Resident Company at the ARK-T – Mandala Theatre Company
Mandala is led by Artistic Director, Yasmin Sidhwa, and is an Oxford based Community Interest Company (CIC) that uses the power of theatre to change lives, build community, and foster social justice. We aim to connect people, enabling them to become global citizens through the arts.
Central to Mandala as a diversity-led company is:
■ Visceral theatre that uses social justice as a catalyst for creating art that is relevant, giving expression to those whose stories are not heard and making them visible.
■ The employment and training of young performers, from ethnically and socio-economically diverse backgrounds, in the pedagogy of theatre for social justice.We invest in nurturing young people to train, perform and tour in a professional company.■ Theatre that exposes mainstream audiences to situations and stories they are unlikely to have heard, taking this also into the heart of the communities whose experience this is, then connecting these audiences through the facilitation of dialogue, debate and workshops.■ Working with communities to create their own artistic response to dialogue and debate. We tour nationally and Internationally.
As one of the resident artists at Ark-T – Mandala’s professional production of Castaways written by Atiha Sen Gupta and directed by Yasmin Sidhwa goes on a national and international tour, supported by ACE and Oxford City council. You can catch it at Arts at the Old Fire Station on 1st and 2nd June 7.30pm. Researched through 28 Outreach workshops with 227 young people, in 4 cities (including Oxford). The play explores the lifelong friendship of three teenagers from diverse cultural backgrounds, born on the same day, in the same town, and who from nursery were inseparable. Until one day something happens that blows their worlds apart and things are never the same again.
Mandala Young Company takes place weekly at the Ark-T centre and this year a cast of 8 young people from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds, age 16-25 years, are rehearsing a contemporary adaptation of Antigone written by Roy Williams and directed by Yasmin Sidhwa. Book your place to see it at the Offbeat Festival, on Tuesday 26th June 7pm at Arts at the Old Fire Station, before going to the International Theatre Festival in Grenoble, France. It is an epic story of power, corruption and warring families, set in contemporary gang culture. A world of pervading, omnipresent surveillance, where the gods, see all and choose to act or not. And one young woman makes a stand, despite the odds stacked against her.
Mandala Training and Mandala Young Company at the ARK-T Centre, aimed at 16 – 25-year-old performers, who have a passion for theatre and social justice, especially those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and lower socio-economic backgrounds. This offers a pathway for the professional company and we tour to International festivals.