2008 / 2009 Royal Exchange Theatre
royal exchange theatre education review
Welcome from Artistic Director Greg Hersov Over thirty years ago a group of artists created a unique theatre building that reflected a shared belief in the power and purpose of theatre and how that purpose could be experienced most vividly by the community. Since then the Royal Exchange Theatre has flowered and progressed in many different ways. Education is now central to our artistic vision. We want the world of theatre to be open, inclusive, accessible, empowering and life enhancing to all those who wish to participate. We’re passionate and proud of the quality and aspiration of our Education department’s work. This review gives you some idea of what we do. We hope you will be able to join us in discovering things you never dreamt were there...
Between April 2008 and July 2009 we… • worked with 6,512 individuals • led 866 workshops • created 38 new projects • employed 76 volunteers and mentors • worked with 111 freelance artists • presented 45 project outcomes in the Theatre and The Studio
Exchange Education Annual Review 2008/2009 Our programme of education and outreach work engages over 4,000 people a year. We passionately believe in the transformative power of theatre and the essential role of the creative imagination in all our lives. Our work aims to create opportunities for people to explore theatre, get involved in creative projects, and make the theatre their own – in short, to discover things you never dreamt were there… We work with schools, individual children and adults, community groups and professional theatre-makers, from Early Years to Elders. We work with our participants and partners to create new work and make theatre projects which are inspired by the building and the professional work that takes place both behind the scenes and on stage in the Theatre and The Studio. Some of the highlights are outlined in this review – we hope you’ll enjoy reading! AMANDA DALTON ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR (EDUCATION)
Education Lounge In September 2008 we opened the Education Lounge, a working lounge complete with comfy sofa, chair, coffee table and TV. But the Education Lounge is also a lounge with a difference: the chair talks, the coffee table exhibits changing displays and has secret drawers full of things to do and make, and the TV features work made by Education participants and short films of recent projects. The Lounge is also a meeting place, a shop front, and an information point for the work of Exchange Education. Why not drop in?
Between September 2008 and July 2009 the Lounge became a popular place for visitors to relax; it also hosted 76 workshops and events for 1,441 Education visitors, including tours, drop-ins with Directors, the BOTTLE! exhibition and Little Lizards workshops for under 5s.
Formal Education Work with schools and colleges forms a core element of Exchange Education. Much of our work is focused on the 10 districts of Greater Manchester, but we also work with schools from across the UK. Between April 2008 and July 2009 we ran 350 workshop sessions with 3,793 participants from over 90 Formal Education organizations
Primary Schools Partnership Investigating ways that drama can inspire pupils to become more emotionally literate, this project ran over 10 weeks in Spring 2009 and worked with 60 Year 3 pupils in mixed classes from Cravenwood and Crumpsall Lane Primary Schools (Manchester). Sessions encouraged the exploration of feelings and promoted a greater spoken vocabulary, with literacy skills monitored throughout the project. This project is being further developed during 2009/2010. Supported by PriceWaterhouseCoopers
“[By week 6] we are already seeing an integrated usage of new language in the pupils’ written work.” HEAD TEACHER, CRAVENWOOD PRIMARY SCHOOL
Podcasting Project Working with a group of 19 Year 9 IT students from Hathershaw Technology College (Oldham), this project explored how theatre approaches can be used to expose students to practical applications of technical expertise. Our Deputy Head of Sound was employed to devise and deliver a scheme of work that would give students the technical skills required to create an in-school podcast. The students decided on the core aims of the project, and their work covered creative team work, recording skills, interview techniques, software usage and post-production values. Supported by Creative Partnerships East Lancashire.
The students identified the work as being “exciting” and “more grown up than other lessons”. They also ranked “working better as a team” as being a key benefit of the project.
