Culturapedia Get Plugged Into Theatres

Writing On The Wall Projects And Activities For Schools And Young People
June 30, 2014
Curious Minds Funding Success
July 1, 2014
Writing On The Wall Projects And Activities For Schools And Young People
June 30, 2014
Curious Minds Funding Success
July 1, 2014

Plugged In is a new project giving groups in the community the chance to programme a performance of their choosing at a local theatre. We are looking for groups from local schools to form one of our community groups to work on programming and marketing a professional piece of theatre they want to see in one of our four venues, as well as the opportunity to achieve their Arts Awards certificates in bronze and silver.

This is a great way for young people to learn about how entertainment venues operate. The project will include

  • Discussions and research about audience development
  • A chance to review performances and visit theatres (including behind the scenes tours)
  • The use of debating and decision making skills when selecting a performance
  • The opportunity to learn about marketing and budgeting, operating as a mini box-office
  • The chance to ‘shadow’ staff at the theatre, including technicians and programmers
  • VIP seats at the performance for all of those who worked on the project

For those taking part, this would make a great young enterprise scheme.


A group of between 6 – 15 young people would be an ideal size. Those with an interest in Drama, Business Studies or English would probably benefit the most, though this is a multi-disciplinary project so all would be welcome.

The project can be introduced either as a hand-out in registers or a 5 minute presentation during assembly. From here, a group of the schools choosing can be selected – this can be via a creative ‘ who would you most like to see at our theatres’ type competition or an already established group (such as a drama class).

Once the group is formed, a weekly lunchtime / after school meeting of around 40 mins should be established, lasting for around a term / 12 weeks. There may also be extra curricular activities including hands on work experience opportunities, special events and theatre trips where the group would be treated as VIP’s as a thank you for the work they will be doing.

Ideally, it would be appreciated if one teacher remains as the point of contact for the project, though we understand if this needs to be more.

Who are Plugged In?

Plugged In is a brand new project funded by a strategic touring grant from Arts Council England. It is run by Culturapedia, a Blackburn based cultural organisation ( ), who have been delivering arts engagment projects for over 10 years.   Culturapedia deliver PLugged In as part of a partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, and Pendle Leisure Trust The company currently administer somewhereto_nw and Spot On, Lancashire’s rural touring network. Both of which have a successful history in engaging young people with performing arts.

Plugged In activities will be delivered in your schools by Stephanie Jessop and Mathew Rowbotham.

Stephanie is a theatre practitioner, writer and performer who has successfully toured with her own theatre company and solo shows for the past three years. Alongside this she has been involved in a number of community projects encouraging young people to get involved with the arts; running and organising arts workshops at various festivals and venues across the North West. Stephanie is qualified to deliver Arts Award at Bronze and Silver level and will be taking a lead role in programming across the four venues.

Matthew has a decade of experience curating cultural events as diverse a world record record attempts, club nights and photography exhibitions. In the past he has worked as a tutor in maths and music for children who were unable to attend mainstream schooling for various reasons. His favourite piece of engagement was the completion of an animation on the topic of co-operation that included contributions from over 40 schools in the Rochdale area. Matthew is also qualified to deliver Arts Award at Bronze and Silver level and will the looking at how best to get the groups working within theatres.


Both engagement officers have received a DBS check via the lead organisation for the project – however it would be greatly appreciated if a teacher is also present during meetings.

Young people will also be handling money and may be in areas that are considered higher risk – such as a technicians boxes when shadowing or bars serving alcohol during performances. A full risk assessment will be carried out on an individual basis, and this will be passed to the lead teacher for review before the activity takes place and any areas of concern will be dealt with.


If you are interested in finding out more about Plugged In or would like your school to take part in the Autumn please email or call the Culturapedia Office and ask to speak to Matthew or Stephanie on 01254 674 777.

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