Associate Artist, Hertford Theatre
As Hertford Theatre undergoes a £20million transformation, I’m excited to be part of its new team, building towards the future. As Associate Artist, I’m bringing my experience of working with children, young people and their families to a new project, funded by the Royal Opera House Bridge, which sees the Theatre reaching out and consulting with all the schools in East Hertfordshire. These are our first steps towards creating a new learning and outreach department. Working with Rhys Thomas and Rebecca Butcher, and our consultant, Sharon Kanolik, we are asking the schools how the Theatre can serve their needs as we head towards a post Lockdown environment. Our job is to listen to all the brilliant teachers, children and young people of East Herts.Play Trailer
Herts Inclusive Theatre
In 2020 I set myself the aim to work closely with my community. This Hertfordshire based theatre company reach's hundreds of vulnerable young people and adults throughout the County. We have adapted to the Covid 19 limitations by producing regular on line sessions. I was delighted to work with the Adult On Line group to create a new show called Countdown Til Christmas. The weekly sessions were joyous, as we laughed and played together, the participants and their carers enthusiastically creating their own poems and gathering songs and other material that describe the months of the year as we built towards Christmas 2020.
In 2021 I continue to work with the Adult on Line group, our next show, Murder on the Dancefloor, will premiere in the summer of 2021. I am also working with a children's theatre group and a youth theatre group in Stevenage. Our focus with the youth theatre is to make weekly podcasts. Our most recent was with the choreographer, Helen Parlor, a longtime collaborator, who spoke brilliantly about her career as an artist. Our participants have been learning how to make podcasts, how to interview and present. Helen was the ideal first guest, the young people were enraptured by her brilliant career to date.
Herts Young Homeless Live Life
I first came across Live Life when I worked with Herts Young Homeless (HYH) as part of the Squatlife project in St Albans. HYH provide many services for young people who have either experienced a loss of housing or are at risk of doing so. These young people are vulnerable, often the victims of family breakdown or abuse.
Leonie and I agreed that a Live Life member, who was able to stand in a school assembly, or a local council meeting, or sit happily in a room of investors and funders, was worth so much in their ability to move people and inspire change. This has been our work together, to develop a small cohort of Live Life members to become skilled presenters, confident and vibrant, celebrating their own resilience, and challenging society to change.
During Lockdown we focused on making a series of short films to raise the profile of the charity and to demonstrate the work of Live Life. The short film seen here is with Corey, a young man who has been through the tough times, but due to the diligence of HYH and his growing resilience, is looking forward to a better life.Play Trailer
Cardboard Citizens: Act Now
Act Now is a programme of regular activity and skills based learning for young people aged 16 to 25 who have experienced homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless. A mix of regular accredited activity and annual projects, under Stuart's leadership, Cardboard Citizens took a dual approach: developing the self esteem and confidence of the members, whilst nurturing the young people as community activists. Funded by Comic Relief's #iwill fund, Act Now produced a touring Forum Theatre piece called No Box No Labels. This culminated in a performance at London's South Bank Centre.
- Lyrix Organix
- Catch 22 'The Hive'
- The Henry Smith Charity
- Société Générale Community Fund
- Comic Relief
- St. James's Place Foundation
- Anton Jurgens Charitable Trust
- Wessex Youth
- John Lyons Charity
Facts and Figures year 18/19:
- Numbers engaged through outreach and performances 300
- Members engaged in workshops 70
- Number of qualifications achieved 40
- Number of employment outcomes 6
- Number of volunteering outcomes 15
- Number entering education, employment and training 40
Its Our Theatre
A nationwide scheme of youth engagement and talent development. Working in marginalised communities in areas of socio economic decline. The methodology, developed with key artists from the world of theatre and the urban arts, built a reputation for engaging young people aged 11+ in the arts: theatre, spoken word, street dance, spoken word, music production, graffiti art and entrepreneurship training.
Partners and investors included:
- The Royal Opera House
- Thurrock Borough Council
- Arts Council England
- Children in Need
Facts and Figures about It's Our Theatre:
- Engaged over 20,000 people in our work – most from areas of disadvantage or low cultural engagement (as defined by Arts Council England)
- Run 300+ workshops for over 6,500 young participants
- Accredited 150 young people with the nationally recognised Trinity College Arts Award
- Awarded 10 It’s Your Future Bursaries to support young people in leading creative community projects and developing their skills
- Delivered over 345 performances – many to new audiences
- Collaborated with over 80 professional artists, 40 venues, and 50 schools
- Partnered with local authorities, arts organisations, funders, schools, youth clubs and agencies concerned with young people’s welfare, in areas as diverse as Birmingham, Bedfordshire, Essex, Manchester, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Bristol and Northamptonshire
- Managed individual grant awards of up to £183,757 and projects of up to £141,500
- Received core investment from Arts Council England of £731,710, and levered in significant additional contribution of £921,500 funding and substantial amounts of in kind support from our partners.