Cherwell Theatre Company is a creative home for young theatre-makers in Banbury and the surrounding areas. The company deliver a variety of programmes, including the Youth Theatre for ages 11-15, the Young Company for ages 16-19 (or up to 25 with additional needs), a free weekly Creative Arts Programme in community settings called ‘Amplify’, Professional Skills Workshops (Ages 11-25) and free One to One Mentorship. Cherwell Theatre Company also work in partnership with local primary and secondary schools, both online and in person via bespoke workshops. This all runs alongside a calendar of unique Projects running throughout the year.
Project Spark have supported Cherwell Theatre Company with three separate projects.
‘Pete Stays Home’ is a 2020 picture book by an Oxfordshire author Karra Macfarlane which was adapted into an interactive musical by CTC in 2021. The aim of the musical was to enable children and adults to have an open and honest conversation about their recent experiences during the Covid pandemic and to help children deal with and process their emotions during this difficult time. The musical was performed in a large number of schools and community centres across Oxfordshire.
A further Grant from Project Spark also helped the ‘Youth Steering Board’ to produce a pirate inspired play which was written by a CTC participant through the lockdown mentorship program. The young people who worked on the project were able to learn by designing and delivering all aspects of their own project with professional support, increasing their sense of ownership and capability. The grant was specifically used to cover the cost of two professional theatre facilitators to work with community singing groups and young people to bring the production to life. This show was performed during Summer 2022.
The third project was the 2023 youth-led ‘Tell Your Story’ Festival in Banbury which brought free youth performances, installations, industry workshops, Q&A’s as well as participatory street theatre activities into public spaces, thrilling over 1,000 residents!