The Gift

Written by Nicola Baldwin / Produced by Theatre of Debate

Description

1998 – 16 year old Annie Kay is destined to be a great football player when she is struck down by a long term terminal genetic illness. Her 14 year old brother Ryan Kay fights for the right to be tested for the illness. 2028 – 16 year old Mark Kay a fast rising tennis star discovers that he was ‘selected’ at conception by his father Ryan Kay, a commercial geneticist.

The Gift by Nicola Baldwin tells the story of two generations of the Kay family’s struggle and eventual victory over an inherited terminal genetic disease.

Developed in partnership with Professor Bernadette Modell and the Genetic Interest Group Supported by the Wellcome Trust and Central YMCA.

The live production and debate of The Gift has been seen by over 40,000 students and teachers in schools.

Y Touring has toured four live theatre tours of The Gift to schools throughout the UK including a three-week run at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Y Touring collaborated with Zenith North Television to film an adaptation of the original stage play for video. In 2006 the video version was adapted for DVD. Today it is only available for streaming from this site. Sadly the master is no longer available and the quality of the streaming version is not as good, but we decided to include it because so many teachers have requested it.

Development of the original stage script, debate, resources and tour was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Details

Focus: The drama and debate raise questions about the issues around genetic testing and embryo selection in the reduction of inherited disease as well as examining how far parents should be allowed to go in choosing the characteristics of their children. Genetic Inheritance, genetic disorders, genetic testing and screening, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, genetic selection. Whilst promoting spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and mental well-being

Who is ‘The Gift’ suitable for: Teachers can use the project across subjects and curricula, specifically in Science (Biology, 21st Century Science), PSHE, Citizenship, English Drama and RS. It is also appropriate for both 14 – 16 and 16+ age groups. Also suitable for Science Communicators, medical students, nurses, health workers.

Length: 37 minutes

Full Film: Available through Theatre of Debate, with subtitles by Stagetext

Resources: Available for teachers and students, science communicators and health workers

Synopsis

The Gift tells the story of two generations of one family’s struggle and eventual victory over an inherited terminal genetic disease Friedreich ataxia (also called FA) in an entertaining and deeply moving way.

1998 – 16-year-old Annie Kay is destined to be a great football player when she is struck down by Friedreich Ataxia a rare genetic disorder. Her 14-year-old brother Ryan Kay fights for the right to be tested for the illness.

2028 – 16-year-old Mark Kay a fast-rising tennis star discovers that he was ‘selected’ at conception by his father Ryan Kay a commercial geneticist.

“Changes in the teaching of genetics has occurred at many schools – The Gift has brought in the human element and the personal, giving it far more impact… Genetics has stuck in the minds far more than would have been done in formal lessons. Students have learnt not just scientific information but also moral and social implications – allowing them to think about others in a different way”

“Cross-curricular drama has been used for many years to engage the public with scientific issues and to support meaningful science learning in schools, allowing participants to reflect on the Nature of Science. In 1997, an evaluation of Theatre Debate, a Wellcome Trust- commissioned project which addressed controversial science topics using dramatic performance and debate, concluded that: “Arts projects such as ‘The Gift’ were seen to be very successful in delivering science education. The drama is a way into a lot of areas and enhances the subject especially for those who are alienated or threatened by science. ‘The Gift’ successfully contributes to science teaching – its strength is in personalizing science rather than delivering biological information.”

“Works like Y Touring’s The Gift which raise key ethical questions without giving glib answers are important in preparing us for the future.”

“The Gift conveys, complex information and focuses the arguments with remarkable clarity, but also possesses the dramatic clout to make you care about the characters and so make the issue live, something of a model of the genre.”

Developed in partnership with

Developed in partnership with Professor Bernadette Modell and the Genetic Interest Group Supported by the Wellcome Trust and Central YMCA.

Development of the original stage script, debate, resources and tour was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Created in collaboration with

Professor Bernadette Model, Emeritus Professor of Community Genetics at UCL’s Centre for Health Informatics and Multi professional Education

Members of the Genetic Interest group (now known at Genetic Alliance UK)

Members of the Friedreich Ataxia (also called FA) group.