Star Wars fans raise £250,000 for children’s charities by re-enacting favourite scenes

first_img Star Wars fans have raised £250,000 for Barnardo’s and Together for Short Lives in a fundraising campaign organised by Santander.The campaign was part of a partnership between Santander and Barnardo’s, which saw the bank pledge to be a “Force for Good” and raise up to £250,000 for the charities.To this end, its campaign, which ran in December, asked people to film or photograph themselves re-enacting their favourite Star wars scenes and upload the results to a dedicated site. For every Star Wars photo or clip uploaded, Santander donated £25 to each charity. More than 5,000 entries were uploaded, meaning that the bank reached its fundraising target of £125,000 for each charity. Melanie May | 12 April 2018 | News The submissions included children defeating Darth Vadar with lightsabers, chickens dressed up as Jedis and Storm Troopers defending a goal during a game of football. Also joining in the fun were former F1 World Champion Jenson Button, who filmed a clip with fan favourite droid character BB-8, and Star Wars actor and Barnardo’s supporter Warwick Davis, who also filmed a Star Wars-themed clip to encourage people to take part. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis20  158 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis20 Tagged with: corporate Star Wars [youtube][/youtube]center_img Star Wars fans raise £250,000 for children’s charities by re-enacting favourite scenes Fifteen winners received a Star Wars hamper prize filled with themed goodies, while grand prize winner Simon Tilley, from Trethomas, in Caerphilly, Wales, winning a Star Wars inspired trip to Skellig in Ireland, one of the locations featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:“It has been fantastic to see how many people got into the spirit of the campaign and submitted videos and photos. They have all been brilliant. The money raised will help us to support thousands of vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers through our 1,000 vital services across the UK.”Santander Chief Marketing Officer Keith Moor said: Advertisement  157 total views,  1 views today “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to donate an amazing £125,000 to each charity.  The entries have all been brilliant – they have been so creative and we really hope everyone enjoyed creating them as much as we enjoyed seeing them! We know the money raised will go to really worthy causes and will make such a difference to young lives around the UK.” About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via read more

Majority of Brits want latte levy money to go to charity

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis12 Majority of Brits want latte levy money to go to charity Tagged with: Charities Aid Foundation plastic bag levy About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via Almost eight out of ten people in the UK public would like to see money raised from latte levies to go to charity, with the majority of Brits supportive of ideas to protect the environment, according to research from CAF.The findings show that 77% of Brits believe these schemes are good for the environment, with 63% wanting any monies raised from latte levies to go towards environmental charities, and 78% to go to charities in general. By comparison, only 3% said funds should go to the Government.The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) commissioned the research from YouGov in December 2018. Other key findings from the research include that 43% would be more likely to visit coffee shop chains that reinvested a portion of their profits in environmental charities, whilst 84% want retailers and coffee shops to do more to ensure that their cups are recyclable or biodegradable, with only 3% disagreeing.Just under half (49%) of respondents said they would be more likely to visit a coffee shop chain if they introduced policies such as latte levies and plastic bottle deposit schemes.Susan Pinkney, Head of Research at the Charities Aid Foundation said:“These findings from December of last year follow on from similar research that we conducted in June. On both occasions, the data points to people wanting retailers and coffee shops to continue with environmentally friendly policies, such as latte levies and plastic bottle deposit schemes.“The success of schemes such as the 5p plastic bag levy – which we at CAF have used to distribute millions of pounds to good causes around the country – shows that many Britons are ready and willing to support new ways to protect the environment.”  147 total views,  1 views today Advertisement Melanie May | 23 January 2019 | News  148 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis12last_img read more

