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.
**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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are pleased to announce that our Language Alive foundation and primary tours for 2016/17 are now available to book.
Some of our most popular tours are making a return, such as our early years programmes Roll Up! Roll Up! and Things That Go Bump along with Rainforest Symphony (KS1), and Hansel & Gretel and Stargazing for KS2.
New programmes for 2016/17 include The Greeks and Buried History. In The Greeks, children will explore the significance of theatre in Ancient Greece and perform alongside Niko as the chorus in the play. Buried History is being developed in partnership with Birmingham Museum, home to part of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest cache of Anglo Saxon gold ever found.
Each programme supports specific curriculum subjects such as English, History and Science as well as a range of development areas within SMSC such as Citizenship.
All bookings include a teacher preview, to find out more about the programme, and a wide range of online resources for use in class.
Click on the image below to view the full programme brochure and to access the booking forms.
First Stages at the REP
We regularly present versions of our touring programmes in the Door as part of the REP’s theatre for families programme, First Stages. It’s been a great opportunity for us to take our work to a wider audience outside of schools.
Next up is Hansel and Gretel on 21st May at 11.30am and 2pm.
Join Tattershawl, an eccentric traveller guide who will take you on a journey to unexpected destinations and dark secrets. This exciting reworking of the children’s classic uses our trademark participatory approach where the children will take the role of different characters from within the story, eventually helping to make a decision that pushes sibling rivalry to its limits.
Tickets for Hansel and Gretel are selling fast so get online to book here
On September 17th, Malcolm will be appearing in Uncle’s Story Shop. As part of the REP’s new autumn programme, tickets aren’t available yet, so follow us on Facebook or Twitter get get updates when they go on sale.
The Play House is 30 years old this year we’d like you to join in the birthday celebrations.
There will be lots of different things happening over the next months to mark this auspicious occasion. The first is that you’ll start notice a few changes around the place over the next few weeks as we unveil our logo and a fresh new look to the website – we hope you like it.
We couldn’t have achieved what we have over the years without the hard work and inspirational contributions of many, many people. So, to say thank you, we’ll be having a birthday party in June which we’ll be sending out invitations for shortly.
We’re putting together a gallery of images from over the years for the website, so if you have any you’d like to share, please email them in. Please remember that if there are children in the images, you need permission from parents/guardians before we can include them.
The Play House is nothing without the children we work with so we’re asking schools to make birthday cards letting us know what they value about our work. We’ll be putting a selection on the website.
There will be more announcements over the next few weeks so watch this space or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.
So far this academic year has been very busy. It started with ‘The Little Match Girl‘, which toured through the Autumn term as well as ‘No Kidding‘ in run up to anti-bullying week. Last term was full of energy, laughter and learning experiences.
This term, Malcolm and I have been in rehearsals for ‘Thirst For Knowledge‘ all of January and now we’re off on the road touring to schools all across the area. ‘Thirst For Knowledge‘ is a Science and Geography piece for years five and six around the scientific and ethical responsibilities of explorers of the 19th Century.
Creating a new programme for the company has been incredibly interesting as it’s let me see the way in which The Play House create work. We tried lots of new, fun, ideas and really wrestled with some very large philosophical questions in its creation to really make this piece feel as though we were in the South American rainforest!
We are currently receiving great feedback from both students and teachers alike about the programme and are continuing the tour of this programme until the end of March. We are also performing at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in the spring half term as well as Think Tank during science week on the week commencing 29th February.
We will be back out in schools next week and as usual there’s lots to do before we depart on our next expedition!
To book Thirst for Knowledge for your school, please call us on: 0121 265 4425
Further information about the public performances at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Thinktank schools sessions during Science week can be found here.
We’ve a busy start to the new year and the new term with four tours in rehearsal.
Malcolm and Rory are working with Director Geoff Readman to devise our new programme for KS2, Thirst for Knowledge. Inspired by the journeys of Prussian explorer and scientist Baron Alexander von Humboldt, it will explore a range of science, geography and environmental themes through thrilling tales of discovery. Juliet is working on Fit For A King for KS1 and Simon is busy with our ever popular version of Little Red Hen, using the familiar story to explore numeracy and bake a loaf of lovely fresh bread.
We also have a new team working on Tapestry, a programme for 13 – 18 year olds that addresses violent extremism. We have some availability left for March for this – please contact the office if you’re interested in booking.
Further information about all the above tours can be found in the Current Projects section on the homepage.
In other news…
It’s our 30th anniversary this year and we are planning a celebration. Keep an eye on our blog for further details.
It’s the start of the new school year and we’re all really busy at The Play House getting ready for this term’s tours.
Juliet is working on a new programme, Rummage that was developed in partnership with our friends at Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah in Leeds that looks at themes of recycling and the environment. Simon is working on Spinning a Yarn, a retelling of the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes that incorporates an exciting practical weaving activity. Malcolm is busy with The Little Match Girl, where Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale is relocated to Victorian Birmingham to look at the plight of child workers.
There’s still time to book – check out the new programme here or call the office on: 0121 265 4425 to discuss available dates.
As well as a new programme, we have two new interns working with us, Julie Marley and Rory McGhie who have just graduated from Birmingham School of Acting’s Applied Theatre course. They’re really looking forward to getting out into schools and we wish them both all the best.
So my time at The Play House is nearly at an end! I have been the intern here since August 2014 and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time.
I have been to the depths of the rainforest, back in time to meet Celts and Romans and listened to stories Under the Stars as we transformed The Door at the Birmingham REP. In all of the projects I’ve been involved in, I’ve helped to create and devise, which has helped develop my practise both as a performer and facilitator.
Malcolm, Juliet, Simon, Gavin and Sarah Jane have all been wonderful to work with, each teaching valuable lessons in both the creative and practical sides of touring theatre programmes around schools.
Although I will be moving away from Birmingham, this internship has confirmed that this is area I would like to continue working in. I have seen time and time again whilst at The Play House the positive impact that these performances have on both the children and adults alike.
I will be sad to leave, but I have had lots of fun. I look forward to putting into practise all that I have learnt in my time at The Play House.