Royal Shakespeare Company - Baby & Toddler Group
TheVERYidea artists were commissioned by the RSC to deliver a research and development project to explore setting up an early years group at their creative hub, The Other Place, in Stratford-upon-Avon. Pilot sessions, inspired by The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth were trialled with local families, in partnership with local Children's Centres and the Tyler House Group. The R&D gave artists the opportunity to explore creative possibilities and how to connect with themes and motifs in Shakespeare's plays. Plus access to the RSC's amazing Costume Store and their vast Prop Store where props and artefacts were selected as objects to include in the resources offered to families. The pilot sessions proved a great success, with parents commenting on how different the sessions were to other baby and toddler groups and how much they favoured the open-ended, free-flow approach. Following on from the research, the RSC commissioned TheVERYidea to deliver their weekly parent and baby/toddler group sessions. Each half-termly programme offers a range of activities, including movement and music, in a stimulating, creative play space - all inspired by Shakespeare's work and encouraging children's own exploration to develop their ideas and imagination. Over the last three years further plays have been explored with families, including Twelfth Night, Romeo & Juliet, Timon of Athens and As You Like It.
"Brought my 2 yr old & 8 month old - brilliant for both of them. So much to explore & create with really interesting materials. It was lovely to watch the children use their imagination in a way that is so different to other play groups with ordinary toys. Really impressed."