Overview

We have had another very successful year. Our total number of engagements rose again to 57,387 and we worked with 39,464 young people.  Some exciting new working partnerships were also forged, most notably with The Drive Project and The Royal British Legion. The first year of Project A ended successfully and the second year commenced. Our Artistic Director became full time and our Learning Assistant permanently contracted.  Our general income rose which allowed for the purchase of new equipment for the Studio theatre.
 
Learning Performance Network 

Our final year working with the LPN, the RSC’s partnership programme with schools, communities and theatres across England, was a big success. During ‘16/’17 we worked with 103 school children and their teachers from across the region in over 1,030 engagements, and presented a festival performance to an audience of 441. 
 
RSC Associate Schools

In September we began working with the RSC on their Associate Schools programme, which we will deliver collaboratively across a network of schools in County Durham and Teesside over a period of 24 months.  To date we have worked directly with 214 young people across seven schools in a total of 397 engagements. 

 
Workshops & Youth Engagement

Our weekly workshop programme for adults and young people has continued to thrive. New for this year was a Youth Theatre for 17-25’s which proved a valuable resource.  In total 1,242 individuals took part in our weekly workshop programme with 13,220 total engagements over the year.

Our general engagement levels with schools through workshops and tours has risen again with a total of 78 individual workshops and tours delivered, resulting in 1,039 engagements.  In addition, 47 young people from Newcastle College attended weekly life and confidence skills classes over two terms leading to 1,040 engagements over 20 sessions.

We also worked with Opera North to deliver its Children’s Chorus and through the Carousel Work Experience programme we enabled two young people to get first-hand experience of the job roles available within a busy working theatre. 
 
Summer School

Our Summer School programme had another good year - the total number of engagements increased to 1,410 and the revenue for the 6 week period was a healthy £17,764.
 
Tours

We delivered 66 tours to 996 individuals on a public and private basis. 
 
Project A

The first year of Project A ended on a real high. The course culminated in 8 performances of Mike Bartlett’s 13 to a total audience of 946. We are very proud to report that of our 14 graduates, seven have attained professional representation. What's more, in September Spotlight listed us a Quality Provider of Actor Training, alongside conventional and longstanding drama schools such as RADA. 
 
Drive

In June 2016 we began working with The Drive Project to deliver a recovery and wellbeing Theatre Project on behalf of The Royal British Legion, to wounded, injured and sick service personnel, veterans and their family members. The project was delivered through daily workshops and rehearsals over a 6 month period with 50 participants.
 
Relaxed Performances

In October, the ever-popular Relaxed Performance programme fell under the responsibility of the Learning Department. We have evolved the supporting activities around the production to include a therapeutic light and sound experience in the Studio Theatre and fidget toys.

Kim Hoffman
Head of Learning