On Greenfield Road you can find Cardboard Citizens: a company that tells the stories of the homeless through theatre that is performed on stages like hostels, prisons, in the streets, or theatres, for anyone who wants to listen.
Cardboard Citizens is described as a “creative hub for excluded people”, that gives workshops, training and support to homeless people and in that manner builds a supportive community of more confident and skilled people, inspiring the ones that need it.
Through Forum Theatre, a form of theatre in which the audience can jump in and change the course of the play, the audience is engaged in the lives of the homeless. It’s all about the power of theatre: “Cardboard Citizens has been making life-changing theatre with and for homeless people for over 20 years”.
Founded in 1991 in the Cardboard City, Cardboard Citizens has earned the respect of homeless people and funders. Starting with some of the most marginalized people, Cardboard Citizens is one of the fist companies that has carved out the way of participatory arts and theatre, engaging the homeless and deprived.
“Nobody thought that participation in the arts could make a real difference in people’s lives, leading to tangible, measurable outcomes in everything from wellbeing to employment, and ultimately providing a real social return on the investment made.” Now, Cardboard Citizens has established the value of theatre as a way of engaging the homeless in a process of change and engaging the public in their world.
Wherever the stories are presented, they spark conversation about change. From the streets, engaging the homeless with Forum Theatre and workshops and supporting them with guidance, Cardboard Citizens has been empowering homeless people to move forward. On a national level, “Cardboard Citizens shows hidden Britain to all who care to look.”