Workshops are run at The Dream Factory in Warwick and explore the same content and techniques that you will find across our Acting programme. Join us for mime, movement, role play, physical theatre, improvisation, confidence building and so much more, within the enriching environment of your own theatre. All members of Home Ed Playbox are eligible to audition for productions, and to participate in all other areas of Playbox Theatre.
There are currently two age groups available:
Playbox’s Acting workshops are at the heart of Playbox Theatre and have been the foundation for a successful future for 1,000s young people, since 1986. Whilst many go on to enjoy careers in the Performing Arts, others emerge as articulate, creative and confident individuals with a strong work ethic, and a positive determination to succeed – skills that are valuable in all walks of life.
Members train in rehearsal techniques, devising, physical theatre, voice-work and improvisation. They will expand their knowledge of theatre practices from across the world, and enjoy the work of many different writers, directors and creative pioneers.
Our Acting workshops have been proven to dramatically increase confidence and ability in both personal, and public, settings.
The skills acquired in these sessions are invaluable for building a career in the arts, or in so many areas of life and work, where being articulate, confident and a creative thinker are pivotal.
To find out even more about Playbox sessions, please visit our FAQ page.
Location: The Dream Factory, Warwick, Stratford Road, CV34 6LE.
No! There are no auditions to become a member of Playbox Theatre – we are open to everyone. We ask for members to bring a positive attitude to their workshop, and we do expect members to commit fully and enthusiastically to the work they are participating in…but we welcome young people of all ages, from all backgrounds, to our company. If you would like to take part in one of our productions, you would have to attend an audition, and these are very competitive. For more information on the audition and casting process, please look at the relevant FAQs.
You do not need any previous experience of theatre work to succeed at Playbox. Every young person who works with us is an individual and will develop at their own rate. Within the company, we have young people of all ages who are brand new to this type of work, working alongside members who have expansive experience – both with Playbox and in the arts industry. The workshop space is absolutely level and every person is valued for their individuality and no discernment is made for those with, or without, previous experience.
They’re about lots of different things! Each week we take a different story or stimulus as a springboard. This might be a book, a poem, a painting or a prop. The workshop then guides the group through a range of exercises that respond to the theme of the week.
Each week the workshop will encourage members to explore a range of different skills and techniques, and these depend upon the starting point. A typical week will see Apple Club children engaging with mime, movement, improvisation, role play, voice, storytelling, devising, tableaux, discussion, theatre games and warm up activities.
This depends on the content of the workshop and will vary from week to week. Our directors will ensure that, over the course of a season, you will explore a range of material, from a wide spectrum of starting points. The skills that you will be using each week will vary, and will be the ones that are most appropriate for the material. In a typical season, you can expect to experience the following skills: voice, mime, movement, stage combat, physical theatre, improvisation, devising, text.
Your Workshop Director will become one of the most important people that you know! The team of directors and practitioners at Playbox is kept small and tight, so that everyone is really well-connected and we can make sure that the experience of each of our members is the best it can possibly be. All of our directors are trained artists, with a wealth of experience working in the arts industry, as well as with huge experience of facilitating theatre workshops with young people. Your director will also have specialist skills that they will bring to your workshop – this might be writing, music, directing, physical theatre, literature. Your Workshop Director will be absolutely committed to you, and to ensuring that your time at Playbox is as enjoyable and beneficial as possible. If you want to find out more about the directors, please have a look at our Team page on this website.
Although we occasionally run ‘open workshops’ for parents to come and watch, or participate in, one of the most important things about our work at Playbox Theatre is that the sessions are not observed by outside eyes. Members must feel completely uninhibited and free to explore, experiment and must never feel self-conscious about anything they do. Theatre Training workshops offer members the chance to be absolutely engaged with the content of the workshop, and to work closely with their fellow group members – when a member walks into the workshop space, they must shake off any baggage from the day, or the week, and commit fully to the material being tackled. We all know that, when we’re being observed, total commitment and total freedom to explore if very difficult. We are keen to have great relationships with the parents of our members, and Directors are always happy to speak to parents on the phone, or meet up at The Dream Factory, to chat about the workshops and their content, so that the dialogue is always open and honest.
