When I created Theatre Workout in 2006, I thought it would only give me enough work to do between acting jobs. I had no idea it would take over my life and be as rewarding, entertaining, fun, or generate such amazing opportunities to work with people I had no chance of working with before!
In March 2018, celebrating 12 years of Theatre Workout with our busiest March ever (we ran workshops for over 1000 students - in two continents), it was the ideal opportunity to step back, acknowledge what we've achieved, and realise our future potential over the next 12 years!
With 35 West End show partnerships under our belt, bespoke workshops created for thousands of students, and a global network of agents selling our workshops around the world, Theatre Workout has become the centre for education in London's West End!
It is alarming to me that the majority of our school groups are not drama groups. Most of them have done little, if any, drama at school before.
About 50% of our groups are international, and about a third of them speak English as a second language, so some degree, so it has become clear there are many reasons why schools choose to book one of our bespoke workshops:
They want to expand the curriculum offered at school to include drama and theatre in student's lives
They want to explore the content of a show in more detail
To gain a performer's perspective on plays, particularly by Shakespeare, as part of English Literature courses
To boost confidence and communication skills
To improve their English
Or, just to have a bit of fun
Whatever a group's reason for including a workshop in their theatre trip, we have a responsibility to support teachers with resources which continue the lessons learned in our workshop when back in the classroom, provide further advice and guidance to students, and to enable the West End theatre industry to engage, inspire, and educate school and youth audiences.
Collaborating with partners has helped Theatre Workout get to where it is today. Long may we continue this path, working closely with schools, shows, and others to maximise every student's theatre experience, nurturing a love for theatre.
So, here are a few of my personal goals for Theatre Workout over the next few years:
To expand our network of show and travel trade partners
To develop new resources for students, teachers, and shows
To double the number of educational workshops we run within the next five years
To build our summer school programme
To launch a network of local stage schools with programmes of regular, weekly drama classes
Everyone who works for Theatre Workout has had their lives changed at some point by taking part in a dance or drama class. Our overriding goal is therefore to give every child that same, potentially life-changing, experience we've all been privileged to have ourselves.
So, what are you waiting for? #LetsPlay!