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Returning for its fourth year, hACkT is a week long summer school at Mercury Theatre for young people to experiment with the collision of technology and performance.

The week is a mixture of skills based workshops ending in a final performance devised by the young creatives. Each day began with a masterclass and was followed by a challenge to devise a performance based on a brief. E.g learning how to use micro:bits LEDs and servo motors, then the artists we challenged to integrate these into a simple puppet.

Our final narrative, devised by our young creatives, was a dystopian world where robots had risen up and enslaved humans – lead by their evil leader ALEXA! A small human resistance has cracked a code to kill all technology but it needs to sent to be sent to the International Space Station where the captain can launch an Electromagnetic Pulse – killing themselves but saving humanity. The performance ended by proposing this question to the audience, would you save humanity or save yourself?

With any technology based educational learning, its easy to lured into screen based experiences – so particular attention was paid to ensure that any use of technology was well integrated into performance activities such as programmed computer voices, interactive sets which triggered sound design and micro:bit controlled RC cars.

The hACkT summer school is always a pleasure, especially as I get to collaborate with the brilliant digital artists Laura Trevail and Dave Norton. Photos courtesy of Laura Trevail.