Dundee Rep Theatre (Current)

Projects from 2009/10 + 2012, ongoing

Founded in 1939, Dundee Rep Theatre is a world class performing arts organisation that is rooted in making work for and with a diverse local audience. The Rep comprises Dundee Rep Ensemble, Scottish Dance Theatre, Dundee Rep Creative Learning and Visiting Companies.

Each year, the Creative Learning department works with an average of 27,000 people, of all ages, in schools, colleges, universities, communities and specialist services, offering participatory, educational, and therapeutic creative opportunities. We are the largest building-based Creative Learning team in Scotland and the only theatre in the whole of the UK to offer Dramatherapy Services for children, young people and adults.

For further information about our work, please contact the Creative Learning department on 01382 342660. 


EDUCATION, SKILLS AND TRAINING FACILITATOR

Since April 2012, I have been working on staff at Dundee Rep Theatre as their Education, Skills and Training Facilitator within the Creative Learning Department, both supporting and leading on a number of projects, including:

Participate
I lead five of our Youth Theatre groups for 3-5's, 5-7's, 8-10's and 11-13's. Over the year, each group has the opportunity both to develop their skills and to work towards a performance. I also regularly co-facilitate youth theatre workshops with young people from the National Autistic Society and am currently co-directing our adult Community Company in a production of Craig Taylor's One Million Tiny Plays About Britain.

GIFT
I manage our flagship Primary School project, GIFT - a brand new performance project for P4 - 7 classes which sees pupils becoming performers and teachers becoming directors as they work together to devise a new short 20-minute play for performance on the mainstage in May 2017. In addition, GIFT involves a comprehensive CLPL programme for teachers, enabling them to extend and enhance their creative teaching practice throughout the project, ensuring skills are left within school after the project ends. 

Explore
Following a period of research and development in 2013, I created our Explore project for Primary classes which supports learning in the classroom by providing bespoke topic-based drama workshops which are directly related to Curriculum for Excellence's Expressive Arts Experiences and Outcomes and also target other curricular areas such as Health and Wellbeing, Literacy across Learning and Social Studies. All workshops are tailored to suit individual classes, enabling pupils to raise personal achievement through a whole-class approach to learning. This project can be tailored to suit any class from P1 - 7 and is available over 4, 8, or 12 week blocks.

To see a short film about Explore, visit the Resources page.

Aspire
Aspire is an ambitious collaborative Arts, Education and Community project which we deliver in partnership with Dundee City Council's Education Department. Working with over 2000 pupils across 9 primary schools every year, the overall aim of Aspire is to achieve long term social transformation through the arts for children and the wider community in areas of Dundee experiencing economic and social inequalities.  

The Rep component of Aspire involves three local primary schools, a secondary school, two nurseries and the surrounding community. An example of our work on this was a huge outdoor celebration event, The Whitfield Giants, which involved delivering a range of workshops alongside a number of visiting artists, on drama, art, music and puppetry, involving weekly engagement with over 250 pupils and a range of community groups. The culmination of theses workshops saw the pupils and community participants parading through the streets with three 12-foot Giants and staging a site-specific performance in front of the local community centre.

Work Experience
I manage our Work Experience programme for S3 - 6 pupils which operates on a carousel system providing each young person with the opportunity to spend a morning and afternoon in a different department of the theatre over the course of a week. This creates a diverse timetable of activities, giving a broad overview of jobs available in the theatre. I also co-ordinate a range of flexible Work Experience opportunities for young people who may not cope with a typical placement or where a longer term placement may be more beneficial to their learning and development.

Enterprise
This unique annual skills development and training project provides up to 60 young people with an invaluable opportunity to experience the process of applying for a job - from application through to shortlisting, workshop and interview - and ultimately, for successful candidates, the chance to become an “employee” for two days in an intensive Work Experience project that involves all departments within the building. Throughout the project we support the young people in developing their skills for learning, life and work and the opportunity is available to all S4- 6 pupils who study at Dundee City Council secondary schools or who participate in our youth theatres or youth dance company but attend school elsewhere or are home-schooled. 

To see a short film about Enterprise 2016, created by the young Press, Marketing and Media team, visit the Resources page.

Technical Theatre Workshops + Design for Theatre Workshops
I co-ordinate our Technical Theatre Workshops for secondary schools which provide pupils with the opportunity to learn about theatre lighting, sound and stage management in a 2.5 hour hands-on practical workshop on the set of our current Ensemble production. Towards the end of the workshop, the pupils stage a short extract from the play by working in teams to direct each other, perform the script, place the props and operate the equipment. In addition, I work alongside our in-house Scenic Artist to deliver design workshops for schools pupils, students, graduates and the general public.

I also deliver a range of workshops and resources connected to our in-house productions by our Ensemble as well as bespoke workshops and backstage tours for school and community groups.


DRAMA PRACTITIONER
For P4 - 7 pupils

Spark was a UK-wide education project, funded by Provident Financial, which enabled a number of arts organisations to deliver a range of participatory arts projects for children and young people. The aim of Dundee Rep's Spark project was to creatively engage with pupils and teachers in schools situated in difficult socio-economic locations, working with them to enhance and improve levels of confidence, teamwork and communication. I worked on the project on a freelance basis between November 2009 and February 2010.

The theme for Spark 2010 was Scottish myths and legends, and over a period of six-weeks the artistic team worked with classes from three local primary schools, creating twelve mini-performances.

The four classes that I worked with used drama and Scottish song to explore tales about the mysterious finfolk of Orkney. They invented characters, physicalised stories, wrote lyrics, discovered rhythms, and learned original three-part songs, with support from me, musician Sarah Harrop and their class teachers.

Their performances involved boat rides, island battles, gold coins, mermaid beautifying, beached whales and even a couple of sea anenomes! They were called:

A Close Tongue Keeps a Safe Head / Primary 4 & Primary 5
The Eynhallow Riddle / Primary 5/6
The Freeing of Eynhallow / Primary 7

The project culminated with a celebratory sharing event on the Rep's mainstage, where all the participating schools had the chance to see each other's work. My classes also had the opportunity the day before to share their work in school with the younger classes and an invited audience of parents, giving them a brilliant confidence boost before the main event.

Over 300 P4 - 7 pupils from across Dundee took part in the Celebration event and they all had a fantastic time sharing their creativity with each other. When asked what they had been learning about, one of the quietest P4 girls I worked with bravely shouted out to the whole theatre, "We've been learning not to be shy!"