Wimbledon Pupils To Tread The Boards

Theatre project for local youngsters

Pupils and teachers from local primary schools are being given the chance to take to the stage at Wimbledon's Polka Theatre from July 10-12.

They will be bringing the work of some of the country's leading playwrights - Phil Porter, Dipo Agboluaje, Brendan Murray and Dan Jamieson - to life on stage as part of the Playhouse project.

Since 2005, Polka Theatre in partnership with York Theatre Royal and Theatre Royal Plymouth has run the Playhouse project - a unique creative learning and teacher development project that gives schools the opportunity to work directly with some of Britain’s top playwrights and theatre artists across the country.

Polka Theatre has recruited six teachers from Merton Park Primary, Bond Primary in Mitcham, Hillcross in Morden, Chesterton (Wandsworth), Vauxhall Primary (Lambeth) and Rotherhithe Primary (Southwark).

The three theatres involved have worked together each year to commission leading playwrights to write short plays specifically for large casts of young people aged 8 to 11 to perform. The teachers attended a week-long retreat in February with professional practitioners from each theatre, the writers and fellow teachers from York and Plymouth.

After honing their directing skills and exploring the scripts at the retreat, the teachers then embark on their rehearsal process supported by professional practitioners who make visits to the school and also assist the teachers with practical and technical aspects of their production.

Teacher Debs Hastings of Merton Park Primary School said: "This is my first year as a teacher involved in the Playhouse project. I was introduced to the most amazing plays and some really great professionals.

"My children were just as passionate about the script when we got back to school and now we have auditioned and are all looking forward to starting rehearsals and really getting into role."

  • The Playhouse Festival takes place in Polka's Main Theatre from July 10-12. The Polka Theatre will be recruiting for Playhouse 2014 at the end of this year. For more information about the project and how your school can take part, please contact Janna on 020 8545 8326 or email Janna@polkatheatre.com.

June 28, 2013

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Pictured above is the Playhouse 2012 project