Stretford Children’s Theatre believes all young people, regardless of their socio-economic background, should have access to high-quality drama and musical experiences to develop their talent and potential, increase their independence and well-being, and expand the levels of creative opportunity locally. The theatre delivers 4 drama sessions each week, during term-time and one choir session, for 36 weeks each year for children and young people in Stretford. The theatre sessions focus on learning about theatre crafts, skills such as how to use their voice, projection, masking, character work, script-reading etc and are delivered by professional theatre/music practitioners who are specialists in working with different age groups.
The organisation felt there was a wider community need which staging Seussical would help address. A survey by Stretford Public Hall found 88% of respondents said ‘there was a massive demand for more community activities, especially for young people’ that increase independence and wellbeing, to strengthen the future of their local community. A small grant from Trafford housing Trust has enabled the Theatre to deliver Seussical.
As a result of the production:
- 43 members played parts in the show and a further 25 were involved in auditions.
- 360 people attended the show, all 3 performances sold out.
- They now have waiting list of 10 children for this year.
- The original Theatre Group saw news about the show and contacted them. This has created the opportunity to scope out an inter-generational project with the senior group of children and previous members of the original Stretford Youth Theatre, who are now all adults or elderly people.
Quotes from parents and the community:
‘I couldn’t be more proud of my little girl this weekend who was part of SCT’s production of Seussical. She has had a fabulous few months and can’t wait to do it all again for the summer show!’
‘It’s great to see this group active again, giving young people the opportunity to take part in theatre, learn skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives and make new friends. It’s where I started, and I’ve never forgotten the experience. What great photos!’
‘Well done, all the children worked really hard, and it was a lovely show to watch.’
‘Thank you for all the hard work that went into putting on the show and well done to all the kids involved in it.’
Sarah* likes to have fun and has a playful side to her, but she is also quite anxious and struggles with self-doubt. Sarah’s anxiety and self-doubt was paralysing. In the past, she often gave up when she thought she could not do something. Her parents and grandparents have noticed how much her confidence and self-belief have increased since attending our sessions, and this is also being reflected in her school work. Now, her anxiety affects her work much less because her confidence and self-belief have improved so much.
In December 2019, Sarah performed in three sold-out shows of Seussical Junior. She played a key ensemble part in a show that is about standing up for your beliefs, having confidence in yourself and making sure every voice, no matter how small, is listened to and included. It was her first time acting and singing in front a public audience, and she will never forget the experience and the applause from those shows.
From the Community
It’s great to see this group active again, giving young people the opportunity to take part in theatre, learn skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives and make new friends
Tom’s* parents are proud of the changes they have seen during his time at Stretford Children’s Theatre. Tom’s father told us he loves attending because it’s so inclusive and helps Tom to express himself. As Tom is at an all-boys school, it’s important that he mixes with girls in a semi-social setting, which is exactly what Stretford Children’s Theatre allows him to do. In December 2019, Tom played the part of The Mayor in three sold-out public shows of Seussical Jnr. The Mayor was an integral part of a show that’s about standing up for your beliefs, having confidence in yourself and making sure every voice, no matter how small, is listened to and included.
To find out more and get in touch with Stretford Children's Theatre, please go to their website and social media:
*Names have been changed for anonymity