a theater project sponsored by Rotary Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland
The Shakespeare Schools Foundation is gearing up to work with Rotary clubs later this autumn as part of its Shakespeare Schools' Festival.
The SSF is a cultural education charity which uses the unique power of the Bard to transform lives. It helps young people to realise that the whole world is their stage. This autumn, a new generation will discover that by performing Shakespeare on a professional stage, they can gain the confidence to aspire and achieve in any walk of life.
Rotary clubs [in Great Britain and Ireland] are being invited to forge links with schools – primary, secondary and special schools - which will be given the training and resources to direct their students in a 30 minute play at their local theatre.
Rotary’s partnership with SSF has helped it to reach over a quarter of a million young people through its core project, the Shakespeare Schools Festival. Months of preparation culminate in exhilarating performance evenings in professional theatres from Belfast to Bournemouth, Brighton to Bolton. Clubs have donated time to support the festival, from line-learning help, sharing expertise in stage management and direction, as well as providing key funding towards the registration fee.
Rotarian Joan Greening, a member of the Rotary Club of Elthorne-Hillingdon, has shared her expertise as a writer and theatre director by coordinating the partnership, as well as directing her own school’s performances. In 2015, Joan’s cast, which consisted of Interact members, performed Twelfth Night at the 600-seat Beck Theatre in Hayes.
Joan said: “All the adults working on the production were volunteers and we all got a great deal out of it. We were so proud of our cast on the performance day not only because they were superb, but because of the way they behaved. It gives students confidence, makes them self-reliant and encourages them to be team players.”
THE SHAKESPHERE SCHOOLS FOUNDATION FACT: In 2016, 27,550 young people from 1,102 schools performed over 315 nights in 131 theatres, watched by 68,000 people.