Do you have an interesting or unusual story to tell about the Bury Park area of Luton?
An experimental digital audio project, Museum of Stories, is looking for tales connected with the area with the possibility of recording one. But you need to submit a story by December 31.
Award-winning playwright Fin Kennedy has been commissioned by Revoluton Arts. Kennedy was the artistic director of Tamasha for eight years, a touring theatre company that champions writers and artists of colour. He brings a wealth of skills from writing for marginalised communities to teaching and running projects in London's East End.
Local producer and artist Shemiza Rashid will assist Kennedy as he collects the rich stories from Bury Park residents.
Museum of Stories: Bury Park invites residents, former residents, or visitors to Bury Park to tell a story of something unusual, or unexpected, which they associate with the area.
Stories can be true, half-true or entirely fictional. They can be set in the past, present or future. They can be submitted via an online form, emailed, sent via Instagram, TikTok, or left as voice messages on 01582 363155.
It isn’t a competition. All stories are welcome, even if they’re unpolished or unfinished. All ages can submit something, and stories don’t have to be in English. No level of storytelling experience is necessary.
The artists behind Museum of Stories will sift through the results looking for the most exciting writers and their ideas to invite to a workshop. Up to ten people will be invited to attend a two-hour online workshop in the new year, to be supported in crafting their own story into a five-minute audio script.
One of these will then be selected to be recorded by a local cast of community actors. In this pilot, just one five-minute audio story will be made. This will be shared publicly at a listening party in a Bury Park cafe.
In time, Applied Stories and Revoluton Arts hope to raise the funds to commission more, and populate a geolocated map of the area showing pins where many different stories can be experienced in Bury Park. Stories must be submitted by New Year’s Eve to be considered!
Museum of Stories co-curator Shemiza Rashid said: “Bury Park is brimming with colourful stories waiting to be told, shared and heard. I’m super excited that we have the opportunity to capture some of these stories in audio drama format with an exceptional playwright like Fin Kennedy, and his new company Applied Stories.”
Fin Kennedy said: “This is the first time we’ve tested this new idea and we’re delighted to be trialing it in Bury Park. Luton is a place full of stories, as I know from touring here so many times when I was running touring theatre company Tamasha.
"I can’t wait to see what grass roots stories we uncover from Bury Park’s imagination. I hope Museum of Stories will grow in time into a city-wide cultural project for Luton.”
Revolution Arts producer Furhaad Ahmed said: “We are proud to be supporting a local Luton artist to work alongside a writer of national renown to create this world exclusive in Bury Park. Revoluton Arts invited Applied Stories to partner with us as part of our Bury Park residency, and use Luton as a test bed for this exciting new format. We can’t wait to see what they uncover.”