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ACE Creative Communities Bid 2023 - Dreaming Shakespeare

An outdoor Shakespeare production comprising primary school actors, a Secondary School ensemble and Rose Bruford undergraduates, achieved by funded workshops with freelance actors, digital diary sharing with Rose Bruford and Bolton School pupils + production of a legacy case study and resource website.


Themed around authentic dreams, youth agency and climate change. Seeking new theatre audiences and developing intergenerational conversations. Maintenance and development of a primary schools theatre network, supporting staff CPD and meeting venue/technical needs is an important aim here.


The School provides bid-writing expertise, partnership brokerage, project and event management, technical support and venue for this project. School staff are involved in script writing, workshop development and the production of educational resources for the project. School pupils and staff trial the materials ahead of external school delivery.


This project connects children and early career theatre-makers in a multi-generational partnership with the undergraduate participants gaining Spotlight CV credits ahead of graduation. Work across ages maps career routes and elevates creative development. Emphasis is placed on creative and critical engagement as a process that alleviates C&YP stress and social isolation. The work explores theatre as an intergenerational forum for discussion and breaks down barriers to the arts in school settings where theatre is not offered. The work addresses the 5th domain of the children's rights index: enabling the environment for children's rights by fostering co-creation and agency around the matters of non-discrimination and respect for the views of the child/child participation.

The project responds to  Bolton's 2022 CEP consultation findings: 'aligned with curriculum needs', 'adds to schools' extracurricular offers', 'takes creative expertise into school settings’ and 'explores how schools can work collaboratively to co-design, deliver and evaluate projects with arts organisations'. The project connects schools in continuous dialogue and development - a toolkit, well-resourced digital platform and partnership case study. The project employs the CEP's creative collective for 12-18 year olds to provide youth direction and review as part of their socially applied and work experience aims.

The project reaches schools in three priority districts of Bolton. Two settings have a high percentage of sensorily impaired pupils. Activities take place within the school communities and connect them to inspirational maker-spaces, collapsing geographic, economic and social barriers to participation - true seeding of a joined up cultural education programme to motivate access to high quality cultural activity in Bolton.