Thursday, 13 February 2014

Congratulations as Derby Theatre receives grant to support Learning Theatre model

Derby Theatre is delighted to have been awarded a total of £150,000 over  three years from 2014 by Paul Hamlyn Foundation as core support  towards their Learning Theatre Pilot Programme.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK, making grants to organisations which aim to  maximise opportunities for individuals to experience a full quality of life,  both now and in the future. For arts organisations like Derby Theatre, the  foundation’s aim will help us to increase access to and enjoyment of  the arts in the Midlands.

Derby Theatre’s Learning Theatre model, in association with the University  of Derby, is a nationally unique way for a professional producing theatre to  integrate creative learning through every element of its work.  It provides  value, enjoyment and benefit to many individuals and groups who engage  with the theatre, whether they are audience members, artists, students,  schools or participants on another level.

Régis Cochefert (Head of Arts at Paul Hamlyn Foundation) said:  “We’re pleased to be supporting the Learning Theatre Pilot programme,  which we hope will put learning right at the heart of Derby Theatre’s practice. We believe participation in the arts can be transformational for individuals  and communities so we look forward to seeing this work benefiting the  people of Derby.”

Sarah Brigham (Artistic Director, Derby Theatre) said: “As Derby Theatre’s Artistic Director I am delighted that the Trustees of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation have awarded core funding for the innovative approach we have to theatre here in Derby. This support over 3 years from one of the most respected foundations in the UK is a very welcome validation of our plans and our commitment to local audiences, participants and artists. We are garnering a lot of attention for our Learning Theatre vision and how it forms an integral part of the cultural life in the city, and also how it benefits the industry nationally, and this support will really help us to achieve our unique ambitions.”

With news on the Paul Hamlyn Foundation grant, work can now forge further ahead on the Theatre’s Learning strand, including working with emerging artists, supporting children and young people on their first steps towards creativity, providing support for graduate companies, engaging the creative abilities of regional communities and working alongside Theatre Arts and other students. The grant will also provide opportunities to build on and enhance existing learning opportunities including workshops, open rehearsals, conferences, talks, training and mentoring, work experience programmes, shadowing and on-the- job training. 

Paul Hamlyn Foundation is one of the larger independent grant-making foundations in the UK who make grants to organisations which aim to maximise opportunities for individuals to experience a full quality of life, both now and in the future. Paul Hamlyn Foundation operates through three programmes in the UK – Arts, Education and Learning and Social Justice. For more information visit:

About Derby Theatre’s Learning Theatre Pilot Programme

Since 2012, Derby Theatre’s aim has been to launch, develop and monitor the success of a Learning Theatre Pilot Programme with the following objectives: secure Derby Theatre as a public cultural asset for Derby and the East Midlands and bring high quality professional theatre artists and companies to present and produce work in Derby. Also, to become a national exemplar for education and training in theatre and provide the University of Derby with a distinctive proposition for students looking to study arts-related subjects, engage the creative ability of regional communities, embrace and nurture existing and emerging talent in the region and to ensure the financial viability, via all these strands. 

Derby Theatre has a long and rich history of delivery high quality drama, theatre and performance to audiences. Previously Derby Playhouse, Derby Theatre, which sits in the heart of the city, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Derby. The Theatre is rooted in the local community but international in its outlook. We produce and present high quality performances working with the best local, regional and national talent.  

In 2012, the theatre was awarded strategic funding by Arts Council England to develop a new model for regional theatre in the 21st century. From 2013, under the new artistic directorship of Sarah Brigham, who works alongside General Manager, Gary Johnson, we are transforming from a traditional producing house to an organisation of training, mentorship and artistic excellence; we will be an exemplar, a new way of looking at the role and responsibility of theatre to its community. Our focus will ensure that each part of our process will be open to public learning opportunities. It will build the organisation’s ability to take artistic risks by bringing creative and audiences along on a creative path via the co-production of narratives.

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