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Warwick's Dream Factory gets £250,000 re-imagining for the next generation of young people

Playbox Theatre, in 1999, created the first purpose designed and built theatre for children and young people in the UK. The Dream Factory in Warwick. Now 20 years later with funding from Arts Council England, Warwick District Council, Warwick Town Council and generous support from the Friends of Playbox, it has completed its Futures project and reopens this season in a re-imagined, technically upgraded and extra studio and workshops complex.

Playbox Theatre’s complex was designed by award-winning architects, Glenn Howells Architects with scenography and interior equipment created by Sceno-Plus (Montreal), at the time the design arm of Quebec’s Cirque Du Soleil. The mandate was to house training and performance with young people in multidisciplinary arts.

The new upgrade sees the following major developments:

  • Complete Front of House re-imagining to reflect the excitement and trends of young people today, including digital signage and brand identity.

  • Exterior architectural lighting of the Playbox Theatre tower and newly created surround landscape giving The Dream Factory complex exciting visibility across the region.

  • A new digital film studio to enhance the use of media across all artistic disciplines.

  • A £75,000 upgrade of lighting, sound and projection in the main auditorium to enable advanced media use in productions and for training young people in technical theatre skills.

  • Enhanced Café Whirl, the social hub of The Dream Factory and focus of the Front of House ‘village’.

  • Relocation of costume store and workshops to provide more space and access.

  • Storage unit additions for recycling of materials, sets and fabric recycling in line with the company’s desire to be more eco-efficient and take positive steps to reduce carbon footprint.

  • New rear car park enabling a further 20 spaces on site.

The Dream Factory Futures project has been developed by Playbox Theatre with Rachel Morris of Enclave Design (Front of House concept), Mark Williamson (Graphic Design), Mark Hughes-Webb (FoH Furniture Sourcing), Fairways (Landscaping), Sturmer Electrics (Architectural Lighting), Warwick Builders and Signs Express Warwick. And of course, Arts Council England, Warwick District Council, Warwick Town Council and the Friends of Playbox.

The new seasons hosts over 1500 young people training across the arts and creating three main house productions:

STRIKES – A documentary on 1911 school strikes

MEDEA – Mike Bartlett’s contemporary reworking of Euripides

GRETEL – Toby Quash’s new play commissioned by Playbox, reworking the Grimm tale of Hansel and Gretel for today.

A portfolio of photographs by Lucy Bariball can be viewed online to illustrate the new look Dream Factory in the heart of Warwick.

About Playbox Theatre

Playbox Theatre is a professional creative organisation developing theatre for and with young people. Based at its own custom-designed complex in Warwick, it aims to develop the skills talent and confidence of young people in the performance arts through exciting and innovative methods.

Founded in 1986 Playbox serves young artists and audiences across the Warwickshire and West Midlands regions with training and performance studios supporting its main creative base. Playbox Theatre places at its heart young people as artists and audience.

The Dream Factory is a creative collaboration between Playbox Theatre, Glenn Howells Architects and Sceno-Plus (Montreal). It stands on land provided by Warwickshire County Council.

Playbox Theatre is a key client of Warwick District Council, providing artistic quality and experience for young people in the region.

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