Deputy Tom shines for his Fair City star

first_imgHousing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites Email Advertisement TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type! LifestyleEntertainmentNewsPoliticsDeputy Tom shines for his Fair City starBy Bernie English – July 31, 2019 1177 Limerick on Covid watch list Jenny Dixon and Tom Neville after their wedding on Saturday.LIMERICK Fine Gael TD Tom Neville has tied the knot with former Fair City star Jenny Dixon in a ceremony in Dublin.Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar and his partner, Matt Barrett were joined by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and many of the cast of the hit RTE soap for a day of celebration.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Minister Murphy was accompanied by jewellery designer Chloe Townsend — sister of actor Stuart Townsend.170 other guests gathered in Corpus Christi church in Drumcondra to see Jenny (35) being walked down the aisle by her father Tony.Her mother Pamela looked on as bridesmaids Romy Carroll, Maeve O’Brien and Alice McAlinden joined the bride in Corpus Christi church in Drumcondra.The bride wore a gown designed by Paul King of Tamen Michael while the groom wore a black Louis Copeland suit. He was accompanied by his best man and two groomsmen as well as his father Dan, who is a former Fine Gel TD.Several of Jenny’s former colleagues from Fair City were among the 170 guests at the wedding reception at the Powerscourt Hotel in County Wicklow. It was a change of tempo for the cast, who most recently gathered to bury fellow actor Karl Shiels, who died suddenly at the age of 47.Before the big day, Tom celebrated with friends at a stag party in Berlin while Dublin actress Jenny was whisked away by her girlfriends for a ‘hen’ in Marbella. Local backlash over Aer Lingus threat WhatsApp Printcenter_img Twitter Facebook Previous articleLimrockers set to play Electric PicnicNext articleOn The Nail hits home in Sexton’s Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Is Aer Lingus taking flight from Shannon? Shannon Airport braced for a devastating blow Linkedin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR TAGSentertainmentLimerick City and CountyNews last_img read more

Press Freedom Not Unfettered, Says Court While Granting Bail To Journalist Arrested Over Bandra Migrants Incident

first_imgNews UpdatesPress Freedom Not Unfettered, Says Court While Granting Bail To Journalist Arrested Over Bandra Migrants Incident Nitish Kashyap19 April 2020 5:50 AMShare This – xA Magistrate Court at Bandra granted bail to Rahul Kulkarni, a journalist working for ABP Majha who was arrested for offences under various sections of the IPC and the Epidemic Diseases Act for an alleged false report that the Railways will be starting special trains for ferrying lakhs of stranded migrants workers across the state to their native places.As per the FIR, in the morning of April…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA Magistrate Court at Bandra granted bail to Rahul Kulkarni, a journalist working for ABP Majha who was arrested for offences under various sections of the IPC and the Epidemic Diseases Act for an alleged false report that the Railways will be starting special trains for ferrying lakhs of stranded migrants workers across the state to their native places.As per the FIR, in the morning of April 14, the journalist reported that the Railways are starting special trains for taking stranded migrant workers in the State to their native places. The FIR was registered for offences under Sections 117, 188, 269, 270, 505 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, According to the police, as a result of this report, hundreds of such migrant workers and labourers who have been stranded due to the current nationwide lockdown, gathered outside Bandra station creating a stampede like situation. Crowd finally dispersed after police started lathi charge and brought in reinforcements. Judge PB Yerlekar while granting bail to Kulkarni observed that “the accused must not indulge in any controversy like the present one and observe utmost precaution while preparing a news report.” Police sought custody of the accused and the Court observed- “Before considering the request of the investigating machinery, it would be appropriate to ascertain whether the action of the police was justiciable. It seems that in the referred news, the accused had clearly mentioned that special jan sadharan trains will be operated by the government to rescue stranded persons. His report clearly shows that the government and the railways administration have come to the definite conclusion that such trains will be operated. It is sufficient to invoke confidence of any commoner in the said news item that trains will be operated.” Court also noted that the news item went viral and some anti-social elements took advantage of the situation in inciting and gathering people at Bandra station. The Magistrate reasoned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at 10 am the same morning announcing extension of the lockdown made it clear that any form of transport utility will remain unoperational during the lockdown. “In this background, the news report given by the accused is clearly misleading. The hurried reporting news shows that the accused acted in an irresponsible manner and in a bid to give some breaking news. His behaviour has actually led to the present situation. Not only our country but the entire world is facing a difficult situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this situation maximum precaution is to be taken by persons like the accused in reporting any news. However the accused seems to have ignored this responsibility” Court said. The accused’s advocate argued on the ground of freedom of press enshrined under Article 19 of the Constitution. To this the Court responded- “There is no doubt that the press enjoys freedom of speech and expression. However, such freedom is not unfettered. Reasonable restrictions are required to be followed by enjoying the freedom in the interest of public order.” Noting that the media has tremendous influence over the general public, Court emphasized that news reports should be made sensibly and in a more responsible manner with anticipation of consequences of the report. Finally, the Court granted bail to the accused on a personal bond of Rs.15,000 for one month. Court also observed that since the accused had traveled through high risk zones of Covid-19, he should be under home quarantine for 15 days.   Next Storylast_img read more

