across June and July. This culminated in a performance at the end of the residency: The Rainbow Bridge.
In 2001, after the success of this programme Half Moon held a residency in the summer at Thomas Buxton and St. Anne’s Primary Schools. The young people from both schools quickly overcame their initial fears and pre-conceived ideas of one another to embrace the residency and work collaboratively. As the two groups became one, a new community was formed: a group of performers working towards a common aim. This culminated in a performance at the end of the residency: The Macaw’s Garden.
Vishni Velada-Billson was Education Officer at Half Moon Theatre on White Horse Road in the late 1990s and became Associate Director in the early 2000s. She talks about The Rainbow Bridge project, part of Celebrate Diversity, an initiative which came out of the Macpherson Report into the Stephen Lawrence murder. Interviewed by Daisy Snooks.