3 min read
Children’s Theatre Partnership (CTP) are delighted to announce that Blackpool’s Grand Theatre have been commissioned by CTP to develop and lead a national Creative Learning programme linked to their new productions Louis Sachar’s HOLES in 2020, George Orwell’s Animal Farm (2021), and Unexpected Twist by Michael Rosen (2022).
CTP and Blackpool’s Grand will be working closely with four venues over the three years including; Marlowe Theatre (Canterbury), Theatre Royal (Norwich), Theatre Royal (Newcastle), and Belgrade Theatre (Coventry).
CTP was established in 2010 to produce and tour bold, ambitious and imaginative theatre for young people. Our aim is to excite and engage new and diverse audiences, often introducing them to the theatre for the first time, bringing communities to their local theatres, inspiring a life-long love of theatre and supporting the UK’s most talented artists.
Blackpool’s Grand Theatre Creative Learning Department lead by Celine Wyatt has been developing work for schools and the community for many years. The theatre’s work includes a partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company and their Associate Schools Programme. The programme recruits schools that serve areas of high socio-economic deprivation. The partnership consists of a Lead Associate School which, in turn, recruits several other Associate Schools.
The aim of the new CTP-Blackpool Grand partnership is to combine the stories on the stage with elements of the Resilience Framework (based on Resilient Therapy) the set of ideas and practices were originally developed by Professor Angie Hart in collaboration with colleagues and community partners.
In practice, it means looking at stories for themes of resilience and then working out, with the use of the Resilience Framework, how the outcomes for the characters could change. Also identifying and learning from characters whose choices in stories demonstrate resilience.
Ruth Eastwood, Chief Executive said ‘We are delighted to be working with CTP on this National Programme with other theatres. It’s important as a local theatre for people to see the incredible work the Team here at Blackpool’s Grand are doing in Creative Learning and Resilience. The theatre is a local theatre achieving national recognition.
‘This programme is one of many the theatre is delivering on locally, regionally and nationally.’
Each venue, including Blackpool’s Grand, will be funded to develop and deliver a Creative Project with schools and young people to link with each show. Over the three years they will develop this locally and work will be shared nationally.
All venues on the tour will receive new education resources produced by Blackpool’s Grand including group work books to support their engagement with the shows.
Key elements of the programme include; Training for the artists, practitioners and teachers from the theatres, the first taking place on 10 and 11 October. Education Resources will be available online for all theatres on the tour and the resources will include filmed interviews with HOLES Director Adam Penford and Puppet Maker Mathew Forbes as well as members of the creative and production teams, the interviews were conducted in London by two children from St John Vianny RC Primary, Blackpool. It is believed that over 250 children will take part in the project
Blackpool’s Grand has produced creative highly engaging journals for the children who will be involved in the project which will help to understand and evaluate the personal impact of the projects and the benefits of seeing a story brought to life on stage.
Celine Wyatt, Creative Learning Manager said ‘We are really looking forward to working with our colleagues from theatres across England. Together we are committed to supporting young people to develop their creative voices or strengthening their personal resilience. We will be putting young people in the lead as they help us shape this national programme.’
Hedda Beeby of CTP said ‘We are delighted to be working with Blackpool Grand who are leading the way in this area. Their work makes a real difference to the young people with whom they engage and we look forward to helping that work spread even further.
Throughout Children’s Theatre Partnership and Blackpool’s Grand Theatre are committed to shining a light on their work nationally and sharing the learning.
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