Forthright Arts CIC has developed community / youth projects, film and theatre productions since 2004.
Throughout this time, We have always believed that many communities are overlooked and are unable to have their voices heard. As a Community Interest Company (CIC), we made it our mission to address this, enabling these groups to be creative and express themselves through art.
Based in Redditch, Forthright Arts CIC was originally founded under the name of Jestaminute Theatre Company in 2004. Upon launching our theatre company, we worked closely with school pupils, youth groups and members of the wider community to investigate issues that were important to them. Ultimately, the aim was to help them find their own solutions. Over the following years, this evolved into working with adults as well as young people. A key part of our ethos is maintaining our work with community groups to build cohesion, increase self esteem and raise awareness of social issues. In 2011 we established as a Social Enterprise renamed as Jestaminute Community Theatre cic.
This led to the creation and performance of some notable productions including our first Arts Council funded play – An Angel Abroad. The show was created in partnership with Stonham (now part of Home Group) who are a charity that helps to improve the confidence of domestic abuse victims. Recently (2019), our community panto, ‘Oh Yes We Can’, performed by the community of Winyates Redditch has received a nomination for a Voluntary Arts Epic Award.
An Angel Abroad was a pivotal moment in the history of our theatre production company. We recognised that the Jestaminute name didn’t fit well with the hard-hitting subjects we wanted to explore. So in 2013, the brand Forthright Theatre was adopted as a banner to address this more challenging work. A number of innovative productions soon followed, including a highly-rated trilogy of shows exploring mental health and a script-in-hand performance of Robbing Peter, Paying Paul – a story about debt for Public Health England. Our work drew further positive attention, seeing us create films for Redditch Borough Council and Walsall Housing Association on loan sharks, debt and universal credit.
Whilst we continue to create a portfolio of work exploring hard-hitting social issues, as a company we are also passionate about maintaining our work with young people and the wider community that is fun and upbeat. It has always been a core part of our offering here and we remain dedicated to works that revolve around community participation. That is why, under the banner of Forthright Arts CIC, we can continue to offer this wonderful platform as well as produce professional theatre and film.