Inspiring the Future of Theatre

Inspiring the Future of Theatre

UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre (SOLT) have embarked on a wide-reaching new industry initiative in partnership with Inspiring the Future, part of the charity Education and Employers. 

Building on SOLT and UK Theatre’s recent Workforce Review, Inspiring the Future of Theatre aims to showcase the range of careers available in theatre to young people, and encourage and strengthen connections between schools and their local theatres.

Theatre and the performing arts are part of the creative industries, which are worth £92bn, and are growing at twice the rate of the economy. UK Theatre and SOLT believe that if the sector is to continue to thrive, it must draw on the talent base, and build audiences, from all areas of society.   

To achieve this ambitious project, SOLT, UK Theatre and Education and Employers have launched a drive to recruit industry ambassadors who will be matched with schools across the UK, taking part in events to lay the groundwork for young people to make informed and ambitious career decisions. 

UK Theatre and SOLT are aiming to sign up 1000 Ambassadors to volunteer to visit a school to tell young people all about a career in the theatre.

This means you! #Inspiringfuturetheatre is an open invitation to everyone at every stage of their career, from all over the country and in all career paths to become an Ambassador.   

The aim is to tell young people about the broad range of theatre careers available to them and build a strong network between ambassadors, schools and theatres.  There is more information in the FAQs section below.

If you’ve signed up already, thank you! We have put together a guidance pack containing various resources, advice and hints and tips for any school visits you are invited to.

If you haven’t signed up already...
Sign up here to be an Ambassador

 Inspiring the Future of Theatre launch event, Northstead Community Primary School, Scarborough. Photo: Pete Byrne Photography
Inspiring the Future of Theatre launch event, Northstead Community Primary School, Scarborough. Photo: Pete Byrne Photography
Inspiring Future Theatre - Scarborough Event - Photo by UK Theatre

Inspiring the Future of Theatre was officially launched on 11 July 2018 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. More information can be found in our press release.      

#InspiringFutureTheatre Day was also an opportunity for organisations and individuals in the theatre industry across the UK to highlight the amazing work they do to engage young people and schools in your community. Many of the country’s theatres, arts organisations and industry professionals shared their own inspirations, education work and career success stories.  Check out some of the  social media highlights from the day here.

 

The event on 11 July 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.

Sign up here to be an Ambassador

Inspiring the Future of Theatre event, Scarborough: Stephen Freeman,  Chief Executive of the Stephen Joseph Theatre with pupils at Northstead Community Primary School,. Photo: Pete Byrne Photography
Inspiring the Future of Theatre: Stephen Freeman, Chief Executive of Stephen Joseph Theatre, with pupils at Northstead Community Primary School, Scarborough. Photo: Pete Byrne Photography

What is Inspiring the Future of Theatre?

Inspiring the Future of Theatre is a partnership with Education and Employers, Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre. Building on SOLT and UK Theatre’s recent Workforce Review, it aims to

  • showcase the range of careers available in theatre to young people, to build the future workforce
  • encourage and strengthen connections between schools and their local theatres
  • build audiences of the future

Theatre and the performing arts are part of the creative industries, which are worth £92bn and are growing at twice the rate of the economy. We believe that if the sector is to continue to thrive, it must draw on the talent base, and build audiences, from all areas of society. That’s where you come in.


Who is Inspiring the Future of Theatre run by?

Inspiring the Future of Theatre is a partnership with the charity Education and Employers, and two theatre membership bodies Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre.

  

How does it work?

There are three parts to this project:

a) Individual Ambassador engagements: We have launched a drive to recruit 1000 theatre industry Ambassadors. Once you've signed up, you can respond to invitations from local schools to take part in events to lay the groundwork for young people to make informed and ambitious career decisions. Ambassadors are asked to give up their time on a voluntary basis.
b) 15 bespoke events: In addition to recruiting 1000 individual Ambassadors, UK Theatre and SOLT are working with 15 theatres across the UK to go in to 15 primary schools to deliver larger group events. We have chosen areas prioritised for social mobility and cultural educational development, as well as holding events Scotland, Wales and London.
c) #InspiringFutureTheatre day: 11 July 2018 was #InspiringFutureTheatre Day. Many of the country's theatres, arts organisations and industry professionals shared their own inspirations, education work and career success stories. Check out some of the  social media highlights from the day here.


