Rachel - Creative Learning Director
When I was 21 years old I made a pact with myself, given all the hours that one spends at work, that I would always strive to do a job that makes me happy. Today, I spent the afternoon writing songs about ‘kindness, community friendship’ with a gorgeous bunch of kids and an awesome professional singer song writer. Last week, I learnt how to facepaint tigers and flowers whilst eating cake with a hilarious, strong and inspiring group of young mums. Tomorrow, I’m going to direct a play devised, scripted and performed by a group of local young people… it’s a comedy murder mystery…nuff said. I have no doubt my 21 year old self would have a thumbs up for the ‘job’ I landed. Bounce is my family and my favourite place to play.
Lisa - Participant
I have very happy memories of being involved with Bounce Theatre be in publishing a book, drawing on walls or watching childrens learning sessions.My favourite project was being involved with creating a children’s book about women in the war. The sessions we had were fun and informative and involved lots of cake! (Always a great way to get a group of women working well ) These sessions gave me something to focus on and also gave me something to do a/ a reason to get out the house while my husband was away with work. Rachel is ALWAYS happy and smiling and always made sure we could achieve what we wanted. Having now moved away from Hounslow I miss the sessions we had in camp and also the together-ness that was achieved by working together in these projects. Happy birthday Bounce, hope you have many more filled with lots of new memories that I look forward to hearing/reading about x
Amber - Creative Learning Manager
As a friend of Louise’s, I first became aware of Bounce Theatre because of how she lit up when she spoke about it. No matter how tired we were, or how long her hours, Louise always regailed me with her latest Bounce project with all the enthusiasm of Willy Wonka talking about his latest chocolate idea. It was intriguing. Over the years, it became apparent that both she and I had complementary professions and on more than one occasion, we borrowed each other’s expertise for teaching help, a last minute facilitator, drama workshops or just support in developing a new idea.
When I made the leap into joining the team, it felt like the culmination of a long transition. I see now what created the enthusiasm that I used to see in Louise. I love working in an environment where you really can pursue your interests and develop projects that genuinely make the world a better place
Here’s to the next eleven, Bounce. Thanks for being there!
Dan - Participant and Employee
Drama and theatre is a great thing to get involved with, especially from a young age, but when I was younger it was something i wanted to be involved with, but lacked the confidence to get up on stage. With Bounce I was offered many opportunities on productions and community projects which allowed me to explore the skills involved with drama without me being put under the spotlight. Instead I was able to explore lighting design, stage management and eventually even directing. Not only was I given these opportunities that were not so easily available at other youth companies, but all my ideas and input in these roles were taken seriously. I also was able to see beyond more traditional theatre by creating arts events and devised pieces working with local communities, who i would never of met otherwise.From this I slowly developed confidence that resulted in me taking on progressively larger roles on stage and eventually leading projects myself. Now through my involvement in both productions and projects with Bounce I am using those skills developed through a variety of productions, and the confidence earned, to lead workshops myself, using young peoples ideas and giving them the skills to get their ideas seen by the world.
Reine - Participant
All of my memories of Bounce are enjoyable. From preparing and performing Angels to Urban Art Stories.
Taking park in the Urban Art Stories project gave me the opportunity to venture across London, seeking out the footprints of street artists on urban landscapes. Visiting the Leake Street graffiti tunnel is a memory that I can never erase because experiencing the art physically opened my eyes to the many different social and political issues, visually conveyed on a blank canvas- a wall. Through this project I was able to develop essential skills such as decision-making and communication, as well as art-specific skills which include curation and basic graffiti techniques. Not to mention the fact I was even able to win a Jack Petchey award for outstanding achiever which was absolutely amazing.
Rachel - Former participant and employee
Some of my memories from the youth theatre were the buzz we all felt before a show and the excitement and freedom we had as young people doing something different to what others were doing. We were able to go out to different places like the Rose Theatre and to central London for a number of things, meeting people from all walks of life who we may not have met without the youth theatre.
My memories from the cafe…
I have so many! I loved the Creative Cafe and it gave me a real purpose. I think about the children everyday. I wish it was still going. I loved the community spirit and closeness we were able to bring and I enjoyed seeing how the children had fun when coming and how their lives were changing and how the feel of Beavers felt during the cafe.
I am not at University studying physical education and youth sports with the hopes of eventually becoming a head teacher so that I can continue to have a positive influence and effect on children and young people.
Apryl - Former Creative Learning Director
I discovered Bounce Theatre Winter 2010. A fresh expat, I had moved to Kingston-upon-Thames only a few months prior. I was looking and needing something creative to do so I did a Google search. What did I find? Bounce Theatre was presenting The Vagina Monologues at the cornerHOUSE in Surbiton. And they were looking for volunteer performers.
It was local. A hop, skip and a jump down the 281. I emailed Bounce immediately. A friendly email returned and I was onboard. I was given a monologue. We had a rehearsal and the next day a performance.
A few months later, Louise asked me if I’d run sound for Bounce’s Hounslow Youth Theatre. I said sure. When I showed up to the theatre for the first rehearsal, I sat in the light booth. From the light booth, I watch this skinny primary school boy walk into the space. He was looking around. Then I heard, Louise’s voice ring from the audience. She called the boy’s name then said, “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!”
The boy looked startled as if god had just talked to him. By 2011, I was working with that youth theatre. That boy and the rest of them brought me such joy during my time with Bounce. Those young people taught me patience. They honed my creativity. They showed me the power of the arts and how it could transform lives.
Now back home in Michigan, I incorporate Bounce values and approaches in my dance classes here. I want to encourage and nurture my students’ creativity and curiosity, like we did when I worked with the youth theatre or on a heritage projects.
I say this with the greatest of love for Bounce Theatre, Louise, its facilitators and participants. You ruined me in a beautiful way. With that I express my deepest of gratitude! xxx
Rachel - Parent of participants
I was keen to write a Bounce Birthday message,..I soon realised on reflection what an important role Bounce has played in our lives since the summer project last year. Bounce isn’t just a theatre, drama and creative group to us. It has been a place where my kids have been nurtured, listened to, received encouragement do develop ideas and they have learned new skills.
“ I’ve got so many amazing memories but my best was when we went to Brighton. After having lots of fun we ate ice cream and squashed together for a big selfie with everyone in it. I hadn’t been to Brighton before if was really nice….” – Brooke
I love that everyone is included and supported to work together. Watching the kids this summer when we went to Bedfont Lakes was really eye opening. Everyone worked as a team and was really touching to see the group watch out for each other. At one point they arranged (without any adult suggestion) a line of them to carry a large branch and boulders to the top of a mound to make the campsite. What is great is that the kids learn important life skills and have opportunities to put them into practice.
Happy 11th Birthday to everyone at Bounce. Thank you Rachel for all of your support and encouragement you’ve shown both myself and the kids you always go above and beyond. Great work from an amazing team.
Emma - Swedish Collaborator
First I would like to say that I am very proud to have the opportunity to be part of Bounce and its journey. I came in contact with Louise when Bounce was just a baby, but a baby filled with ideas and creativity that truly impressed me. We have done international exchange projects, shared ideas both days and nights and to see these ideas being bought to life is truly inspirational. Bounce don’t see borders, only possibilities, Bounce knows how to build up a broken soul, share its creativity with eager youths and bring the arts and culture to life with all ages: that is why it is such a treat to work with bounce and the crew. Happy Birthday from the bottom of my heart! I look forward to many more years together!