Secondary Schools Partnership Over 15 sessions 78 students from Heaton School (Stockport), Pendleton College (Salford) and Levenshulme High School (Manchester) used Picasso’s Guernica as inspiration to explore nonverbal forms of theatrical communication and the emotional narrative of storytelling. The project also used fragments of poetry to explore nonnaturalistic performance. Since this project we have been invited by Heaton School to become one of their Creative Community Partners.
“Our students found the work challenging and dynamic. The practitioner had a brilliant approach, and pushed them to create valuable work.” TEACHER, PENDLETON COLLEGE
YES WE CAN explored ways in which drama strategies can be used to develop emotional literacy amongst disaffected, under-achieving, white working-class boys. This project with Cedar Mount High School (Manchester) engaged with a group of 19 boys over 13 sessions and resulted in YES WE CAN, a devised piece of ensemble theatre in which all the boys performed on the main stage at the Royal Exchange. Supported by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Creative Partnerships Change School project Working with 90 pupils from St Columba’s Primary School (Bolton) across four classes, (nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 4), the project focused on raising attainment through making stories with drama and film. The culminating celebration day was attended by over 200 family and friends.
“When I acted it out I thought ‘I’m not scared anymore.’” PARTICIPANT, ST COLUMBA’S PRIMARY SCHOOL
BOTTLE! was designed to positively engage young people in a creative process which encourages empathy, cooperation and self confidence, and worked with 20 Key Stage 3 pupils from 3 Manchester High Schools (Newall Green, Brookway and St. Paul’s). Following an intensive 7 days exploring facts, issues, media images and public attitudes around the themes of alcohol and young people, creative outcomes included an animated film, an interactive installation in the Education Lounge, live performances of improvised scenes and poems, and filmed interviews with Co-operative staff. Supported by The Co-operative; jointly managed with the My Life Centre in Wythenshawe
Tours and workshops In this period we also led: 65 tours and workshops for primary, secondary, FE and HE students, reaching over 826 participants 17 show-related workshops for over 1,189 participants 9 workshops as part of a Cheshire County Council initiative, for over 600 students
“[ ] came with terrible reports from school and was in trouble everywhere. She was very very unsettled. At the start of the project she was very insecure and shy – but she stuck with it. She went on to become a really positive force in the project.” CENTRE MANAGER, MY LIFE CENTRE
HE and Training Higher Education partnerships provide opportunities for us to work with theatre academics and with undergraduate and postgraduate research students who have the serious intention of becoming professional theatre-makers and drama educationalists. A central aim for these links is the development of mutual creative learning, and opportunities for active research and evaluation. CPD and INSET for teachers, trainee teachers and arts practitioners forms a core element of many of our partnership projects, and in addition we also offer standalone tailored CPD sessions.
Manchester University: Writing for Performance Delivered by our Education and Literary departments, this course involved two teaching sessions each week over a four month period. Students attended performances of 4 productions at the Royal Exchange and each produced an original playscript for assessment.
MMU: THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES The first step in a planned developmental link, this mini-project with Manchester Metropolitan University aimed to offer B.Ed students a range of theatre-based approaches to making work both from narrative text and from performance.
Tameside Diversity project
Initiated by the Equality, Multiculturalism and Access Team for Tameside, this partnership programme has, to date, included one and a half days of Teacher CPD and 4 half days with pupils in one primary and one secondary school in Tameside. The focus of the work is the use of drama-based strategies in the creative, meaningful and safe exploration of complex issues.
During this period we have offered the following tailored CPD sessions to individual bookers:
In the medium term, the project aims to support the development of a creative framework for a drama-based approach to integrating Diversity awareness and teaching into the curriculum.
• Working with Monologues
“Inspiring and practical. I can use the techniques we explored to enrich and enhance the curriculum – to tackle difficult and sensitive issues in a non-invasive way.” TEACHER, ROSEHILL SCHOOL
• Approaches to Greek Drama • Approaches to Shakespeare • Conflict Resolution through Drama • Diverse Voices • History through Drama
• Horse + Bamboo Theatre: Approaches to Making Theatre
Work Placements During the period April 2008 – July 2009 the theatre offered over 50 individuals placements in departments including Education, Lighting, Sound, Stage Management, Wardrobe and Workshop.
