We thought we would just say HI and tell you all about who we are and what we are trying to do. You are always welcome to pop in and have a chat when we are about to see what we are getting up to. And if you know anyone who wants to donate, support or help a worthy cause that will change lives – please send them our way!
We are committed and passionate about giving young people, who would not usually get the opportunity, the chance to engage with the performing arts and by doing so to raise their aspirations and confidence so that they can be more successful in life. We focus on communities that are in high areas of deprivation and we seek to give these young people, their parents and carers, an affordable solution to follow their talents and engage their passions. We want to empower young people and communities to know that they can use the performing arts to have a voice and that this voice is not diminished based on where you live, how much money you have, your race, religion or background. The performing arts is the human right of every child and for many it will give them the relevance, engagement and enjoyment that they need to be lifelong learners. We want to celebrate their talents and abilities by showing the community what is possible if we allow young people to engage their passions in a safe, secure and nurturing environment that strives for excellence!
We are going to do this by building on the last two and a half years of the Lings Performing Arts Academy and the Lings Creative Hub, both of which have been highly successful within our schools and the community. It is now time to evolve and revolutionise these two successful projects by merging them in to the Silhouette Youth Theatre Company. We will be based in the heart of the community and this means we will be taking over a shop unit in Weston Favell Shopping centre, a place that serves everyone and is accessible by all. It will allow us to create opportunities for performing arts classes before and after school and will mean that we can grow the amount of young people that can access our provision. We currently have 120 young people who are based in the community who are looking for an affordable solution and we can provide this, if we have our own premises. Sessions will run throughout the week and will look at a range of performing arts disciplines targeted to a range of age groups. We aim to make this the hub of excellence where others can come and celebrate the work we are doing.
We will be working with a range of exceptional local providers and all our staff have been working in schools for many years and most of these are qualified teachers who have a long track record of excellence. We have the backing of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Intermission Theatre and the University of Northampton – all of who will be supporting us on this adventure. We have many successes already and we want to build on this good work. Four of our young people have been accepted in to the RSC youth theatre, 14 of them have just performed in Romeo and Juliet in Stratford Upon Avon and a further 20 young people will be on the main stage in Macbeth in the coming month. We have also made numerous appearances at the Royal and Derngate and we regularly perform to the community and beyond.
We want this to be more than a Youth Theatre Company, we want it to be a safe, secure haven for our young people. A place where they can come to in a time of need or a place where they can be free of many of the issues that they face on a daily basis. This is why all the professionals that we work with have been involved in using the performing arts to support wellbeing and as a vehicle for developing the whole child. We want to provide this emotional support when it is needed but we also want to show them that the discipline you learn through the performing arts can help you to deal with many of the issues that we are confronted with. We also want the young people to start to develop original work that is relevant to them and we want to give them a venue where they can perform this new and original work. This could be drama, music, dance or film based and we want them to start to develop their own audience and the skills that may allow for future employability. We also wish to provide our space as a venue for others that want to showcase their talents and we hope to even use the whole shopping centre as a performance venue to the whole community.
This project is steeped in the importance of giving young people from difficult backgrounds a chance to develop a voice that is heard and taken seriously. It will give them a chance to know that things that they feel are out of their reach, are possible. Only that way will we truly change our community!
Thank you for reading!
The Silhouette Team
An exceptional picture taken by Sam Allard, thank you so much!