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Salisbury Playhouse receives grant for work with military communities

Andrew Lloyd Webber
26 January 2017

Salisbury Playhouse has been awarded £30,000 from The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation which will go towards a three year project developing the theatre’s work with military communities on Salisbury Plain.

The grant will enable Salisbury Playhouse to expand its Stage 65 Youth Theatre to reach areas that are isolated and have limited opportunities to engage with the arts. Working with secondary schools across the area, the project will offer weekly workshops culminating in theatre performances both in the local community and at Salisbury Playhouse.

Stage 65 Youth Theatre currently has a branch at Wellington Academy in Tidworth which has been meeting weekly since 2015 and has already performed three high quality productions both at Salisbury Playhouse and Wellington Academy. It has provided young people with strong drama provision right on their doorstep and members are also entitled to discounted tickets and transportation to a variety of Salisbury Playhouse productions. This project will see new groups form in other secondary schools across Salisbury Plain and it is hoped that more than 1500 young people and their families could benefit from it.

As the military presence in Wiltshire increases, the project will assist in tackling rural isolation and bring young people from both military and civilian backgrounds together through creative activities.

Dave Orme, Youth Theatre Director, says “This is a very exciting development in our relationships with these secondary schools and will enable us to provide an ambitious provision for a group of young people who might otherwise struggle to work with us on a regular basis.”

The grant forms part of the foundation’s active grant programme and supports arts and culture projects that make a real and ongoing difference to people’s lives. Salisbury Playhouse is one of 19 recipients across the UK.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation says “The availability of and participation in creative activities for young people is critical to maintain vibrancy in the arts and enrich the quality of life across communities.  We are delighted our funding will allow Salisbury Playhouse to extend professional drama expertise to a culturally and socially diverse population, helping to build a sense of integration and encouraging a passion for the performing arts in young people across Salisbury Plain.”

Salisbury Playhouse is a registered arts and education charity which works with a variety of groups with activities based both at the Playhouse and in other community settings.