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The Old Vic

The Old Vic is an independent not-for-profit theatre in London. Diversity and inclusion is embedded as part of The Old Vic’s mission to ensure that theatre is ‘supported, shared and upheld for as many people as possible’, regardless of background, access requirements or age.

The theatre continues its work to embed many initiatives to encourage diversity and inclusion in the workplace, on stage and amongst visitors and audience members.

The Old Vic believes theatre techniques can be used to teach young people transferable core skills and build confidence, which will help them take the next steps in life, regardless of their chosen career path.
“Take the Lead” is open to students in years 11-13 in state schools across Greater London, and specifically targets schools from disadvantaged areas with low arts provision. The programme begins with an event at the theatre followed by three two-hour workshops in schools, which are designed and tailored for schools and run by trained facilitators. Theatre techniques and creative scenarios are used to build five core skills: communication, self-management, self-belief, teamwork and problem solving.

The programme is a continuous success; recently, 70% of participants felt it impacted positively on their wellbeing, 68% felt it had helped with their next steps, and many saw step changes in the five core skills before and after the workshops. Following the programme, students can sign up to an employability workshop for CV guidance, networking and employability skills. Students can also join the alumni group (called ‘Join the Network’) which regularly shares information on upcoming projects and events, and helps build lasting connections and assimilation into the theatre community.