I want to be an Ambassador. Do I need any qualifications? Do I need to be in a senior role? Do I need to have done something like this before?

Being an Ambassador is open invitation to absolutely everyone in the theatre industry at every stage of their career, from all over the country and in all career paths. We'd love to have you!

The aim is to tell young people about the broad range of theatre careers available to them and build a strong network between ambassadors, schools and theatres.

If you are invited to an engagement, we have a guidance pack that will help you plan your session. We are also always happy to answer any questions you may have. Please email annie@soltukt.co.uk or harriet@soltukt.co.uk.

    

What age children will I be working with?

If you sign up as an individual Ambassador, you could be invited by any school or college, for any age range. We are working with primary schools for the 15 bespoke events SOLT and UK Theatre are organising directly. We are doing this because of Primary Future’s research, and also because for the first time the Government, as part of their Careers Strategy, are trialling careers activities in primary schools.

  

How am I matched with a school?

Once you have signed up to be an Ambassador, your details are logged on Inspiring the Future’s volunteer database. Schools registered with Inspiring the Future can then go onto they system and search for Ambassadors in their area. If they feel you are a good match, they will contact you to invite you to attend an event they are holding.

You can also search for opportunities yourself, by logging in to the Inspiring the Future website and selecting ‘Manage Opportunities’.

 

Where and when will I be needed as an Ambassador?

You will be invited to events schools are hosting as and when they occur, throughout the academic year. If you can’t attend, that’s not a problem, you can decline the invitation.

You can also search for upcoming opportunities yourself, by logging in to the Inspiring the Future website and selecting ‘Manage Opportunities’.

 

Do I need to be DBS checked to be an Ambassador?

You do not need to be DBS checked as an Ambassador. However, please ensure that you are never alone with a student - this is a legal requirement.


I am having difficulties with the sign up process - what do I do?

The Inspiring the Future website is optimised for Google Chrome, so please make sure you are using this browser. If you are using Google Chrome but are still having issues, please call the Education and Employers team on 0207 566 4880.


I have signed up to be an Ambassador – what happens next?

You will be contacted by a school with an invitation to participate in an event. The type of event will vary depending on the school and could be anything from a school assembly to a careers fair. You may be contacted by more than one school.

Please be aware that you may not be contacted by a school immediately, particularly around school holidays. Please be patient – we all know how busy teachers are!

If you are available, you can accept the invitation and from then on will then be in direct contact with the school.

 

I’ve been invited into a school. What do I need to do to prepare?

The school may be very specific about what they want from you - they may want you to fit into an existing event they have created. Alternatively, you might have flexibility to creatively plan your session.

If you do have flexibility and would like some inspiration, we have created a guidance pack to provide you with a variety of resources and practical ideas. Feel free to adapt as is useful to you. It also contains basic advice and guidance on delivery to young people.

Please note that your session may be quite short! Some Ambassadors have just a few minutes to talk as part of an assembly or event, others have longer sessions.


I am a teacher / governor - how can I get my school or college involved?

Register your school or college on the Inspiring the Future platform and give some details about what kind of activities you'd like to do in your school.


I am a teacher and we don’t have a theatre in my area, but would love to take part – what should we do?

We are aware that not every town or city has a local theatre, and we wouldn’t want this to be a barrier to your taking part. Please email Annie to discuss what might be possible.


I am a parent / carer of a child who attended an Inspiring the Future of Theatre event and are now interested in working in theatre – where can we look for more information?

There are a number of resources that could help. These include:


Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any other questions. You can email Annie or Harriet.

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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.