Amy Clare Tasker, 26 January 2015

HYPHENATED is a verbatim theatre project that was born in D&D last year.

This year, we called two sessions related to the project and the community of Third

Culture Kids - people who grew up in a different culture than their parents and created

their own “third culture” out of many influences.

In our first session, a “TCK Reunion”, we shared a few stories, and discussed common

themes, which resonated around the circle, whether we'd grown up in England,

America, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Mexico, the Philippines…

One attendee brought a new perspective on TCKs with her experience of finding a

community of deaf people at university, and then transitioning back into a mostly

hearing world after graduation. Her story echoed the many TCK stories about growing

up outside of Britain and then experiencing culture shock when we returned “home.”

We talked about language and identity, authenticity, belonging, what “home” means,

racial identity and being mixed race in a “foreign” country, class and culture, and

simplifying your story so you can just tick a damn box and be done with a form.

Thank you to everyone who came and shared stories on Saturday morning!

The possibility of an ongoing Third Culture Kids artist network was raised - if you're

interested in joining in with future gatherings please get in touch! [email protected]


In our second session on Sunday, we talked more concretely about the

HYPHENATED project, what we have done so far, our goals, and how to move


We have launched a viral storytelling project (

asking people to start interview chains - we'll interview you, you interview a friend, they

interview another friend, and so on, beyond our immediate network of artists and out

into the wide world (which obviously is where a lot of TCKs like to hang out!)

Once we have a batch of 20-30 interviews, we plan to create a scratch script that we

can develop into a performance with music and movement (not your standard

sitting-on-a-couch verbatim theatre - but not so abstract as, say, DV8's work).

So far, the project is unfunded; going forward, we are looking for partners to provide

in-kind support (such as development space in a venue, or maybe in a university's

international studies department) so we can apply for Arts Council R&D funding for an

expanded research phase.

Once we've developed a full-length performance, our goal is to tour it around the UK.

I also want to note, I met a number of TCKs outside of these two sessions, as well as

non-TCKs who were really interested in the idea. This weekend has really got me

thinking: who is this piece for? Is it for us, as TCKs, to find other TCKs and keep

chasing that feeling of belonging together? Is it for TCK audiences who might not

know that there are others like them? Is it for British audiences who want to

understand more about why people cross borders and what that feels like, using

empathy as an antidote to anti-immigration rhetoric and policies? (The answer is,

probably, YES.)

The “we” I keep referring to: Amy Clare Tasker, Guleraana Mir, Ilayda Arden, Sharlit

Deyzac, Natasha Philips, and Susie Italiano. If you'd like to join us, please get in

touch. We are especially looking for a choreographer/movement director and a

composer/music director - but whatever your specialty, if you're a TCK artist, let's talk.

Connect with us:

@wearehyphenated #TCKstories

[email protected]

More about the project:

And a bit more about the project on the Improbable blog:

verbatim, third culture kids, new project, interviews, born in D&D