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Edinburgh Playhouse celebrates Creative Learning initiatives this World Theatre Day

To marks World Theatre Day, Edinburgh Playhouse is highlighting the wonderful Creative Learning projects and initiatives that they have launched since Katie Mitchell was appointed in September 2023.

Edinburgh Playhouse celebrates Creative Learning initiatives this World Theatre Day

Article Source: ATG
Last Updated: 27 March 2024 10:42

Wednesday 27th March 2024 marks World Theatre Day and, this year, the Edinburgh Playhouse is highlighting the wonderful Creative Learning projects and initiatives that they have launched since their Creative Learning producer, Katie Mitchell, was appointed in September 2023. From tours, to creative classes, to bringing the next generation into the theatre, the past 6 months have been an incredibly important and rewarding time for the Edinburgh Playhouse.

Creative Learning is all about connecting the community to the theatre, and Tours of the captivating Edinburgh Playhouse building have allowed the community to get a special glimpse at the inner workings of the theatre, what it takes to put on a show and explore the history of such an iconic entertainment venue. Since launching earlier this year, over 200 people have attended these tours which sold out in a matter of days. A chance for audience members to set foot on a stage which has been graced by legends such as Sir Elton John, Dame Judi Dench, Diana Ross and Tina Turner, has been described by participants as “an experience that they'll never forget.”

Not only can audiences set foot on the Edinburgh Playhouse stage, the new Musical Makers classes mean participants over the age of 18 can also perform on the stage. Classes boast an hour of singing and an hour of dancing hosted by Hannah Ferrier-Baker and Jo Richards who aim to inspire, embrace individuality, and invite the community to get creative with them. Over 4 weeks, 150 people have engaged with these classes and again, these sold out in a matter of days, with there being nothing else like this in the city.

In December 2023, a partnership was formed with Sing In The City, creating the in-house community choir, Sing In The Playhouse. This choir brings together 40 members of all abilities to sing and socialise with likeminded people. The choir had their very first performance at St James Quarter Mother’s Day celebration on Saturday 9th March, joined by some of the professional Sing In The City choir members.

A fundamental part of the Creative Learning initiatives run by the Edinburgh Playhouse is dedicated to bringing the next generation into the world of theatre. The Edinburgh Playhouse Teachers’ Theatre Club was set up in October 2023 and has a staggering 400 members. This club offers CPD events for teachers, creative consultations, tours, and special offers for school groups. These opportunities have the potential of impacting approximately 12,000 children through its members. This impact has been extended further through funding from Developing The Young Workforce Forth Valley, which has enabled 20 children to join the theatre for Work In Theatre Week for workshops from set designers, directors, costume designers, theatre staff and the production team from Pretty Woman The Musical, giving them a fascinating and well-rounded insight into the world of working in the arts. Work in Theatre Week is an ATG-wide partnership with Get Into Theatre.

Students studying theatre have also benefit from the introduction of Creative Learning at the Edinburgh Playhouse through a partnership with Edinburgh College in which technical theatre placements were offered. Furthermore, the Creative Learning Producer has facilitated guest lectures at Queen Margaret University, helping students explore the pathways into working in the arts and opening up creative opportunities for them.

Finally, the Edinburgh Playhouse have created a Freelance Artist Network with 50 members from across Scotland. For the launch of the network, members came together in October 2023 for a consultation night where freelancers shared their thoughts on what is needed for the theatre sector in Scotland and, as a result, a series of workshops, talks from industry professionals and networking opportunities for artists are soon to be announced under the new Play Days programme. Members of the Freelance Artist Network have said, “This network helps reducing the barriers to venues and big organisations, it’s often hard to network as an artist so it’s great that these opportunities are happening”.

Katie Mitchell, Creative Learning Producer at the Edinburgh Playhouse, says, “As Scotland’s largest theatre and as an iconic venue, I’m so excited to be launching a brand new Creative Learning programme for Edinburgh Playhouse. Having met teachers, community, young people, audiences and artists in my short time here, I can see the love people have for the Playhouse and the need to connect further. Creative Learning is the grass roots of theatre. It’s why artists, staff and theatre makers are all in the roles that they are in and why audiences keep coming back. Someone or something championed them and they understood the magic that theatre can offer and I’m so happy to be bringing this to more people across Edinburgh and Scotland.”

Gordon Millar, Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre Director, says, “It is integral to us that Edinburgh is a city in which the creativity of all is appreciated and given a chance to flourish. Edinburgh Playhouse Creative Learning opportunities are transformative for participants. They bring people together, excite, inspire, and enrich us with happier and healthier lives.”

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