Theatre Design Outreach

Tin soldier

Many people think outreach work is focused on grades and improving children’s chances of attending university. While this is a priority and a large part of the work undertaken, it is not the only way in which outreach work supports the community.
Peter Rumney and a team of second year Theatre Design students, working alongside pupils from Mellers Primary School, put together a play for 8-9 year olds as a part of Art And Design Outreach. The play itself was tailored for the young audience, and lasted for only 30 minutes – the intention of the team was to take the audience on a journey through the ‘life’ of a single broken toy soldier.

Why is it important?
The Theatre Design Course has a long-standing commitment to Outreach work, and to making NTU accessible and inspirational to young people who may not have been thinking that university was a possible route for them. That’s why we’ve developed so many relationships with local schools and colleges over the years, and why our collaboration with SCCO is so important to us and to the university as a whole.” – Peter Rumney academic & technical support

What’s the importance of outreach to the students?

As designers, and as graduates who will go on to work in a very wide range of professions, by exploring how young people learn, the undergraduates can reflect on their own learning here at NTU.’ – Peter Rumney

The Theatre Design Students involved in the ‘Tin Solder’ project explained the impact their involvement had on them. Nikki Charlesworth said; ‘It really helped me to understand how to work with children,’ and Ge Hatton went on to explain that ‘The project was important in helping to understand how my work as a designer can be translated into the real world’. Shelley Poole added ‘What I realised was that adults can underestimate just how much children understand about the world and complex things, like their emotions.”’
The play was engaging for the children and also helped in establishing a connection between the schools and University. Furthermore it allowed a chance for the students on the Theatre Design course a real-life insight into theatre work.
Tin Soldier is part of an established annual schedule of collaborative performances and the first in a line of outreach work for this year, with plans for Year 3 Theatre Design students to create their own show developed for an even younger children (and potential NTU students) in April with the support of NTU Outreach.

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