Inspiring the Future of Theatre, the initiative to showcase the range of careers available in theatre to young people, officially launched yesterday (11 July) with an event at Northstead Community Primary School in Scarborough and a social media campaign which trended all day in the UK.
150 Year 6 pupils from Northstead Community Primary School and two surrounding schools (Overdale and St Peters) came together for a morning of activities, panel sessions and discussions led by staff from the nearby Stephen Joseph Theatre, as well as representatives from Hull Truck Theatre, Beach Hut Theatre, Northern Ballet and Qdos Entertainment – all based in the region.
A variety of theatre jobs were represented at the event, ranging from Chief Electrician and Theatre Designer to Producer and Box Office Manager. Children got the chance to guess the theatre employees’ jobs via a ‘What’s my Line?’ Q&A session, and learn more about the different roles during a ‘speed networking’ activity.
Stephen Freeman, Chief Executive of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, said: “There is a huge range of careers in theatre besides acting: engineers, electricians, marketers, designers, accountants and so many more. It’s really important to show these opportunities to young people as they’re starting to formulate ideas about the world, and events like this one in Scarborough are vital for signposting careers in the creative arts as realistic and attainable possibilities.”
Shaun Hopper, Deputy Head of Northstead Community Primary School, said: “Inspiring young people onto career paths they might not have thought possible and providing them with access to a wide range of volunteers from the world of work helps them to see that every lesson and every day of school is a building block to success.”
This was the first of 15 flagship Inspiring the Future of Theatre events, focusing on areas of the UK prioritised for social mobility and cultural development. The theatres participating in future events with schools include Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Hastings White Rock Theatre, Staffordshire’s New Vic, Cast in Doncaster, Peterborough’s Key Theatre, Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre, Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre and Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre – with more to be announced in different regions of the UK.
A social media campaign also took place on 11 July, with #InspiringFutureTheatre one of the top UK Twitter trends as many of the country’s theatres, arts organisations and industry professionals shared their own inspirations, education work and career success stories.
Inspiring the Future of Theatre is a partnership between Society of London Theatre (SOLT), UK Theatre and Inspiring the Future (part of the charity Education and Employers), aiming to nurture new generations of theatre-makers and audiences from school age, and connecting schools with their local theatres to help achieve this.
Over 700 professionals from all areas of the industry have already signed up to be Inspiring the Future of Theatre ambassadors, and the drive to recruit more ambassadors continues. Theatre professionals who would like to sign up can visit the Inspiring the Future website.
You can also visit our Inspiring Future Theatre page for more information and resources, and to sign up to be an #InspiringFutureTheatre ambassador.