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TRP Stories: Emily Witts

TRP Stories

Press Contact: Natalie Thomas

TRP Stories: Emily Witts


Emily’s passion for the performing arts began as a youngster when she took part in Playhouse with Theatre Royal Plymouth – a unique participatory national theatre project that connects schools with professional theatres and those in the arts. Participants can experience the benefits of professional theatre-making in a real-life setting. She has now come full circle and, as well as being a drama teacher at Prince Rock Primary School, Emily is also a director for the Playhouse project.

Plymouth-born Emily talks about how the national theatre project, along with her annual pantomime trips to Theatre Royal Plymouth (TRP), inspired her love of theatre and encouraged her to pursue a career in the performing arts sector. She said:

“I used to come to TRP with my family every Christmas to watch the pantomime and I remember sitting in the audience thinking ‘I want to do that’.

“When I was in primary school, I did the Playhouse project which was my first time performing on stage and it was incredible. I was a little scared before, but the ecstatic feeling afterwards was worth it. When I perform, I’m free. I’m able to release my emotions via the characters, and it’s a safe space to be creative.

“Playhouse had a massive impact on my career. That was the pivotal moment I decided I wanted to do drama forever. When I went to secondary school, I did lots of plays and got involved with drama clubs outside of school. I then went on to study drama at university. My final year was during the pandemic when all the theatres were shut, but I did a module about theatre in education and realised I would love to work in a school. I trained to be a teacher and now run a drama school.”

Speaking about her ascent to Playhouse Director, Emily said: “I’ve directed Playhouse for two years now. It’s great to work with the children, teach them drama and show them how to use the space on stage, as well as engaging them with key life skills. I’ve seen the impact it has on them, with nervous children going on to perform on stage in front of peers. It’s amazing to see them through that journey.

“The children also support in the production of the show and take turns to direct. They really take ownership and come up with amazing ideas that impacts how the show turns out.”

As well as performing and directing, Emily is also an avid theatre-goer. “I love coming to Theatre Royal Plymouth and being a part of the audience. Theatre means everything to me.”

Playhouse will return to Theatre Royal Plymouth in July 2024. The project is kindly supported by Princess Yachts.

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