Esmae Taylor-Reeves is a year 5 pupil at a local school and has been a part of Theatre Royal Plymouth’s (TRP) community work for the past two years, some of which is funded by its annual Festive Appeal. The appeal supports young people like Esmae to boost confidence and build long-lasting friendships, while developing key skills and having fun.
Esmae, aged 10, was first introduced to the theatre as part of the With Flying Colours (WFC) Co-Pilots when members of the team visited her school. She was then selected to join them, and together, they created a performance as part of the Our World Festival. Since Co-Pilots, Esmae has continued to engage in TRP’s programmes and took part in the Play in a Week Summer School and is a key member of the after-school club which is part of the WFC legacy.
Here, Esmae talks about how being a part of WFC has given her confidence and helped her make friends. She said:
I go to With Flying Colours every month and I love it. I was a little bit nervous at first because I wasn’t confident and I didn’t know anyone, but I’ve now made lots of friends. I also like that it keeps me busy.
Speaking about what her friends and family think of her entering the world of performance arts, Esmae said:
Everyone is really supportive. My aunty has come to every show I’ve done and my mum, dad and brother come and watch me too.
Esmae has had a passion for drama from a young age and now, thanks to the theatre, she hopes to pursue a career on stage.
I’ve always liked performing. When I was in year 1 and 2, I was involved with the school’s Christmas plays and they were so much fun, I want to do them again! My mum also likes the theatre and when she was younger, she performed in a movie.
What I enjoy most about performing, is that I get to move around and show people what I can do. I get really excited about being up on stage and having the audience watch me do my moves and present what I’ve learned. It takes me out of my comfort zone.
If you get stage fright, as some children do, there’s no pressure to perform, but I don’t, I just go out on stage! I’m much more confident. Now it’s got me into it, I want to do it even more! I’m about to do my sixth performance with my school.
I definitely want to work in theatre one day, I want to perform. Dancing and singing are my favourite parts, I sing everyday. I would love to be in Matilda the Musical because I like how confident she is and that she sticks up for herself – and that she dyes her dad’s hair!
Esmae’s mum, Kayliegh, said:
Well, where to start! Esmae has grown into a confident child who is now willing to take part and try anything new. Her collaboration with the theatre and With Flying Colours has allowed her to feel part of a team and has created many friendships for Esmae with children from different areas. This is something she may not have been able to do before. These opportunities have been amazing, supporting both myself and Esmae to pursue something she really enjoys.
Beth Siddall, Children, Young People & Families Officer, said:
Esmae has really grown as a performer and grown in confidence. She’s built really strong bonds with other young people and it’s lovely to see her form connections and make new friendships within the group.
Summing up her experience with the theatre in five words: Esmae said:
Happy. Exciting. Joyful. Lovely. Caring.
You can help Theatre Royal Plymouth to continue running its community projects by making a donation to its Festive Appeal. Visit theatreroyal.com/donate or call 01752 267222.
Watch Esmae’s video: