- Ground-breaking initiative will introduce children to a diverse range of theatre careers
- Inspiring the Future of Theatre aims to foster relationships between schools and theatres
- Drive to recruit 1000 theatre industry ambassadors to go into schools
- Campaign launch on 11 July, with nationwide #InspiringFutureTheatre campaign to celebrate theatres’ existing educational and career work
UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre (SOLT) today unveil full details of 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 will aim 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 are launching 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.
SOLT President Kenny Wax started the call for ambassadors at this year’s Olivier Awards on 8 April:
‘Our goal is to sign up 1000 Ambassadors from across the industry, to include technicians, designers, actors, creatives and administrators – with particular emphasis on roles behind the curtain – to commit to visit a local school once a year to talk about what they do – to open the eyes of children and inspire them to consider a role in the theatre.’
Inspiring the Future of Theatre will be officially launched on 11 July with events at schools around the country. As part of a broader celebration of the fantastic educational and careers work already taking place in the theatre industry, theatres will be encouraged to use the social media hashtag #InspiringFutureTheatre on 11 July to promote their own work towards closing skills gaps and broadening access to arts and cultural education.
The campaign will continue throughout the year with Ambassadors matched to activities and events at local schools.
Cassie Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, said:
‘Part of UK Theatre and SOLT’s core mission is to engage as many people as possible, and from all areas of our society, as audiences and in the theatre workforce. We believe that reaching people at school age will help shape their understanding of theatre and encourage the next generation of theatre audiences and workers. We’re excited to partner with Education and Employers on Inspiring the Future of Theatre.’
Nick Chambers, CEO of Education and Employers, said:
‘We are delighted to be working with UK Theatre and SOLT to excite and motivate young people about the huge range of careers available in the theatre industry. Through Inspiring the Future’s national online platform, experienced professionals who have agreed to give up their time on voluntary basis can easily be connected to primary and secondary schools and colleges to chat informally to young people about what inspired them to follow a career in the theatre industry and how the educational route they chose helped them to achieve it.’
Further details of the campaign, the ambassador recruitment drive and the 11 July press launch event will be announced soon.