We are thrilled to welcome Mandy Precious as our new Head of Creative Learning. We asked Mandy to put together a small post about her first two weeks here to give a flavour of what it is like to work at the Theatre and her initial reactions to some of the projects the team are working on at present.
Over to you, Mandy…
“After two weeks in my new job I can honestly say it’s going really well and I’m really enjoying it. There’s a lot of information to absorb and a whole lot of people to meet so I am often to be seen with a perplexed look as I try to recall who I am talking to (which can sometimes result in comedy moments when I have misremembered someone though people are being very tolerant). I came to the Theatre Royal Plymouth because I truly believed that the Creative Learning Programme was central to the organisation’s core mission and everything I have seen and heard has supported this belief. This makes me incredibly excited for the future.
The Creative Learning team are very dedicated and work tirelessly to ensure that everyone can be enabled to access Theatre Royal Plymouth. The work ranges from our extraordinary dynamic programme for differently abled adults: Funky Llama to our regular workshop activity and many things in between. We work with some hard to reach communities and contribute to positive changes in their lives. We work with schools, colleges and universities.
I am excited that we work with such a broad range of people from all walks of life including those who may have encountered personal issues in the past. This dovetails with my vision of theatres as community based assets – something that belongs to us all.
What this means for the Creative Learning Programme on a day-to-day basis is that something exciting is always going on. As an example, for the next 3 weeks our Young People’s producer Jane Pawson will be working with 12 young people on a project called Truth about Youth – this aims to promote a more positive and realistic view of young people by challenging the negative stereotypes that proliferate. The 12 young people we are working with are currently not in education or training and they are given the opportunity to make their own work, creating a piece to share on the final day of the project. They will be building relationships with older people through Elder Tree, a befriending service for people over 55, some of whom will participate in the final show back.
This work, along with much of what we do in the programme, has a life changing effect on people and I’m hugely excited to watch it all unfold in the next few months as I begin to work with the team to honour the history of the work whilst looking to develop and grow the programme into the future.
I am already secure in the knowledge that the job is just the job for me even if I do occasionally call someone the wrong name. So if you happen to see a middle aged woman looking occasionally perplexed – that’ll be me!”
If you wish to find out more about our Creative Learning department and to get involved in theatre projects, productions and workshops please head to the Take Part area of the site.