How We Got Started by Clare Molyneux (Artistic Director)
Open the door Theatre In Education started by accident during the summer of 2003.
A colleague of mine, who was transition co-ordinator at a Merseyside senior school, had asked me to facilitate a drama workshop for the feeder school open day. “No problem I said, how many of them will there be?” “About 250 of them.” She Replied. Well I’m good, but I’m not that good! When I shared my apprehensions she said; “well write them a play then.”
I wrote the whole play that weekend and duly delivered it to her the following week. “When will your actors arrive on the day?” She said. I was shocked; I had assumed that some of the sixth forms Performing Arts pupils would perform the play. After a small palpitation I said, “About half past nine?” Luckily enough I had trained as an actor and still had several thespian friends. After I had talked them into it, my friends and I had a great time rehearsing the play in my living room.
On the day of the performance, I admit, I was a bit nervous. I knew the play was good. I knew it was funny, but adolescents and teenagers seem so sophisticated these days, would the play be relevant to them? I need not have been worried! The plays subject matter so greatly touched the pupils that the ten minutes of questions we had scheduled for at the end of the performance was completely inadequate and ran ten minutes into break time.
The massive reaction from the audience started me thinking about the other frightening, difficult and embarrassing but none the less important subjects that Theatre In Education could make more palatable to a youth audience…
Nine years later not only have we been awarded “Cosmopolitan Magazines Ultimate Business of the Year” we have also had a Royal Visit from from HRH The Prince of Wales, been invited to 10 Downing Street by the Prime-minister to advise on Arts and Enterprise Education and been commended by Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. We now perform and facilitate performing arts programmes in over five hundred schools and youth clubs in the UK per year – reaching more than one hundred and twenty thousand young people.
We have a full time staff of five, three teams of actors and twenty stock plays covering subjects from Car Crime to Sexual Health and almost everything in-between.
We are motivated solely by the desire to improve the lives of young people.
Open the Door Theatre in Education is a non profit company committed to providing the best possible quality of provision to all of the organisations with whom we work.