Mayor with terminally ill dog captures hearts on cross-country road trip: ‘I tried to give you the best life I could’

first_imgCourtesy Paul Heroux(NEW YORK) — Mayor Paul Heroux of Attleboro, Massachusetts held his dog Mura for the first time when she was just 8 weeks old.“We looked at each other when she was in a crate. I was like, this is my little girl,” Heroux told ABC News about the moment he decided to give her a home.It’s a moment that Heroux described with heavy emotion knowing on his first day with Mura that one day it would be his last. In September Mura was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma: an aggressive terminal blood cancer.Mura’s illness came swiftly. On a Friday morning, Heroux and Mura visited a local senior home, a monthly ritual for the pair. But this time, after arriving back at the mayor’s office, Mura walked over to Heroux with her back hunched over, visibly in pain. Heroux would later find out that Mura’s spleen had ruptured and she was bleeding internally.Mura needed emergency surgery and veterinarians said there was 50 percent chance she wouldn’t make it through the night. She survived.Then, merely a week later, she received the tragic diagnosis.“It was heartbreaking. I picked her up and said, you’re going to die little girl and you don’t even know it,” Heroux said.Mura isn’t an average dog. She has lived a mayoral life, spending her days collecting signatures when Heroux ran for state representative, knocking on doors during his campaign for mayor, reading to school children and being the star in hometown parades.She is a member of the community, Heroux said, so when he received her cancer diagnosis, he posted about it on his public Facebook page.There was an outpouring of love with community members sharing their personal stories and sending words of hope, Heroux said. But it was the cross-country road trip that he took with his best friend that would inspire the country.“She is the most precious thing in the world. She is my family. She’s a little person trapped in an animal body. We have a bond. We’re partners,” Heroux said.Mura only has months to live, yet they could be among the most adventurous months any dog-and-human duo could ask for. It began as a trip to Vancouver Island, Canada, to meet the Mura’s breeder, but it turned into an epic journey.Each day, Heroux published a series of pictures and Facebook posts. The two-week ride started on Oct. 28 with the first stop at Niagara Falls, New York. From there they went to Michigan, Chicago, Wisconsin and all the way to California. topping to take a photo to commemorate each moment. Mura posed in front of landmark locations such as Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park and the Golden Gate Bridge, capturing the attention of friends and making new ones along the way.“It wasn’t goodbye,” Heroux said. “We went for a ride. A 8,500-mile ride.”When asked if there was one last thing he’d tell her, Heroux said, “Mura, I tried to give you the best life I could.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Pub with potential helps Clive Emson achieve £20 million in sales

