Open Borders

Global Connection for a shared goal

Open Borders is an incredible online platform that connects young people from all corners of the world with one common goal – to stage a virtual play. The project uses drama as the central connection for a group of like-minded, enthusiastic and diverse youth. This connection encourages them to explore and learn about each other’s different cultures and languages and develop a sense of empathy, which in turn leads to a greater sense of tolerance within their own communities and spaces. They learn to engage with one another in a fun and exciting way and to bond and develop social unity skills as they work within a virtual team to create a theatrical production. They gain an understanding of shared emotions and vulnerabilities and inspire and motivate one another through their involvement in the project.

What Our Students Say

For me, the Open Borders Project was an adventurous experience in a more posi(ve way. As one of the group leaders I can say that it’s an honour to be part of this. It was quite challenging at first because nobody knew each other but once the ice melt down it was a fun and exci(ng journey to assign roles, rehears and record our cast of amazing par(cipants. It was interes(ng to mix such a serious project with having a good (me and we succeeded. The biggest challenges we faced were mostly technical issues such as connec(on problems and electricity in some regions. In the end, everything we have been through together makes it feel worth every second.

Nikita Namouv, OBP Facilitator form Estonia

My name is Sbahle Mngadi I’m from Durban South Africa, I found out about open borders through Instagram I joined because I thought that it would be a nice experience to be in and I’m preDy darn sure I was right. I really enjoyed interac(ng with people around the whole world which is preDy cool I enjoyed every single millisecond of interac(ng with other people. We were separated and got put into groups to compile a play online which was preDy interes(ng I was very curious to see how this was going to unfold. We had a teacher or an instructor and her name was Jade she came with impressive ideas and she made the whole thing much enjoyable with her kind personality. The open borders overall was fun experience and I really enjoy myself.

Sbahle Mngadi, OBP Participant

The experience – Having been through the lockdown era during Covid, I’d seen too many online meetings covering a majority of the workload that an artist takes on. I adapted it it became the norm. Rehearsing and performing a play on the other hand? That is no child’s play but in this case it really was. The first thing I attempted to establish was a collective chemistry, we got a chance to play games while learning about each other, the different places we come from and the way we all practice and see art. As a team we had a lot of fun together while rehearsing but in true online fashion this became difficult to keep up. Scheduling across continents and different time zones was challenging. So too was making sure that everyone comes back to rehearsals each week. We lost a few cast members along the way but ultimately all of these challenges were a welcomed reminder of the magnitude of what’s taking place. Never did I ever think as a young artist would I have the opportunity to direct someone across an ocean in a Shakespeare play. This is an achievement, not only for me but for all participants. The biggest thing I took away was that Shakespeare is global and how we do it may differ but the experience is the same and to share that experience beyond how people normally put together a Shakespeare production is an honour and a privilege. My two stars Boitshepo and Dilip began this journey with an open mind and a smile. I’ve seen there growth not only as performers but so too as artists. When the environment became comfortable for them to express themselves, the play started taking on a different identity beyond what I had envisioned. I welcomed their contributions and thank them for that. They put their best foot forward and made the most of this experience. I hope they’re not done theatre just yet and that this project hopefully is a taste of what’s to come. They delivered great work and I couldn’t be prouder.

Thema Dlamini, OBP Facilitator from South Africa

Working on the Open Borders project has been such a joy over the past 2 years. I am continuously astounded by the willingness of the casts to participate. In both iterations of the project, the students joined rehearsals in the evenings, unfailing, even going so far as to give up their weekend to dedicate themselves to the work. It is deeply encouraging to see this kind of enthusiasm for the arts, still, and even more so after the COVID-19 pandemic. Having been part of the 2021 and 2022 projects, we faced various different challenges. These included, wifi connectivity across international borders, language barriers as well as connecting to the Elizabethan english of the Bard, load shedding in South Africa and daylight saving time differences between the countries. Despite these difficulties, all the groups produced entertaining and exciting work that they can be very proud of. This project has renewed my faith in the arts and its ability to connect people from far and wide, who might otherwise never have met, or learnt about each other. It is so heart warming to see learners of different ages, backgrounds, cultures and upbringings all find common ground, and I think this is where the magic of this project is found.

Jade Beeby, OBP Administrator

I came into to this project really excited. A few years ago I did ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ play with my school for the same company ‘the Shakespeare schools festival’, although this time I wasn’t doing this play with my school. I did think that one of my friends was going to do this with me but they ended up not joining in, so I was a little nervous. It was also going to be a very different experience due to covid 19 regulations. But as I got to know the environment I became more confident. One of the things that would bug me was that sometimes I wasn’t feeling like joining the call, for instance after a long day there would be more work when I got home, but I pushed through and I think it was worth it. I think this experience will help me for my future of wanting to be an actor, All in all I really enjoyed this play and I think the result will be great.

Lettice Johnson, OBP Participant
By |2023-05-31T08:28:44+00:00March 15, 2023|Projects|0 Comments