Community Partnerships The central aim of our Community Partnerships Programme is to reach groups who are under-represented in theatre, who may not otherwise access the Royal Exchange and/or who may be at risk of social exclusion. Between April 2008 and July 2009 we ran 114 workshop sessions with 265 participants from over 15 organizations. Community Links: Theatre tickets, tours and workshops for a wide range of partners. In 2008/2009 these have included: • Lesbian Gay Youth Manchester • Rochdale Connections Trust • City Centre Project, Manchester
LOST LETTERS Using the title as a starting point, LOST LETTERS was developed with Manchester’s Booth Centre (a city centre advice and activity centre for homeless people) and Landridge House (a day care centre, based in Harpurhey, for adults with learning disabilities). The groups each worked with a drama practitioner over 15 sessions to create their own pieces of theatre. 27 people from the Booth Centre took part in one or more drama workshops, with 11 taking part in the performances. 15 people from Landridge House took part for the duration of the project, including three members of staff. LOST LETTERS sold out two performances in The Studio, and we have continued to work with both organizations through theatre visits, occasional work shadowing and contributions to projects.
• Body Positive Northwest • Windrush Centre, Manchester College
Community Projects: The opportunity for groups to work with us on the creation of an original, theatre-based piece of work, often for presentation in The Studio.
“Pure entertainment, with an incredibly powerful and relevant message for the whole of society. Beautifully performed by all the cast. Well done everybody.” AUDIENCE MEMBER
UP ON THE ROOF brought together two diverse groups (Salford Drug and Alcohol Forum and the Guide Bridge Theatre Group for adults with long term mental health needs) to develop a unique response to the Drifter’s recording of Goffin and King’s song, and Maura Dooley’s poem of the same name. 27 participants took part in the project, which included 15 creative sessions building towards a matinee and evening performance in The Studio, as well as theatre tickets and a backstage tour. Through this project the theatre also co-ordinated the early stages of an investigation into the longer term benefits and positive impact of creativity outside a participatory drama project – in particular, how creativity can influence the choices made by adults experiencing alcohol and/or drug dependency issues.
“I loved the performance - the singing and movement, and I really enjoyed hearing the personal stories. I’m so glad I got to come.” AUDIENCE MEMBER
“I thought about the project on a daily basis probably because being part of it has affected so many areas of my life in such a good way. I feel confident – I’m holding my head up for the first time in a long time.” PARTICIPANT
GO AWAY AND THINK ABOUT IT explored the developmental benefits of working with a community group on a second intensive project. Over 12 sessions, the Booth Centre and a drama practitioner created an original piece of theatre which was performed over two sell-out performances in The Studio. Additionally, two of the group took on back stage responsibilities including attending marketing and production meetings, writing press releases and appearing on local TV and radio to promote the performances. Channel M, a local Manchester TV station, made a documentary about the project. All the participants received a copy and it was shown in the Education Lounge. This project was funded by the Activating Places of Change programme from Homeless Link, supported by the CLG. An evaluation report is available on request.
“The project met all the aims of increasing people’s skills, confidence, self esteem, helping people to enjoy themselves and helping them to reduce their drinking and drug use. We also saw individuals improving their housing situation, moving off the streets and maintaining their tenancies. The public performances enabled us to show over 160 people what homeless people can achieve and to challenge stereotypes.” BOOTH CENTRE MANAGER
Work with Individual Adults Between April 2008 and July 2009 we ran 100 workshop sessions with 773 participants aged 18+
Acting For Scared People This course targeted adults with no acting experience, but with an interest in learning actively and practically about some of the processes behind performance. 22 people aged 23 to 71 took part over 8 weekly sessions. 50% were not previous theatre-goers. The course was pitched as a ‘youth theatre for adults’ and aimed to demystify theatrical processes, and to create a safe environment in which participants could take their first steps in acting. The course will be repeated twice yearly with the aim of leading to the establishment of a biennial performance project for adults.
