Shake up shakespeare in schools
We have noticed a problem, a big problem, and we need YOUR help to solve it.
The government is suffocating our children’s creativity. Arts funding has been slashed in schools. GCSE and A-Level uptake is at an all-time low.
A 2018 BBC survey recorded: "nine in every 10 [responding schools] cut back on lesson time, staff or facilities in at least one creative arts subject". One Lancashire drama teacher said that in 2019/20 she had no GCSE drama uptake for the first time in 16 years and in 2021 they were forced to cancel A-Level drama entirely.
Did you know that drama is not on the secondary school curriculum?
Every child, regardless of financial background, deserves access to theatre. While summer short courses, youth theatres and amateur dramatics clubs are all excellent initiatives, to many, their cost is insurmountable. The National Youth Theatre costs over £1000 to attend. Parents of children from less affluent backgrounds cannot afford this.
This exclusivity re-establishes the damaging narrative that the arts are only for those who can afford it. These experiences should be provided in school as standard.
Children are told careers in the arts are unviable, unstable, impossible; a damaging attitude which too often becomes true for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds or who identify as part of the global majority. What does this mean for the industry? A huge and pervasive lack of representation.
Something needs to change.
We will work very closely with a school in Lancashire to stage a Shakespeare play with a Year 9 drama class.
Over the course of one term, we will collaborate with the students to design, rehearse, direct, market and perform their very own production as though they are a theatre company (like us!).
They will have the opportunity to engage with many aspects of the theatre that are often overlooked such as publicity, costume, or lighting design. The term will culminate in a public performance to their school, friends and families.
We believe the problem must be addressed at its root: access to the arts at school.
Although one-off workshops are a fun and effective way to engage with a larger number of children, the skills and experiences gained by working intensively with one group on a full production for a longer period of time is something that cannot be overstated.
Equally, we want to establish long-term, supportive relationships with the schools we go into. We would love to return to these schools year after year to work with their students, as well as welcoming additional schools into our repertoire.
We need to raise £5000. This will fund our work in ONE Lancashire school.
Our broader plan is to raise multiple pockets of £5000. The more pockets we raise, the more schools we can work with and the more children we can impact.
How Can I help?
1. Donate to our crowdfunder to help us deliver this project directly in school environments. Any amount of money will help us to support children to release their inner creativity!
2. Follow us on social media, and share our campaign with your friends and family. If you can't afford to donate, this is a brilliant way to support our efforts!