Our Reach Out and Education programme is an integral part of our work. It offers exciting opportunities to explore the place of Shakespeare’s stories in today’s world and has been devised by experienced artists and practitioners to enrich and creatively transform lives.
We deliver projects around a central theme to bring communities together, run workshops, devise pieces of theatre for performance in less traditional settings and bring theatre direct to the people.
In the summer of 2017, we developed a project in Peterborough called ‘Alien's Order’ linked to themes from ‘The Merchant of Venice’. It was made possible following our successful application to the Arts Council for our first grant. The central idea was the experience of migrant Italians living in the UK after WW2, many of whom had to register for an identification card called Alien's Order. Portia refers to the word in the court scene - “if it be proved against an alien”.
We held workshops involving people of all ages at an Italian community centre, in primary schools, at the City Museum and with a language school. A local writer produced six short pieces of pop up street theatre which were staged at a two-day open air festival in the city.
https://vimeo.com/233367113 video of Alien's Order street theatre sketches made by Ruth Campbell from Metal Culture
In the autumn 2019 Professor Charlotte Scott and Mary Chater worked with women from #theVenusCentre in #Bootle, #Liverpool on a shortened version of #TwelfthNight - this project was funded by Arts Council England. Venus' Mission is to empower, promote and support women, young women and their children in developing their potential, recognising their choices, achieving their goals and challenging injustice.
I personally think the whole project was a huge success, such a fantastic opportunity for the people we support to be able to access. I felt very humbled to be able to attend and watch the final performance, also with knowing the struggles some of the individuals have faced to then have the confidence to perform to an audience with newly learnt skills and humility. It was great to see them arranging their own meet ups to focus on the play when the workshops weren't happening and supporting each other throughout the process. Thank you to you and Mary for encouraging them and teaching them. Look forward to more projects in the future - Nikki Thomas, Venus Centre
In July 2021 we were thrilled to be awarded an Arts Council England grant to run a summer school for young people from August 31 - September 3rd in Racehill Community Orchard which comprises 3 acres of apple and plum trees in East Brighton. The Apples and Eyes project partners with two local charities, Brighton Permaculture Trust and Trust for Developing Communities.
The theme of the 4 day course is transformation through nature. The participants will work with excerpts from Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream and with music and games in order to make a short video at the end that reflects their experience of being out in nature - we intend to have a lot of fun together!