Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Sarah-Jane
April 20th, 2018

Moving on

Like many arts organisations, The Play House has had some ups and downs over the past few years, so it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I took the job of General Manager six years ago. I was really pleased to be working with a company I had known and admired for many years, but daunted at the challenges of the economic and political climate.

Despite these challenges, the company has managed not just to survive but to thrive. This is a testament to the exceptional quality of the work and the skills and dedication of the people delivering it. The Play House has an important legacy of work going back over 30 years and continues to adapt to changing environments whilst staying true to its ethos and values. No matter how difficult things get, there will always be a demand for intelligent and engaging work for children. The Play House’s unique participatory approach has proved itself to be highly effective in addressing a wide range of issues and stimulating learning across the curriculum.

As I prepare to leave The Play House for my new role at China Plate, we’ve been putting the finishing touches to next year’s programme. The new brochure will be in its way soon and includes some old favourites and some exciting new developments that I’m sorry not to be able to see through. I know that Gavin, Juliet, Malcolm and Simon will continue to do amazing things and I wish them all the very best in the adventures to come.

 

Gavin M
February 16th, 2018

We’re hiring

DEADLINE EXTENDED

Our General Manager is leaving us in April for pastures new. Over the summer, we’ll be working with a consultant to carry out an organisational review to ensure that the company is resilient and in a strong position to deliver our programme for the future.

We’re recruiting an Interim General Manager to oversee the operations of the company while this review takes place and until the revised structure is finalised. This is a six month contract starting in April.

Download the job description and person specification here.

Closing date: 5pm on Friday 09th March 2018.

Interviews: Thursday 15th or Friday 16th March 2018.

 

Malcolm J
January 28th, 2018

Spring 2018 Primary tours

We have just finished rehearsals for the programmes touring primary schools this term. We have limited days available on our tours. Call Gavin on: 0121 265 4425 if you would like to book a session for your school.

By the River Bank (Nursery & Reception)

By the Riverbank is an interactive introduction to the natural world and adventure stories, inspired by the world of The Wind in the Willows.
Portly, the baby otter is missing from home and Ranger Ruby Ratcliffe needs to search her beloved riverbank and find him before nightfall. If only she had help? In this multi-sensory drama, the children search for clues and discover a secret world full of animals, adventures and stories.

Mosaic (KS1)

Mosaic explores the ingredients needed to tell a really good story. Two adventurers in a strange land open a magic story box and the long forgotten tales and characters inside need sorting out! The children help out using their own imaginations and ideas, investigating a land of kings and queens, magic and ritual, journeys and quests

The Last Train (KS2)

The Last Train explores the real stories of Jewish children who left Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport, some of whom came to live in Birmingham. It follows the journey of Inge, who flees persecution after Kristallnacht and takes the last train out of Germany to a new life away from her home, friends and family.

CDPL: using drama to challenge extremism and explore British values

We are also offering a new Continuing Professional Development and Learning opportunity which will focus on using drama to challenge extremism and explore British values

Our twilight CPDL is an ideal way to build the skills and knowledge of all your staff in teaching British values and challenging extremism with children. Drama is a powerful and transferrable learning tool and our specialist practitioners will model how to use it to support SMSC development. The session draws specifically on our Careless Talk KS2 programme.

The 2 hour session can work with up to 25 people and costs just £300

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any of our available tours this term.

 

Sarah-Jane
November 27th, 2017

Trustee recruitment

The Play House is looking for committed individuals who would like to join our board of trustees. We are particularly interested in people who could contribute skills in education, marketing and finance and are also keen to expand the diversity of our membership.

We are an incorporated charity and trustees attend four meetings each year, contribute to working groups and take part in an away day. Potential trustees should be able to commit their time and enthusiasm and be an ambassador for the company. This is an unpaid role.

If you think this is something you’d be interested in, please contact the General Manager Sarah-Jane Watkinson on – sj.watkinson@theplayhouse.org.uk by Friday 15th December with your CV and a brief description of why you are interested in joining us.

naomi
October 3rd, 2017

Anti-bullying programme

Hello!

I’m Naomi and I’m the current intern at The Play House. I am spending this term working on a touring programme called No Kidding and some other projects with Juliet and after Christmas I start working on another programme with Malcolm.

No Kidding has been created to help improve the quality of children’s relationships with each other, exploring friendship, co-operation and bullying.

So far we have developed the pre-existing programme into an hour long performance which we presented to a family audience at the REP last weekend. It has been such a fun show to work on because it is so high energy and full of opportunities to try out new skills such as magic tricks and circus skills. As well as getting accustomed to being custard-pied in the face a lot!

It is interesting re-doing a programme because you want to take inspiration from past performances but at the same time make it your own. I struggled at the start to create my own unique character, but with a bit of time and rehearsal I have created my own ‘Billy’ and now I think she’s great!

We have a bit of a break before taking it out into the schools so we’ve been spending this time re-developing it into a version which is an hour and a half long and has the freedom to be a lot more participatory for the schools. I’m really excited to involve the children a lot more in Billy’s Magical Moments! We’ve also been working on the resources section for the website and I’ve enjoyed being able to use my video editing and sound recording skills to create some little videos which will go up on The Play House YouTube channel.

I’ve had a fab time so far at The Play House and am really looking forward to what the next few months brings. My favourite bit so far has been working directly with the children and watching them get so emotionally involved into the performance. One child even got up half way through the show to offer me a cushion, and I’ve received numerous hugs! Billy feels very loved right now!

No Kidding is touring schools this Autumn. Please contact us for bookings on: 0121 265 4425 or info@theplayhouse.org.uk

Gavin M
May 26th, 2017

New Language Alive touring programme for 2017/18

Our new Language Alive touring programme for 2017/18 is now ready to book, with some old favourites and new developments.