first_imgThe now dilapidated Lord Duncan hostelry in Chatham sold for £115,000 after being offered at auction with no reserve.Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers generated sales worth over £20 million at the first sale of the year – the best February figure since 2016, achieving a sale rate of over 80 per cent after cataloguing 171 lots. The auction – across five days in five venues – was the largest since 2018 and the largest first sale of the year for seven years.Managing Director James Emson said, “We have certainly enjoyed a great start to 2020 with excellent results coming from a packed catalogue. It is another demonstration of the power, practicality and effectiveness of the auction when it comes to buying and selling land and property.“We are looking to build on February’s results throughout this year with our dedicated and skilled team of specialists working hard on behalf of all our clients and customers. However, we are only as good as our last auction and we will be striving to bring you the best possible lots next time.“Thus, we go into our pre-Easter auction series in March with a definite spring in our step and a determination to make it the best one yet.”Lord Duncan hostelry Chatham James Emson auction auction lot auctioneers Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers March 12, 2020Jenny van BredaWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Auctions news » Pub with potential helps Clive Emson achieve £20 million in sales previous nextAuctions newsPub with potential helps Clive Emson achieve £20 million in salesThe Negotiator12th March 20200175 Viewslast_img read more

Choosing certification

first_imgThe organic market is expanding rapidly. Shoppers are voting with their trolleys and even a brief visit to a supermarket is likely to provide more than enough evidence of burgeoning consumer demand for organic goods.Three years ago, approximately half of all shoppers were knowingly buying organic food, but that figure has now risen to nearly two in three. Taste, health, food safety and environmental concerns are prompting people to choose organic.So why should suppliers choose certification? Firstly, if they are already processing organic food products and labelling them as such, under EU Regulation 2092/91 they are legally required to be certified by a registered body. Secondly, consumer trust in organic products is paramount. Choosing organic certification with the Soil Association allows suppliers to demonstrate to customers that they have met, and have been inspected against, strict criteria and that the integrity of a product has been checked from farm level upwards. Lastly, it gives them access to an extremely buoyant retail market, which has shown double-digit percentage growth over the last 10 years and 30% growth in 2005 alone.certification mythsThere are a many myths about the Soil Association and its certification process, which by its very nature, applies restrictions on suppliers.But if they are able to meet the requirements, they stand to gain greatly from being able to label and sell product as organic. If they have not met the required standard and they are making any organic reference on products – such as ’containing organic flour’ – they risk a hefty fine from trading standards.So what is involved? In essence, the process ensures that product ingredients have absolute integrity, that the processing, baking and storage process does not risk that integrity, and that the product is packed and labelled correctly to enable consumers to make an informed decision.Application forms, explaining the process to be undertaken, including details of how records will be kept and the product’s integrity maintained, must be completed. The Soil Association must also approve any labels attached to products offered for sale.An inspector checks that all requirements outlined in the association’s standards are being met. The following processes must then be put in place:? Proposed record-keeping: goods in, processing records (including batch codes and volumes) and goods out? If organic and non-organic products are to be processed, how would they be separated to maintain organic products’ integrity? Dedicated storage areas, equipment and utensils must also be outlined? Staff must be trained to ensure they understand all procedures to be followed when working with organic ingredients? Pest control and cleaning procedures.Dedicated equipment to process organic foods is not required to meet the standard. However, separation of organic and non-organic must be demonstrated.Most organic businesses process their organic batch as the first of the day to enable the separation of tins.In some cases it is impractical to wash tins or have dedicated tins so the standards state that tins must not contain non-organic residues and that organic dusting flours should be used for both organic and non-organic to protect the organic integrity of the product.If an inspector identifies areas that do not meet the requirements, a compliance form would be issued and a written explanation of how the issues would be corrected must be provided. This would usually be enough for businesses to be given a licence. It usually takes a maximum of 12 weeks to complete the process, from application to the granting of a licence.As part of the Soil Association, firms can display the Soil Association symbol, which, independent studies have shown, comes top for consumer confidence.It is also requested by some retailers. Certification costs cover everything, including adding additional products to licences and providing certificates.Efficient, robust certification is vital if consumer trust in organic products is to be maintained.The Soil Association can also provide British Retail Consortium (BRC) inspections for businesses.The association has a special fee for small businesses and all the processes required to gain certification are straightforward. Its business development team can talk businesses through the application process in much greater detail and help them source ingredients and find a market for their products. n? The Soil Association, now more than 60 years old, is an environmental charity that promotes the benefits of organic food and is a not-for-profit body that offers robust and professional certification.—-=== Organic challenges ===The certification of organic bakeries throws up some unique challenges. There are issues around use of tins, tin release agents, divider oils and dusting flours. For example:1. If you use the same tins or prover pockets for organic and non-organic products, you must:? check them before use for organic products and reject those which have residues of non-organic products? record how many you reject during these checks and keep the records for inspection? use organic dusting flours and releasing agents for organic and non-organic products? use clearly marked baking tins and trays that are dedicated to organic production.2. Yeast is becoming more available organically, but is still permitted as non-organic, providing that it is not from a genetically modified source or grown on genetically modified substrate. Because of the availability of organic yeast, it is possible that, in 2009, when the EU regulation is reviewed, provision will be made for organic yeast and other micro-organisms. Until this time, the status quo will remain.3. Usually, fortification of organic products with vitamins, minerals and trace elements is prohibited. However, under the Bread and Flour Regulations (1998) iron, thiamine (Vitamin B1) and nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) in a carrier of calcium sulphate must be added to flour, except wholemeal flour.—-=== Organic accreditation and contacts directory ===l Soil Association, Bristol, 0117 914 2407, []l Organic Farmers and Growers, Shropshire, 01743 440512, []l Organic Food Federation, Norfolk, 01760 720444, []l Organic Trust, Dublin, 00 353 1 853 0271, []l Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Association, Stroud, 01453 759501, []l Quality Welsh Food Certification, Ceredigion, 01970 636688l Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association, Co. Longford, 00 353 043 42495, []l Scottish Organic Producers Association, Edinburgh, 0131 335 6606, []last_img read more