Chekhov: story and drama To accompany THREE SISTERS, this mini-project focused on a selection of Chekhov’s short stories and on the relationships between story and drama. Over three interlinked workshops – and time spent writing away from sessions – participants explored the processes of adaptation, wrote their own adaptation, and worked with a team of professional actors, director and writer to see their work presented as rehearsed readings.
“Thankyou for putting on such an excellent course – it exceeded all my expectations. It certainly took me outside of my comfort zone. I never imagined that I would find it enjoyable getting up in front of others, I even found the singing fun!" PARTICIPANT, ACTING FOR SCARED PEOPLE
World Wide Workshop: Refugee Theatre Company WWW is a regular adult group comprising both professional artists and participants with little or no experience of the performing arts. Launched in November 2006, WWW creates and performs all its own work, taking inspiration from varied starting points. In this period the group created SCARED (July and August 2008) which was based on the Refugee Action Campaign on Destitution and performed in The Studio and as part of the Exodus Festival at URBIS, and YOU & ME (June 2009) which was performed at Bolton Octagon. During this period, individuals from the group have also been involved in other education projects including YPTW and You Are Here, provided production advice for PALACE OF THE END and delivered workshops for other refugee organizations. The theatre’s programme of work for refugees and asylum seekers has also included tours, workshops and tickets for students from the Windrush Centre (Manchester College), tickets for the Stockport Refugee Support Group and links with the Zimbabwe Association.
“WWW offers me the opportunity to do what I love most, acting, and affords me the chance to meet with people who have different background and come from different countries, culture, religions and languages, and even people of different ages. We learn to work with each other to create a performance which include many diverse views in harmony.” ABAS ELJANABI, WWW PARTICIPANT
Between The Lines Meeting monthly since 1999, this informal playreading and discussion group now meets twice on each date to cater for high demand. Plays are selected as contrast, provocation or enrichment of the current play in the Theatre or The Studio and have included Cuba by Liz Lochhead, Stars in the Morning Sky by Michael Glenny and Peter Flannery’s Singer. In the period of this review 26 sessions have involved 460 attendees.
Adult Activity Days Occasional, one day workshops for adults with the aim of sparking and exploring creative responses to the current play in production. To accompany THE GLASS MENAGERIE, a practical workshop explored ways in which writers take inspiration from their own experiences; to accompany A TASTE OF HONEY the session focused on the social context of Sheila Delaney’s play and on using personal experiences as inspiration.
“Between the Lines has introduced me to plays and writers that even as an ex-drama teacher, I was not aware. The group discussion and readings are well planned and always enlightening, and the composition of the group encourages incisive and enlightened debate.” PARTICIPANT, BETWEEN THE LINES
“I have emerged with pieces of writing that I shall be able to use either as poetry or as part of the plays I have had the confidence to begin.” ADULT ACTIVITY DAY PARTICIPANT
Between April 2008 and July 2009 we ran 258 workshop sessions with 742 young people
First Bite Theatre Group for 11s-14s This annual 5 month project offers an introduction to making theatre. Members participate in a range of story-making and improvisation workshops and their ideas are used to create a short play, presented in The Studio. 2008: Using DR KORCZAK’S EXAMPLE as a starting point, participants imagined how children might create a society without adults. 2009: This project included three young people with ASD. A key aim was to create a close group who were able to experiment with theatre making techniques in a supported, creative and playful way. Their play took themes from DR KORCZAK’S EXAMPLE and LITTLE LEAP FORWARD.