We’re making plans for a new Black History project, The Suitcase on the Wardrobe. It explores issues of migration and identity and is inspired by the real portraits of Commonwealth migrants taken by Birmingham photographer Ernest Dyche in the 1950s and 60s.

Our new Anglo Saxon themed project Buried History will be back next summer following fantastic feedback from schools last term. It’s an exciting exploration of the mystery of the Staffordshire Hoard and is accompanied by interactive digital resources.

Also making a return is No Kidding, a very popular programme that uses clowning and custard pies to convey a serious message about bullying and co-operation and Careless Talk on challenging extremism and promoting social responsibility, tolerance and respect.

Each programme supports specific curriculum subjects such as English, History and Science as well as a range of development areas within SMSC.

All bookings include a teacher preview where you can find out more about the programme and a wide range of online resources for follow up work in class.

Click on the image below to view the full programme brochure and to access the booking forms.

Copy of Language Alive brochure 2016-17 Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah-Jane
April 28th, 2017

Museum partnership projects

We’re really busy this term with some exciting projects across the West Midlands as well as our regular touring programme. Two of the projects are with West Midlands Museums Development on an initiative that encourages partnerships between arts organisations and museums.

We’re currently working with the Coffin Works Museum, a fascinating building in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham. We’re created a new site specific drama called Dead End Job that looks at the history of the Coffin Works, the people who worked there and how the Newman Brothers made a living out of dying. There will be a public performance on Saturday 6 May and two days of schools’ performances on the 08th and 09th May. Contact the Coffin Works for more information or to book on: 0121 233 4790 or have a look at their website.

We’re also working with the Market Hall Museum in Warwick to create a story trail around the building. We’ve already run a series of workshops with children from Westgate Primary school in Warwick, who have come up with some wild and wacky stories about the artefacts in the museum. The stories are now being scripted and recorded. Visitors will be able to listen to the stories on mobile phones as they explore the collections that include a giant deer skeleton, a stuffed bear and a swarm of bees. We’ll announce details of the launch event soon, but meanwhile, have a look at some of the pictures from the childrens’ storyboards.

 

Malcolm J
March 2nd, 2017

Performing Pedagogies project

Throughout this year, Juliet and me have been working as part of a group of drama workers on Performing Pedagogies, a teacher CPDL programme to support and develop the use of drama for writing in primary schools. The project is being jointly led by the RSA and Arts Connect with funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. We hear almost every day that participation in one of The Play House’s Language Alive programmes has a significant impact on the quality of writing children produce, so it’s been great to be able to share our practice more widely.

The project has involved teachers and drama workers participating in a series of training days and planning sessions to exchange practice. This term, we will be visiting schools to co-deliver and team teach in the planned scheme of lessons. The class teachers have each chosen a research question to explore as part of their CPDL.

The project will culminate in a performance in the summer term where pupils will visit The REP and see their writing brought to life by professional actors. The academic research will contribute to the debate around the effectiveness of the creative arts in education.

If you’d like to know more about the project or discuss how we can deliver CPDL in your school, please get in touch on: 0121 265 4425.

Malcolm

Juliet F
January 5th, 2017

Half term historical adventures

**Update** – Both adventure days at the Museum are now sold out. The schools tour is almost fully booked too but there are still a handful of dates left so please get in touch if you would like to book this programme.

 

Rehearsals for Buried History, our new tour for KS2 exploring Anglo Saxon history and the Staffordshire Hoard are going really well. We’re working in partnership with Birmingham Museum on the project and have put together a special package of half term activities at the museum.

We’ve put together an Anglo Saxon drama adventure day that will run on both Wednesday 22nd February and Thursday 23rd February from 11am – 2pm. It costs just £3 per person and you’ll need to bring a packed lunch.

Book online here or phone: 0121 348 8038.

The day features a performance of Buried History, a chance to see the hoard itself and interactive activities exploring Anglo Saxon life and culture developed by digital specialists C&T.

Travel back in time to the 7th century, when the powerful Kingdom of Mercia was engaged in battles over territory between Christians and Pagans. It’s during this volatile time that it’s believed that the Staffordshire Hoard was buried.

Discovered by chance in a field by a metal detectorist, the Hoard is the largest cache of Anglo Saxon gold and silver ever found, comprising thousands of beautiful and intricate objects. Despite years of painstaking research, how and why it came to be buried and who it belonged to remains a mystery. Can you solve this archaeological whodunnit?

Please get in touch on 0121 265 4425 if you would like to book the version we deliver in schools this term. There are only a handful of dates available.

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Sarah-Jane
December 11th, 2016

Bringing Anglo Saxon history to life

We’ve started work on our exciting new KS2 programme, Buried History.

The team have had a great time immersing themselves in the Anglo Saxon world. They’ve dug up some fascinating theories and unearthed some juicy mysteries which they will be exploring in schools. They’ve been to visit the spectacular Staffordshire Hoard at the Birmingham Museum, where children can dress as Anglo Saxons, listen to Old English in a Mead Hall and look through magnifying glasses at the extraordinary treasures. They’ve talked to inspiring historians to find out the human stories behind the mystery.

We’ve also been working with our partners C&T, who are creating an amazing digital learning resource, so that you can extend the life of the drama by interacting in the classroom with the characters that you’ve met live in the drama. As well as bringing Anglo Saxon history to life, Buried History will initiate debate about cultural and develop children’s skills as historians.

If you haven’t booked a session yet, there are limited spaces in our schedule. To find out more, please contact Gavin Medza at The Play House on: 0121 265 4425 or by email:  info@theplayhouse.org.uk

buried-history-title-image