No we don’t. The weekly workshop is focussed on development of skills and confidence, whilst encouraging lots of super collaboration, team devising and responding to each week’s stimulus. The Apple Club is designed to enable every child to develop at their own rate and to always aim to achieve as highly as they possibly can. People come to Playbox Theatre for all sorts of reasons, and lots of them don’t seek to perform. Without the need to constantly work towards a presentation, we are able to prepare fully-rounded weekly workshops, each time taking a fresh, new stimulus as a springboard. From time to time, parents are invited in to share an Open Workshop, and occasionally there will be a celebratory and informal presentation at the end of a season e.g. at Christmas – although we stress this is not a performance that has been rehearsed over a number of weeks.
Not necessarily. Playbox’s Theatre Training workshops are not focussed on presentation or performance. People come to Playbox for a range of diverse reasons, and not everyone who joins the company wants to perform. The workshops are self-contained and intensive…but they are experimental spaces that enable members to be very open in the techniques and approaches they use. We work without the pressure of creating a polished ‘end product’, and without the need to select members for achievement, or drive rehearsals on a weekly basis. Occasionally we will throw the doors open and invite an audience to experience what we’ve been working on, but it’s very important to understand that these workshops are not about working towards an end performance. There are regular opportunities to perform, if you would like to, and we make sure that all members are aware of how to get involved in these.
We do encourage members to attend as regularly as they possibly can, and to make their workshop a priority. The group bond is very important to the success of the workshop and this is always much stronger when the group are committed and attend every week. Children progress so much more quickly when they can build strong relationships with their director and their group members, and this happens more effectively when attendance is high. Of course, we know that there will be occasions when children just can’t make it, and there is never any penalty for this, we just want them to be there every time!
No! Just yourself and lots of imagination. Sometimes children like to bring something small to share with the rest of the group at ‘News Time’, at the beginning of the workshop in Apple Club. However, we don’t encourage people to bring items with them as we only hear 2-3 pieces of ‘news’ each week and don’t want to disappoint children. Anything that’s brought into the workshop will need to go on a table at the side during the session, so that members are totally free to work.
Absolutely not! It’s an hour of joy and engagement and, although the benefits will be felt throughout the week, in other parts of life, there is no homework set at all. Sometimes there might be a tongue-twister to practise!
No! You will be expected to work really hard, really intensively, for the one-hour you are in the workshop, but it is very rare that any ‘homework’ will be set. Frequently members will be inspired to take the subject of a workshop further, and might read particular books that we’ve been exploring, or develop a piece of creative writing, or art, in response to a stimulus…and when this happen it is GREAT! However, you’ll never be expected to complete any assignment specifically for your workshop.
Starting any new journey can be daunting…even if it’s something that you’re really excited about. Our team have lots of experience at ensuring that everyone is settled and happy. If it’s your first week, you will be welcomed to the group, introduced to everyone, and another person in your session will be responsible for making sure that you are well looked after and happy throughout the workshop. Playbox groups are very welcoming and you will quickly make wonderful new friends.
Of course it is! The type of children who love coming to Playbox is very diverse. Some children who join are already very confident and are looking to really extend their skills, whilst others are incredibly nervous and parents are hoping that Playbox workshops will help to address this. Our workshop team are highly skilled and have huge experience in welcoming new children and, in particular, settling children who are anxious or shy. Our directors are supported by a team of senior assistants, so all children are given the attention and support they need. Parents often see a dramatic improvement in their nervous child’s confidence incredibly quickly. Frequently this will also impact upon their behaviour at school and in other areas of life.
Once a child is of school age, they are eligible to audition for some of Playbox’s main stage productions. Each project we mount has specific casting requirements, and age suitability will always be detailed on the casting newsletter (Casting Spotlight). Every year we stage a major production with our ‘Young Production Company’, where the actors are all between aged 5-13 yrs. Although it is very competitive, all Apple Club members are invited to attend the audition for this production. Sometimes, other major productions also seek cast members from 5+. Every year, EVERYONE has the opportunity to perform on the main stage in a large production, if they register for STARRY NIGHTS. This is our special annual fundraiser which works over a week to create a big show with members from age 5-19 yrs, and is incredibly popular!
