The theme of the festival was Once Upon a Place, which asked the students to explore how places and sites of memory can be used to create and influence cultural identity. The inspiration came from the Old City of Kyiv through a psycho-geographic walk visiting old neighborhoods, fortifications and landmark churches.
The programme involved three days of workshops led by Vicki Close (Canadian teacher-director), Anna Andresen (Scottish actor, writer and director), Daniel SarstedtI (Danish teacher, electronic music writer and producer) and Mike West (Retired teacher, actor and director). This culminated in a performance of an entirely original devised piece which even included writing their own music and lyrics.
The students were excellent ambassadors for BISB and enjoyed meeting people taking creative risks working with them. They have brought back memories as well as skills and confidences. I hope there will be an opportunity to send other students to ISTA festivals in the near future.