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Polyphony I – Cambridge University

Acting Now lead by Marina Pallarès-Elias and Polygon Arts, in association with the MEITS Research project, present an original devised theatre performance about language and identity. This is a story of fitting in and falling out, speaking up and not being heard, finding one voice and losing another. If who we are is connected to the language we speak, who are we when we speak more than one?

The Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals Transforming Societies (MEITS) research project is a major interdisciplinary research project funded under the AHRC Open World Research Initiative. Through six interlocking research strands we investigate how the insights gained from stepping outside a single language, culture and mode of thought are vital to individuals and societies. 

Alongside the various research programmes, MEITS has commissioned a community theatre production to bring stories of everyday multilingual lives to a wider audience. Acting Now and Polygon Arts have been working with community groups and individuals drawn from a dozen linguistic backgrounds to explore how speaking more than one language affects their lives. Through workshop and rehearsal, we have devised an intimate and interactive portrayal of the many identities the participants perform at home, at work, with friends and with family.