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Project information

Making A Dramatic Difference

We firmly believe in the power of theatre! In response to a lack of current provision for adults, we will offer weekly drama sessions at The REP and play-reading workshops in libraries across Birmingham. Bursaries will allow us to welcome participants who wouldn't otherwise be able to take part.

January 2019 - January 2020

Charity information: Birmingham Repertory Theatre Limited

Birmingham Repertory Theatre Limited logo
  • Need


    Access to the arts can be transformational. However, despite the documented benefits there is a lack of suitable provision, especially for adults. In recent years, due to decreasing arts subsidy, funders and organisations have focused on specific groups and provision has largely catered for children, young people and elders. Activities are often short term or one-off. This can be a significant issue for vulnerable participants who benefit from stability and can also limit the impact of projects.


    For many the cost of taking part in arts activities is a recurring barrier. By offering bursaries we will enable these individuals to access our activities. Many communities in Birmingham have a low level of cultural engagement. Our inclusive project will help remove boundaries and bring together a diverse group of participants. We will offer the opportunity for sustained engagement, allowing participants to forge lasting friendships, grow in confidence over time and develop valuable new skills.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    1. Establish an adult drama group at The REP


    » We will employ an experienced facilitator to deliver weekly drama sessions at The REP and provide a welcoming home for the group in our building.
    » We will actively promote the activity in order to recruit participants and will offer the opportunity to individuals from previous projects.

    What success will look like

    1. Success will be the delivery of weekly sessions with a good level of attendance and retention.

    Aim 2

    2. Set up play-reading activities in local libraries


    » We will liaise with local libraries to arrange monthly play-reading sessions with an experienced facilitator.
    » We will work closely with the libraries and our wider community networks to promote the activity and recruit participants.

    What success will look like

    2. Success will be welcoming repeat participants to a series of play-reading sessions in a minimum of 3 local libraries during the year

    Aim 3

    3. Reach new individuals and communities


    » We will liaise with our community partners, REP staff and artists to identify and recruit potential participants.
    » We will identify communities with low cultural engagement where provision would be of the greatest benefit.

    What success will look like

    3. Success will be recruiting participants with no previous history of engagement with The REP and welcoming new audiences to our productions.

    Aim 4

    4. Offer activities free of charge


    » Where we have identified participants who are unable to pay an annual fee to participate in our drama group, we will offer bursary places.
    » We will ensure the play-reading activities in libraries are all free to attend and fully accessible.

    What success will look like

    4. Success will be demonstrated by securing sufficient funds to offer a minimum of 15 adult drama bursaries, allowing participants to take part free of charge.

    Aim 5

    5. Develop and embed a wider adult engagement offer at The REP.


    » We will monitor the success of these activities in order to inform our strategy for wider adult and community engagement
    » We will endeavour to sustain engagement with current and past community participants by providing a new and continued pathway into the organisation.

    What success will look like

    5. Success will be reflected in the development of a long-term strategy for adult and community engagement, which leverages additional funding to deliver sustainable activities.

  • Impact


    For many, this project will be a first introduction to The REP and to theatre. It will have lasting benefits such as increased confidence and ignite a wider interest in the arts. Participants will raise awareness of The REP amongst their families and communities, helping to develop new audiences for arts organisations in the City. We will establish vital links with new community partners and through the creation of our first adult drama group, firmly embed adult participation into The REP.


    With any project of this nature, there is a risk of a low level of engagement and poor attendance, however we are confident there is an appetite for this activity. In order to mitigate this risk, we will constantly review the marketing activity to promote the drama group and play-reading sessions and will monitor attendance and retention of participants. Our expert facilitators will ensure that participants feel valued and comfortable, thus encouraging them to continue taking part.


    We will send donors regular updates including via our supporter’s newsletter. Our updates will share successes and feature testimonials from participants. We will also invite donors to attend performances by our adult drama group, enabling them to witness first hand the outcome of their support.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £12,031

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,883 Play-reading workshops Delivery of 11 monthly play-reading sessions
      £110 Script printing Printing scripts for play-reading sessions
      £6,288 Adult Drama Sessions Delivery of 39 weekly drama sessions
      £600 Marketing Marketing and promotion of activities
      £750 Theatre tickets Contribution towards theatre tickets for adult group
      £900 Project Coordination Contribution to REP staff costs to deliver the project
      £1,500 Performance Contribution to adult drama group performance at The REP
  • Background


    The adult drama group will be housed at The REP. Our iconic home has 3 theatres and numerous rehearsal spaces. It is a thriving hub for the community and a vibrant and creative venue. Participants will be immersed in the unique atmosphere and welcomed into a busy producing theatre. Our play-reading sessions will take place in the heart of the community within local libraries. These settings will provide a welcoming and familiar environment, removing any apprehension or barriers to engagement.


    The beneficiaries of our project will be local adults many of whom would otherwise have little or no opportunity to engage with the arts. The project will also provide a natural progression for people who have previously participated in REP activities such as youth projects, community productions and one-off workshops. The project will also benefit vulnerable and marginalised adults and provide them with a safe space in which to find their voice, be heard and flourish.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The REP is renowned for the quality and diversity of its activities. Over the past 3 years we delivered a pioneering outreach project called Furnace, placing artists in hubs across Birmingham where they created unique pieces of theatre with and by the local community. We staged large productions, the most recent featuring 100 community performers. We are passionate about developing our work with adults and have an existing cohort of participants keen to continue their relationship with The REP.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lauren Fallon

    As our highly experienced Learning and Participation Manager, Lauren will ensure the project is delivered successfully and within budget.

    Rachel Cranny

    Our Head of Fundraising will communicate with donors, raise awareness of the impact of the project and seek further funding for adult provision.


£175 will provide an adult drama bursary, allowing a participant to take part for a year.

“The value of such projects resides not in their potential to inspire people to join an already over-crowded profession or create more theatre makers, but the chance that they give people of all ages to learn new skills and discover and explore their own creativity.”

Lyn Gardner - Article for The Stage, June 2017