The original Our Hidden Hills project (2009-2010)
In 2009, Theatre Wakefield received a development grant to research local history and bring it to life through heritage animation. Theatre Wakefield then conducted three consultations with community educators, artists, and organizers interested in using local history for educational, cultural, or other community development purposes.
The Hidden Hills team developed a “History Animation Template” that outlines the process for taking historical source material and involving community members in creating animated stories from it.
Using source materials gathered from the first three consultations, Theatre Wakefield then field-tested its newly created process in workshops held in Shawville, Low, Hull and Wakefield. A “Live on the Airways” format (made famous by Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” broadcasts on PBS, and Robert Altman’s movie of the same name) was chosen as a practical and accessible means of animating short stories within a short time-frame. Stories were chosen as radio-play skits and songs performed by the workshop participants.
“Everyone got in on the act at our exciting full-day workshop. The Theatre Wakefield animators worked with the participants, both young and old, to tell the stories through the skits and music. We enjoyed the fun of presenting a live-to-air old-time radio show.”