Discover The Dramatic Arts

Case Studies

Discover the Dramatic Arts was an immersive programme especially created by DANCOP for care-experienced learners and delivered in partnership with Derby Theatre. The intensive programme ran for two months, with many of the commitments taking place outside school time. The programme involved shadowing a production of Robin Hood enabling learners to experience a range of roles in the theatre such as stage technician, director and actor.

The Project

DANCOP led workshops on educational pathways, contextualising the knowledge from creative industry professionals. One of the highlights of the project was the learners’ co-creation of a “curtain raiser” performed live at Derby Theatre. Working in partnership with Catharsis, a creative arts therapist company who support young people’s mental health through creative methods, this process enabled learners to focus on their personal development, especially self-confidence, through team-based work. This aspect was an invaluable part of the programme for these care-experienced young people. Derby Theatre is continuing working with the group through their Plus One project. Further opportunities through creative mentoring have also enabled two learners to work with professional mentors in choreography and textiles, with the latter working with Head of Costume at Derby Theatre. Finally, one of the young people has landed the lead role in Derby Theatre’s Brassed Off production – we could not be more delighted.

Thank you to the schools involved; The Bemrose School, Da Vinci Academy, Allestree Woodlands School, Saint Benedict Catholic Academy, Littleover Community School, Murray Park Community School, Landau Forte College, West Park School, and George Spencer Academy.


Learner Feedback

“I’ve just got a place at Derby College”

“I want to study at Derby University now you’ve shown it to me”

“This group has become like another family”

Teacher Feedback

“I wanted to say X has loved the experience and it has made her want to consider a future pathway in theatre/arts, it has also built her confidence massively!”

“X has been buzzing about it every time I have spoken to him, I think it will do wonders for his confidence and aspirations, he’s such a lovely boy and I’m so pleased he has had this chance”

“She is absolutely loving it and we hope it can lead to more opportunities for X”

Next Steps

DANCOP has shared this programme with the Uni Connect Practitioners Group, and at recent FACE and NERUPI conferences. Nottingham Playhouse’s Director of Participation was so impressed with the Discover the Dramatic Arts model, DANCOP is now working in collaboration with the Playhouse on “The Cinderella Project” for care-experienced young people in Nottinghamshire.