When we were approached by Anna, we were impressed with her dedication and enthusiasm for Practically Theatre. Let her tell her story in her own words...
I founded Practically Theatre in November 2014 after graduating from University with a Drama degree. I had run drama workshops for people with learning difficulties and disabilities on a voluntary basis for the three years I was at University. From this experience I learned that the participants gained a lot from performing. The Team Leader at Glebe House (a day centre for people with disabilities) said the drama sessions "benefit the clients we support, it helps to build confidence and brings out personalities which are often withdrawn. It gave the clients a feeling of achievement, importance and self-worth." Because of this I felt it was important to continue to do this when I returned home.
The Wetherby group rehearses every Wednesday 1:30-3:30pm at the Wetherby Methodist Church. There are five regular members of this group. We started the sessions by working on different performance skills, such as movement, character and improvisation. Just before Easter we started working towards our performance “Journey” which is based around the Dr Seuss poem “Oh, the places you’ll go!”
The group devised the performance with everyone´s skills in mind, so each performer has their moment in the spotlight! Every member of the group has improved as time has gone on and, they are now more comfortable with putting forward their own ideas and helping each other.
The funding received from the Wetherby Lions helps us plan for the future of the group. It means we are able to cover the cost of the current performance and any money we make in ticket sales will be put forward for the next one! This makes the groups future much more secure. It has also enabled me to buy public liability insurance, which has enabled me to set up a group in Knaresborough, so the service can reach more people.
Daisy is a member of the Practically Theatre Drama group in Wetherby. Daisy enjoyed doing drama when she attended West Oaks School and Beaumont College, but on returning home she found it was not available in the local area. Daisy enjoys Drama at Practically Theatre as she has found a new group of friends. They regularly meet at the pub before the session for lunch!
Another member Kyle says: "I like drama because I get to meet new people and interact with them. Also, I can express myself in different environments and situations. That is why Practically Theatre is the best for anyone, as it helps with self-confidence".
You can read more about Practically Theatre on their Facebook page here