Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou

Shadow Puppetry Performances inspired by Maya Angelou's Poem

Show Dates: 1 November 2020 - 1 April 2021

It’s the third year we’ve worked in partnership with the incredibly talented lecturers, staff and students in the Theatre Design and live Performance team at Nottingham Trent University.

Working with Year 2 Theatre Design students, we adapted the poem, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, by Maya Angelou.

“Shadows on the Wall

Noises down the Hall

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.”

In safe bubbles, the students created 4 shadow plays responding to different sections of the poem. Each shadow play is unique in style using different shadow puppetry techniques. Each section is devised and created entirely by the student groups with support from the amazing NTU lecturing and technical staff. All 4 episodes are threaded together by certain agreed themes and with the same character living through each of the experiences created.

As with all Red Earth’s work, the students explored how they could make their work more accessible whilst maintaining the aesthetics of their designs. The unique and artistic captions created by them show that access can be at the heart of theatre design as well as performance.

We have much to thank the whole NTU team for. Despite the challenges, and sometimes because of them, the work created this year was inspiring. As always we have learnt so much from the creative minds and approaches of these young artists.


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NTU Students – Design for Theatre and Live Performance

Alexis Adam

Camelia Kelerman

Ciara Linehan

Cinda Smith

Ella Burrell

Ellie Shepherd

Emili Tomaic

Felicity Walsh-Mangham

Imogen Gulliford

Ivy Richards

Leaf Strange

Li-Wen Chan

Liv Kingswood

Lucy Bridger

Mart Sitarz

Naomi James

Poppy Lewis

Romey Bartlett

Tillie Glover

Yeelen Foucade

Zuzanna Wajda


Poem Readers

Gareth Berliner

Kiruna Stammell


Creative and Production Team

Red Earth Theatre

Amanda Wilde – Director

Alexandra Stafford – Lighting Mentor

NTU Staff – Design for Theatre and Live Performance

Helen Davies – Course Leader/Senior Lecturer

Sean Myatt – Senior Lecturer

Neil Dixon – Senior Technician

Albert Houldcroft – Technical Specialist