What we're doing to help out...
We heard the call and we acted on it! TRP donated personal protective equipment to help support NHS Devon and care workers in our local community
Our core staff are still working hard to keep the theatre safe and ready throughout this period but our manufacturing teams at TR2 have had to stop working on new shows.
We donated thousands of gloves, hundreds of facemasks and splash suits, protective equipment the teams would normally have used. We were delighted to be able to donate this essential kit to support our key NHS and care workers while our Theatre and workshops are closed.
Our shows can’t go on at the moment, and we were really pleased to be able to help the true stars of the moment, those NHS and care staff in Plymouth and across Devon working tirelessly to keep us all safe.
Helping Dress Medics
Members of the TRP wardrobe team past and present have come together under the coordination of Cathy Tate to form the Plymouth branch of Helping Dress Medics (HDM).
They have been making high standard hospital scrubs for the last 7 weeks. Supplying Torbay Hospital, Tavi-side Health Centre and other medical staff in Saltash and Plymouth.
Those without work rooms have set up a wardrobe space, working from their dining tables to help this worthy cause. Becky Stephens, Pippa Reece, Claire Mashford, Delia Lancaster, Julia Herdman, Dina Hall and Jane Briars make up the amazing workforce.
Across the nation many other costume makers, stitchers, supervisors and designers are working away on this project.
HDM was set up by Costume Supervisor Dulicie Scott who was working on His Dark Materials before the lockdown. To find out more about the scheme click here.
With our staff meeting cancelled at the beginning of the nationwide lockdown and our staff working from their new at home locations, TR3, we were able to donate all the handmade sandwiches that were prepared for our staff. The amazing Shekinah and The George Hostel were thrilled with the donation, both of whom provide opportunities for people in recovery or seeking recovery from homelessness, alcohol and drug issues, offending behaviours and mental ill health.
Getting to bring all the TRP family together for our Annual Staff Meeting is always a special occasion for us, and despite the sadness of not being able to come together before we entered lockdown it was a real pleasure to be able to donate those delicious sandwiches to two charities in Plymouth who are continuing to serve the community throughout these difficult times.
The Coronavirus pandemic means that we have closed our doors to the public for the first time in our 37 years.
We need your help now to keep the theatre going through this tough time when our stages are dark and our workshops empty.
We are staying connected with the wonderful artists and practitioners in Plymouth through digital meetings, mentoring and remote support. We’ve been chatting to companies about new ideas and supporting local playwrights with feedback. We continue to work with our Lab Company through an online programme of workshops and mentoring.
Whether you are new to our programme or know us well, we are here for you. To arrange a remote meeting please contact us at email@example.com
Support for self-employed & freelance makers
TRP has added its name to a group of UK theatres and organisations who are joining together to create a national task force which will amplify the voice of the self-employed in conversations about our industry’s future. We recognise that many freelancers face real uncertainty about if and how they will be able to continue to work in theatre.
To help establish the task force, each organisation will support a freelancer to join the group, ensuring they are paid for their time. If you are a self-employed or freelance theatre or performance maker – whether you are an actor, playwright, director, choreographer, stage manager, designer, stage crew worker, or set builder (to name a few) – we would like to invite you to be a part of this task force.
We have been continuing our Create sessions for young people who would benefit from additional support. These sessions are taking place online on TR3 and have been enjoyed by all participants who have taken part so far. We’re looking forward to continue these sessions on throughout lockdown, with support from our Engagement & Learning team.
During these difficult times we have been holding weekly virtual Our Space meetings on Zoom. During these sessions we are working on creative writing, audio recordings, vocal work and poetry. Just as importantly we are giving everyone a place to keep in touch with other members and continue to build their friendships and support systems through this work.
The sessions have really been lifting everyone’s mood, and we have now been able to provide a digital space using Basecamp for creative exchanges in between sessions which has created a wonderful sense of community and a creative hub with people sharing and uploading poetry, writing, photos, videos, drawings and songs on a daily basis. Some feedback we have had from participants includes:
It’s great fun, makes you feel like a child again. It has lifted my mood.
This is a natural antidepressant.
What’s actually exciting about lockdown is it’s making us think differently and getting people like me used to technology.
It’s good, definitely been good for me so far.
Our Space is a creative programme that works with adults with multiple and complex needs. Members come from all walks of life and may have faced challenges involving homelessness, mental health issues, re-offending, substance misuse, or they may feel isolated for other reasons. This group group offers people a place to build skills and friendships, and we are committed to making sure that we can continue to provide this and our support.
Poems & Songs by Our Space participants
Creative Care Packages
Our teams have been looking at ways we can still engage with our members during the time the theatre is closed. We have been looking at ways to stay connected and utilise technology, but we needed to consider that not everyone has access to the internet.
So for the past few weeks we have been sending Weekly Creative Care Packages through the post to our Dare to Dazzle group.
Each package contains a weekly creative task, a practice creative resource, a weekly newsletter, a script extract and letters/notes as part of our Dare to Dazzle pen pal service.
We led our first Zoom workshop for the programme last week which went really well. The care packages have had some amazing feedback and are keeping everyone busy and connected.
In the Engagement & Learning team, we pride ourselves and our programmes on being accessible and inclusive. This difficult time has posed new challenges but we are thrilled to be able to continue to keep in touch with our group and make sure everyone is continuing to feel connected and happy.
Family Board Game
Each week we have been running weekly Funky Llama Steering Group sessions, something that started out as a wellbeing check-in has grown and turned our attention towards what we want to say at this time and creative activities for our members to engage with.
It has been amazing to hear all the conversations about how lockdown and isolation is something many disabled people deal with in everyday life and the great strategies and advice they have for coping.
Talking about how the world has become so much more accessible now that it has been forced to, with virtual tours online, free theatre streams and so much more. There is hope that thinking in a more far reaching and accessible way will continue after this challenging period is over.
We are in the process of setting up a weekly creative session for all our members on Zoom and we can’t wait to share how the first session goes in the coming weeks.
Hello, my name is Olivia Frost and I am 24 years old. I have been part of Funky Llama for about four years now, my involvement is broad, but I mainly like to get involved in doing access audits for venues in Devon and Cornwall. I have taken part in many workshops provided by Funky Llama to help develop my teaching skills so that I can teach and mentor others in my group.
I am very passionate about getting the word out and raising awareness about disability. I see disability as an advantage, as for me it means I have an ability to do things differently to others. I want to remove the stigma that disabled people “can’t do things”.
Funky Llama has helped me to grow as a person living with a new disability, showing me many positive avenues and pathways.
We have such a fantastic range of people in the Funky Llama steering group!
During lockdown we have taken part in activities through meetings each week on Zoom where we spend about an hour checking in, taking part in creative and thinking exercises and working on a plan for a project to give others an insight into ways they can cope whilst in isolation. We are also planning to host our own quiz and bingo socials for Funky Llama members over the next few weeks!
Many members of Funky Llama have spent years in isolation due to our disabilities and the lack of accessible opportunities, this is a big thing for me and Funky Llama is helping to change this, but I see the lockdown as an opportunity for the rest of the world to learn from this time and think about access differently in the future.
We’ve collated resources from some of our favourite theatres and companies across the country to support teachers and home learning. Here you will find resource packs, activities, links to live theatre shows you can watch at home and information about careers in theatre.