What needs to happen so more children & young people are inspired by theatre?

gayle sutherland, 19 September 2012

Gayle Sutherland - Artswork
Emma Reeder - Wide Eyed Theatre Lucy Keeley - Kent County Council Louisa Ashton - Sparkle & Dark
Jo Dyer - Animate Arts
Liz Carter - Claque Theatre

More please is the parents request when it happens, but people think they don't want it, both the parents and infrastructure. Teachers can be resistant - helps to be sneaky, not sell it as drama or theatre, go through other avenues and then people find they have transformed their view of theatre through the experience. Immersion experiences good in schools, strong dramatic experience without anyone saying ‘this is a play’

Exposure to a wide range of genres helps people to know what they like - one experience doesn't. Theatre isn't just one type or 1 type of people (those with money)

Networking is important, locally and across the county.Knowing who is out there and what they are doing - events like today really helpful, PANEK bring people together really usefully.

Working with not for young people is our way in, we make a real effort to help them to

explore theatre - through doing and through watching perf. has to be a breadth of experiences. V helpful to have link between a youth theatre and a venue - gets the best experience linking doing and watching.

Building on personal relationships with schools helps bookings. Long term relationships important, being able to deepen that rather than be expected to work with another, new, school partner. Links build over time, you get known, but does take time.

Impt to show ‘whole of theatre’ backstage/tech etc not just actors. Good to give an above and beyond experience for schols/young people - they are getting to interact with set, have a wksp, backstage tour etc - they are special, trip is special

Hard to know what schools can afford, how do you price what you are doing, how do you approach schools????

Libraries a good family venue and often connected with communities who don't go into theatres, takes away venue fear, and Theatre useful in making the library vibrant. Is new ACE funding for work with Libraries.

Helpful to have a trusted intermediary between companies and schools, extended school officers used to do this but they have gone. If there could be a network of schools who meet once a year or term to be told what is on offer would help. Need guidance for schools on where to look for info - but really they like a trusted person.

Challenge as school structure changing - more specialist and away from the arts. We need to show how the work give work skills and links to creative industry careers.

Don't under estimate the children/young people audience - they surprise you. Needs to be on their terms - in an empowered not patronising way. Lot of molly coddling goes on...

Participative role somewhere in it can be important BUT often our strongest memories of theatre come from going to see brilliant theatre, not being in it.

If it is a treat to go to theatre means it is an elitist theatre for the wealthy.Outdoor/festival work very positive focus in Kent - awareness raising, allows different audience. Quality is key, high quality in a community setting such as a fete. Quality is key - bad experiences put you off.

Have to take children on a journey as they grow - with quality - but how do you have the money to repeat high quality - where is the balance? can't all be prestige events. Applause are really helpful in offering quality family programming - have achieved a lot. Is hard for venues to take risks. From an applause programme there is a group of young people who have taken on the responsibility for encouraging other young people to see theatre - great. Important to include young people in the decision making, working with programmers to programme.


educatiIon, family, networks, young people, Schools, schools, participation, Young People, children