Floating Worlds for 10s-14s Run in partnership with Manchester Camerata, FLOATING WORLDS explored the effectiveness of using music and theatre with young people with ASD. It aimed to develop participants' empathetic, group work skills and to foster imaginative learning. Taking inspiration from a Japanese legend, participants invented their own world. 3 lead practitioners (music, drama and visual art) were supported by professional musicians and postgraduates from Manchester Camerata. A presentation took place at the RNCM and a child psychologist provided a full evaluation. An unplanned outcome was the friendship groups many children and parents formed outside the sessions. 2 participants have gone on to join the theatre's First Bite Theatre Group; 2 have gone on to take up music lessons. A regular theatre and music group for young people with ASD is being developed.
“This project gave my son the confidence to find his voice. The love of music and drama which he discovered with you has given him a sense of self worth and belief.” PARENT, THE FLOATING WORLDS
Young People’s Theatre Workshop for 14s-19s
THE MISSING STORIES Satellite Half Term Project
This annual, 7 month project creates a genuine ensemble of 30 young performers and makers, and investigates a variety of approaches to enabling them to create their own theatre piece in a professional environment.
addressed the problem of unmanageably high demand for involvement with YPTW. 12 young people took part in an intensive week of workshops and activities, and their work was displayed in The Studio during the run of THE MISSING STORIES.
The 2008/2009 project, THE MISSING STORIES, was inspired by Reinhardt Jung’s novel Bambert’s Book of Missing Stories. With the support of theatre practitioners from a range of disciplines, the novel was used to explore the different ways a story can unfold on stage. The whole group took part in a variety of activities from designing sets to improvising scenes.
“I have learnt so much from this experience. It has really broadened my knowledge about what it would be like to work in a theatre and all the opportunities there are when it comes to design – it has also helped me in choosing my uni course!” PARTICIPANT, YPTW
Act One for 16s-21s aims to build on the positive relationships between the Royal Exchange Theatre and former members of the Young People’s Theatre Workshop, and in particular to nurture those young people serious about acting careers in theatre. The 2008 project took our production of ANTIGONE as a starting point to explore ideas of Greek Chorus. It culminated in THE COMMON PEOPLE, with sold-out performances in The Studio.
“I feel I have achieved a brilliant piece of theatre that I am proud to have been part of. I’ve got a brand new outlook on theatre.” PARTICIPANT, ACT ONE
THE SEARCH PARTY: Young Muslim Playwriting Project This 12 month pilot project aimed to reach young people aged 16 – 25 who may not have previously felt the theatre to be accessible to them, and to raise participants’ awareness of and engagement with theatre-making processes. It also sought to build links with communities which are generally under-represented in British theatre, and to identify potential playwrights of the future. An extensive programme of single sex and mixed writing workshops took place in the theatre and in community and school settings across Greater Manchester. Participants were invited to submit play scenes, 10 of which were selected for presentation as professional rehearsed readings over 2 evenings in The Studio. Four of the ten writers represented are currently receiving script development. THE SEARCH PARTY involved 95 workshops with 235 participants, and rehearsed readings to an audience of 180.
“THE SEARCH PARTY has allowed me to show my individuality. Seeing [my script] perfomed by professional actors was very inspiring, proving to me that I can do anything I set my mind to.” PARTICIPANT
“It’s a wonderful experience to see so many young Muslim writers.” AUDIENCE MEMBER
Children’s Holiday Workshops for 5s-14s Scheduled in February half term and the summer holidays, these taster workshops cater for various age ranges and aim to offer an introduction to the theatre. Many participants go on to join our regular groups. During this period 34 sessions were run with 110 participants.
You Are Here You Are Here A geography classroom: maps on the walls, a hanging globe, a battered desk… YOU ARE HERE invited visitors to lift the lid and look inside “worlds you never dreamt were there”. The project aimed to bring together members of the public, school groups, families, community groups and professional artists to create an imaginative, original, high quality installation which drew on Theatre in its approaches and themes. 9 groups and 24 individuals created extraordinary worlds inside ordinary desks. An additional 16 individuals, 5 groups and 20 anonymouses(!) sent us their ‘DIY’ contributions to the exhibition. Participants ranged in age from 3 - 78. 6 freelance professional makers led 22 sessions with groups and individuals to create their own responses to the stimulus. Theatre Designer Liz Ascroft curated the exhibition and Deputy Head of Sound, Pete Rice, contributed 2 soundscapes. The final exhibition attracted 581 visitors over two days. Future projects which build on YOU ARE HERE are planned for 2010.
