Project information

Opportunity to Shine @ Theatre Royal Wakefield

Opportunity to Shine allows young people to go on a creative journey to develop their performance skills in music, dance and drama. It provides audiences with a range of prodcutions within a new Centre for Creativity

January 2016 - September 2016

Charity information

Wakefield Theatre Trust

Wakefield Theatre Trust logo
  • Need


    Young people from across West Yorkshire have shown a talent for and a desire to enjoy live Theatre. Thousands of young people are attracted to live performances and many are inspired to take their own first steps onto the stage. Opportunity to Shine aims to support young people in discovery their talent.


    Theatre Royal Wakefield has been able to tap into the real enthusiasm of young people looking for an opportunity to engage in performing arts through Theatre Royal Performance Academy. The Opportunity to Shine programme aims to remove barriers faced by young people by providing Bursaries assisted places to young people and ensuring that they benefit from professional training within a Theatre environment.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Discover and develop peforming arts talents within West Yorkshire & develop a Centre for Creativity


    » Provide an artistic space for the creation and performance of small scale productions.
    » Provide opportunities to perform in youth productions of West End hits, including Jesus Christ Superstar, supported by a professional artistic team
    » Provide bursereis/bursary assisted places for young people at Theatre Royal Performance Academy
    » Provide a modern learning space where students can develop their performance skills and acting talents

    An increase in the number and range of performances presented by Theatre Royal Wakefield including the creation of new children/family productions preniered in Wakefield and toured

  • Impact


    Opportunity to Shine will allow the Theatre to engage with the hidden talent of West Yorkshire. The training and development provided will prepare the young people for stage performances and later entry to professional acting schools. It will provide the next generation of young actors capable of reflecting an authentic voice of Yorkshire. They will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of John Godber whose work has been seen by millions of people with their future progress tracked


    The risk to the developing young talents rests with the recruitment and funding. We are currently confident of recruiting to the full potential that bursaries provide through levels of interest expressed, direct communications with our audiences and work with schools and colleges.
    The risk to providing facilities for increased performances at Theatre Royal Wakefield rests with the funding levels required. We have significant support from Trusts with matched funding completing the project


    Communications will start by making the case for support for Opportunity to Shine by updates on progress towards our target using emails, social media and e-newsletters. Updates will be provided on academy developments and individual donors will be invited to a performance of Jesus Christ Supersta

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £3,000 Assisted Burseries Providing 10 assisted Performance Academy bursaries (40%) for 3 full terms at the Wakefield site
      £7,000 Full Bursaries Providing 10 full Performance Academy bursaries (100%) covering 3 full terms at the Wakefield site
      £10,000 Development work Development of a Centre for Creativity to provide rehearsal/learning space
  • Background


    Theatre Royal Wakefield is a thriving theatre welcoming 80,000 people each year. Together with John Godber we have produced 11 new plays, which have toured the UK and beyond. We have produced a series of high quality youth musicals from the West End by drawing on the vast amount of untapped talent that exists in the area. Wakefield District is very diverse where the Theatre plays a unifying role. It is important that all young people have opportunities regardless of address or social background.


    Young people and audiences from across West Yorkshire. This is an area with average household income which is £4,700 lower than the national average. Wakefield District is also within the lowest 20% for engagement with the arts nationally, and is surrounded by five of the eight lowest arts engagement areas in Yorkshire

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Theatre Royal Wakefield plays a central role in the cultural life of West Yorkshire. Audiences are drawn from across the area and represent every local community. The Performance Academy has developed a highly skilled team of tutors capable of engaging young people and developing their artistic talents. The Theatre provides a professional environment for the young people to perform in with the support of our technical team and under the leadership of a professional artistic team

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Louise Denison, Theatre Royal Performance Academy Principal

    Louise trained in Leeds and London in all aspects of dance and performing arts and has directed youth projects at TRW and beyond for almost 15 years

    Rhiannon Hannon

    Learning and Participation Manager, Pantomime Director and Theatre Facilitator, trained as a Director at Rose Bruford School of Speech and Drama.

    Janine Heseltine, Programme & Participation Officer

    A trained primary school teacher who projects include, Performing for Success, a touring play promoting better health and Les Miserables.

    Tina Shuker-Abell, Tutor

    Runs HND Performing Arts Diploma at Wakefield College, past project coordinator at Hereford College of Arts and a course leader at Ludlow College

Wakefield Theatre Royal celebrating 120 years

Wakefield Theatre Royal celebrating 120 years


Will provide a 5 - 7 year old child bursary

“My daughter has loved coming and I feel the experience is really helping her in many ways, such as with her confidence and her school work”-

Parent of Performance Academy participant