Warburtons buys North East Bakery site

first_imgWarburtons has announced the purchase of North East Bakery’s former site in Newburn, after the retail and wholesale business went into administration in December last year.Joint administrators, Ian Green, partner and Mark Loftus, director of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP had been looking to sell the business and assets of the company, comprising the 20,000sq ft bakery in Newburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, and 13 retail units. A spokesperson for Warburtons confirmed that it had purchased the North East Bakery site, which is adjacent to its existing Shelley Road Bakery on Newburn Industrial Estate, saying: “This purchase demonstrates Warburtons’ commitment to the future development of the business in the North East.”“We are pleased to have secured a sale of the bakery site in a relatively short period of time,” commented Loftus. “It can only be good news for the local economy that Warburtons is the buyer.”The Newcastle-based firm, run by entrepreneur Greg Phillips, went into administration on 22 December after costly rebranding plans and “a disappointing trading performance” saw the firm’s liquidity hit hard.last_img read more

Greencore forced to recruit staff from Hungary

first_imgSandwich maker Greencore Group has hit the headlines this morning after the Daily Mail revealed it had been forced to look for workers in Eastern Europe for its new factory because Britons won’t do the job.According to the newspaper report, headlined ‘Is there no one left in Britain who can make a sandwich?’, Greencore bosses are making the journey to Hungary this morning to recruit new staff for the new factory in Northampton, which is due to open in 2016.The firm, which makes around 430 million sandwiches a year and supplies sandwiches to Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda, admitted that it would have to recruit the majority of the 300 workers it needs from overseas. It said this was due to people in the UK being unenthusiastic about the job roles.Allyson Russell, Greencore’s human resources director, told the paper that the company had tried to recruit in the UK, but that it was “not always the kind of work” people wanted to do.A Greencore spokesperson said: “Greencore employs around 1,100 colleagues in Northampton and is currently looking to recruit a number of new staff. 
“We have already started a range of recruitment initiatives locally and have been pleased with the response.”The new £35million factory is due to open in early 2016 in in Northampton.The average wage in Hungary is just over £7,000. Even if workers coming here were on the minimum wage, they would earn almost double that at £13,520 a year.The sandwich company completed the disposal of its foodservice desserts business, Ministry of Cake this year, for upfront cash consideration of £8m and deferred consideration of up to £3m.last_img read more

