Up to 1,000 industry ambassadors will be recruited to go into schools across the UK as part of a new initiative to introduce children to a wider range of theatre careers.
The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre have teamed up with volunteering body Inspiring the Future to launch the recruitment drive across the theatre sector, in a bid to improve relationships between schools and organisations and showcase possible careers.
UK Theatre and SOLT have said that for the industry to thrive, “it must draw on the talent base and build audiences from all areas of society”.
In partnership with Inspiring the Future, which is an offshoot of the charity Education and Employers, they will match individuals with schools. The ambassadors will then take part in events aimed at informing young people about the variety of careers in theatre.
The initiative, calls Inspiring the Future of Theatre, follows SOLT and UK Theatre’s offstage workforce review, which was published last year and identifies shortages in technical jobs as well as in marketing and finance.
At the Olivier Awards earlier this month, SOLT president Kenny Wax claimed the government’s English Baccalaureate was making the school curriculum narrower and more academic, meaning creative subjects were “rapidly disappearing from the curriculum in state schools” and perpetuating an idea that culture belonged to the elite.
He continued: “Our goal is to sign up 1,000 ambassadors from across the industry, to include technicians, designers, actors, creatives and administrators – with particular emphasis on roles behind the curtain – to commit to visit a local school once a year to talk about what they do, to open the eyes of children and inspire them to consider a role in theatre.”
Cassie Chadderton, head of UK Theatre, added that reaching people at school age would help shape their understanding of theatre and nurture a new generation of audiences and workers.
The campaign will officially launch on July 11, with events at schools across the country.
For more information on becoming an ambassador, click here.