Absolutely – as a member of the ‘Theatre Training Programme’ you are eligible to audition for all Playbox Theatre productions – as long as you are within the specified age for the project. Your Workshop Director will always make you aware of upcoming auditions, and you will be given a regular Casting Spotlight Newsletter which will tell you all about when auditions are taking place, and what the commitment the production would involve.
Absolutely not! There is no script work in The Apple Club, although we do encourage children to read and read as much as possible, as this can really improve their use of language, imagination and ability to communicate.
Sight-reading can be one of the most daunting and challenging tasks that an actor will have to face…whether they are a young person, or a seasoned professional! Our Theatre Training workshops are not text based and no-one will ever be made to feel uncomfortable reading within a session. We will sometimes take a text (poem, prose, extract from a play) as a stimulus for a piece of theatre…but the workshops are not about ‘acting out scenes from plays with a script in your hand’. In order to ensure that members are receiving a full and thorough training, occasionally text will be an important part of a workshop…if this is the case, the workshop director will talk carefully to the group about the play that we’re exploring, the characters, the situation, and we will then explore delivery of lines. You will certainly not have to be a good reader to enjoy these workshops – many of the best actors are not!
Not usually. The Apple Club is primarily an ‘acting’ workshop, with children responding to a range of exercises that focus on the theme of the week. For children who are very keen to explore singing and dancing, we’d encourage you to look at MUSICAL THEATRE when they turn 8 yrs old.
Within the Theatre Training workshop, we do not focus specifically on singing or dancing. There will be lots of use of physical theatre, tons of music, and plenty of devised choreography. For those of you that would like to focus on a more ‘musical’ approach, we would suggest you look at the Musical Theatre programme that we run – either instead of, or in addition to, your Theatre Training workshop.
Current fees are £130 per season. A season runs in conjunction with the school term, so is between 10-12 weeks. Children register for a full season and then renew each holiday.
There’s a two-week trial period when you join Playbox. Fees are payable in advance, but if it’s not totally right for you after a couple of sessions, we are able to refund the rest of the season’s fees. You just need to apply for this by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
You don’t need to wear anything special to Apple Club or Playbox 2. Comfortable clothes that you can move freely in are absolutely fine. You should always wear soft shoes. Because the workshops are highly physical, we do ask all children to wear trousers, leggings or shorts (rather than skirts or dresses).
We don’t have a specific uniform, as we want to encourage children to be individual and to wear clothes to their workshops that make them feel confident and comfortable. We do have a great selection of Playbox merchandise and lots of members love to wear a Playbox t-shirt or hoodie. If you’d like to order your child a Playbox t-shirt, please email email@example.com and we can arrange this for you.
Some of the workshops have waiting lists and others have a couple of spaces, so this is a tricky question to answer! We try to open up new workshops where the demand is very high, so that your waiting time is as short as possible. Ideally, if you can give us a few options for potential workshops you could join, then this will help us to offer you a space as quickly as possible. Once you join a waiting list, you’re already part of the team and you’ll receive priority information about holiday workshops, special events, masterclasses etc.
If you’d like to join Home Ed Apple Club or Home Ed Playbox 2, please apply online using the ‘Join Now’ buttons. If you’d prefer to speak to someone directly, please call 01926 419555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be really happy to help you.
This depends…some of the waiting lists can be very long, other times we’re able to offer you a space much more quickly. It’s always difficult to say exactly how long you will have to wait, as it all depends upon when a space becomes available. If we can’t offer you a space immediately in your preferred group, we will always try to offer you an alternative, until your first choice becomes available. We also keep in touch with our Waiting List members regularly, as you are entitled to lots of special offers, just like our members are!
To be a member of the Theatre Training Programme it costs £130 per season. Our seasons run alongside the school terms, so there are three ‘seasons’ per year. If you take part in more than one workshop with Playbox, or if your brothers and sisters also attend, there are discounts available to you. If you’d like to know more about our fees, please email email@example.com.