A musical is born, slowly

first_imgIn 2005, Griffin Matthews was hoping to change the world for the better. But three days into his work at a Ugandan orphanage, he said he discovered that its director was embezzling money.Stunned, the 20-something New York City actor took a walk to try to clear his head. On the road, he met a group of curious, young Ugandans who changed his life. They called him mzungu, white person, and peppered him with questions about his visit there and his life in the United States.“I had gone all the way across the world, and I was a white person,” laughed Matthews, who is African-American. The teens showed him the cramped shacks where they lived, and explained how many of them had lost their parents to AIDS. When Matthews offered to help, they said something surprising.“They didn’t ask for money. They didn’t ask for food,” recalled Matthews. “They said ‘We want to go to school,’ which was really shocking to me.”Matthews, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama with no teaching experience, didn’t hesitate. He met them at the local library the next day, and there they discussed health education, public speaking, and their dreams for the future. His impromptu class turned into a daily meeting, and ultimately gave rise to Matthews’ Uganda Project, a nonprofit that sponsors education for the nation’s orphans.His experience also inspired the new musical “Witness Uganda” directed by Diane Paulus and on view at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) through March 16.Like many a musical theater production, the show had a slow, gradual evolution. It began as series of songs written by Matthews and his longtime partner and fellow actor and director, Matt Gould, for a fundraiser for the Uganda Project in 2008. But the pair realized their work had touched a nerve when audience members crowded around them after the performance, eager to share their own experiences with relief work.“People got so excited that we were telling this story of how difficult it was to help, and so we kept writing,” said Matthews, who plays himself in the show.As their work blossomed into a full production, it caught the attention of award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who oversaw a Disney/ASCAP workshop of the piece in 2010. Schwartz mentioned the show to his friend Paulus, the A.R.T.’s artistic director.“I was knocked out by the music. It had a very original sound, and I always look at pushing the boundaries,” said Paulus of the show’s score, which blends African and American musical rhythms and styles. Of the script, Paulus said she “saw the appetite on the part of Griffin and Matt to make a piece of theater that speaks to our world in a very specific way, to our responsibilities and our global lives.”The musical also matches Paulus’ vision for expanding the boundaries of theater and her drive to produce shows that “catalyze a community to talk, to debate, to dive into a discussion that we might not otherwise have.”From the outset, Matthews and Gould, who spent two years in the Peace Corps in West Africa, envisioned a production that would jumpstart conversations about subjects like aid work, sexuality, inequality, and religion — all themes in the show. Each performance of “Witness Uganda” is followed by a “talk back” session with members of the cast. Even before the show began its A.R.T. run, the creative team was getting people talking. Last fall, the pair performed their two-man version of the show for several community and church groups and schools in the Boston area.On a crisp November day, Matthews and Gould visited Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, where the students wanted to talk after the performance. “What happened to the head of the orphanage?” “What kinds of input did the kids give you for the show?” “What advice would you give students who want to become actors or actresses?” the teens wondered.The question “Why did you write a musical instead of a play?” evoked a particularly passionate response.“Witness Uganda,” with its complex subject matter, needed more than just words, explained Gould, the show’s composer, who also plays the keyboard during the production and directs its seven-member band. “It needed the language of the universe,” he said, “which to me is music.”Gould and Matthews agreed that being an artist comes with a social responsibility.“We became artists because we believe that there were important things to say and share with the world,” said Gould, “and we still believe that.”“We believe that going to the theater has the potential to change the way people look at things, and change the way they see themselves and the people around them,” added Matthews.last_img read more