“I actually can say that I appreciate art more. I am comfortable enough to sit and sketch ideas for things now. Part of my project contained some photographs: I’ve never really had a reason to take photos before now other than of friends and family etc. but now I carry my camera with me to most places and take pictures of unusual and exciting things” A PARTICIPANT
“Absorbing, fascinating. Mundane made art. Lovely... One of the best exhibitions I’ve seen for a long time. Thanks!” AUDIENCE FEEDBACK
Find Out More PHONE OR EMAIL EXCHANGE EDUCATION We can: ·
Give you more information about the workshops and projects on offer to the public
Discuss ideas for new partnerships – we are always keen to make new links with organizations, individuals and practitioners
CALL BOX OFFICE on 0161 833 9833 OR Group Bookings on 0161 833 0483 They can: ·
Book you a place or places on any Exchange Education workshops and/or projects that are open to the public
Book you seats to come and see any of our plays or events
VISIT OUR WEBSITE Amanda Dalton (Associate Director, Education)
at royalexchange.co.uk and click on Education
0161 615 6720 firstname.lastname@example.org
Here you will find:
Liam McCormick (Education Officer)
Free resources to accompany many Royal Exchange productions, offering the opportunity to explore behind the scenes, find out more about the production and engage directly with the themes, issues and characters in the play.
Up to date information about forthcoming workshops and projects
0161 615 6780 email@example.com Becky Prestwich (Young People's Projects Leader) 0161 615 6693 firstname.lastname@example.org Kate Reynolds (Education Administrator) 0161 615 6721 email@example.com Ben Turner (Community Co-ordinator) 0161 615 6792 firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Wright (Education Producer) 0161 615 6715 email@example.com
MAJOR SPONSORS City Inn Manchester Insider Halo Living Bruntwood William Hare Manchester Airport
Body Positive North West Bolton and District Model Railway Society Christian Alliance Housing City Centre Project Community Arts North West Creative Partnerships Early Arts Network Exodus @ CAN Greater Manchester Police Guide Bridge Drama Group Interplay Theatre Landridge House Lesbian Gay Youth Manchester Manchester Art Gallery Manchester Camerata Manchester City Council Children's Services Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester University Manchester Youth Arts Network My Life Centre Rochdale Connections Trust Salford Drug and Alcohol Forum Tameside Ethnic Minority Achievement Service The Booth Centre Topaz Urbis Valuing Older People
PROJECT SUPPORTERS The Edward Atkin Foundation Biffaward The Booth Charities The Boshier-Hinton Foundation The Co-operative Crabtree North West Charitable Trust D’Oyly Carte Charitable rust Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund The Eventhall Family Charitable Trust HBOS Lex Leasing The Idlewild Trust John Lewis Partnership The John S Cohen Foundation John Thaw Foundation Manchester Guardian Society Norma Leigh Charitable Trust N Smith Charitable Settlement Old Possum’s Practical Trust PricewaterhouseCoopers Ralli Solicitors The Scotshill Trust The Steel Charitable Trust The Zochonis Trust
DONORS Mr D Ainsworth Beaverbrooks the Jewellers Brenda Benson Mr & Mrs Bradshaw Mrs A M Brookes Gary Buttriss-Holt Mr & Mrs C J Chandler Mr P J Craven Mr Peter Cooper P J Duke Mrs V Fletcher Jack & Maria Goldberg Lady Stephanie Johnson Mr Donald Mather Helen McPherson Shirley Murtagh Pannone LLP Stephen Poster Royal Mail Steinberg Family Charitable Trust Mrs Zena Traynor Ms J Langley White Mrs H Wiles
Registered Charity Number 255424