Project information

Theatre for Kids

Christmas is a complicated time for many young people and this year we will help beat the January blues for those in Birmingham. We will open our doors to at least 250 young people who would never usually be able to visit The REP to go on a new adventure and enjoy the magic of theatre.

January 2016 - March 2016

Charity information: Birmingham Repertory Theatre Limited

Birmingham Repertory Theatre Limited logo
  • Need


    In Birmingham, 35% of children are eligible for free school meals (twice the national average) and 7,200 young people have learning disabilities. Many of these young people rarely have a chance to be inspired by cultural outings or have positive, educational influences outside of their everyday lives. The cost of theatre, even with discounts, and the lack of cultural provision for young people with learning disabilities are common barriers to participation.


    Our project will spread Christmas cheer by providing free theatrical outings for 250 young people who experience disadvantage or learning disabilities from local Birmingham schools. The REP will hold a specially tailored 'relaxed' performance for young people with learning disabilities. The project will include free curriculum based teaching resources to follow up the young people's visit to the theatre in order to make their special trip even more memorable and to support their education.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    250 young people who experience disadvantage or learning disabilities to see The REP Christmas show


    » Use existing relationships, and build new relationships, with schools in deprived areas and special schools to benefit young people most in need
    » Hold a relaxed performance suitable for young people with learning disabilities

    To have built on relationships with at least 4 schools in Birmingham with a high intake of free school meal pupils and at least 1 special school.

    Aim 2

    To increase the confidence and wellbeing of 250 young people through theatre


    » Create a sociable and enjoyable theatre experience tailored to the children's needs
    » The young people to see a family friendly show, and undertaking a child friendly talk tour to introduce them to theatre, a new positive experience

    250 young people to feel more confident and positive from a theatre experience at The REP, we will demonstrate this through questionnaires.

    Aim 3

    To provide an educational opportunity for local schools to accompany the trip and support learning


    » Create an accessible online teaching resource pack

    The schools involved to engage with The REP's teaching resources after the theatre trip and taking up the offer for other education opportunities that we offer for their students.

  • Impact


    Success will be the young people treasuring the memory of visiting The REP for years to come. The project will introduce 250 young people to The REP's activities, providing inclusive, positive and inspiring cultural opportunities to participate. For example, they will be told about opportunities such as the chance to join our youth theatres for a whole year on our bursary scheme. We will continue to work closely with the local schools involved to provide more beneficiary activities.


    Difficulties in recruiting disadvantaged young people to participate in the project: We have dealt with this by already writing to schools to gain support from teachers and parents for a theatre trip.

    Challenges with following up with the schools after the project and being able to provide them with teaching materials: We have extensive experience with building relationships with teachers and schools and successfully create over 5 teaching resource packs a year.


    Donors to this project will receive an email report about the activities with case studies and photos, and updates on successes and challenges. We will keep in regular email contact with the donors about our charitable activities and the ongoing journeys of the young people involved for a year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £12,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £7,200 Theatre tickets Over 300 theatre tickets for 250 young people and their teachers
      £2,000 Education resources 250 young people to have a special tour and talk and online teaching resource pack
      £2,800 Travel subsidy Support for school travel costs to theatre

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Local Business £500 Conditional
  • Background


    Birmingham, West Midlands has the youngest population of any European city and according to the national deprivation indices 40% of Birmingham's population live in areas described as the most deprived 10% of England. The REP has been at the heart of Birmingham's diverse communities for over a century and has made theatre accessible through pioneering schemes such as REP's Children. This project gave all babies born in a particular week in Birmingham hospitals a lifetime membership to the theatre


    Young people aged 6-16 from primary and special schools based in Birmingham city centre and the Erdington district. These areas have particularly high levels of deprivation. Many of the young people involved will have also never visited the theatre before, due to lack of cultural provision for people with learning disabilities and freely accessible cultural experiences. This project will help expand on The REP’s work in these areas to benefit more young people.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The REP creates 25 world class shows every year, but we don't just create theatre. The REP works with diverse communities in the most widespread arts participation programme in the city. The REP engages 4,500 young people a year, including over 250 with special educational needs. Last year, local businesses supported just under 80 disadvantaged children to see our renowned Christmas show. We want to build on this by more than doubling the impact of this project and to be a more inclusive theatre

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Angela Maxwell

    Chair of The REP, Angela is a key figure in Birmingham's business community and will be essential to fundraising success.

    Steve Ball

    Director of Learning and Participation at The REP for over 12 years with extensive experience working with schools and local communities.

    Roxana Silbert

    Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre and an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

This work is crucial to these young individuals and plays a huge part in supporting and providing opportunities for them to develop independently.

Teacher from Mayfield Special School, REP Partner School