THEATRE IS… is delighted to announce that from September young people aged 13-19 years in Thurrock will continue to benefit from the opportunity to take part in It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock. This will follow on as the second year of a successful THEATRE IS… training programme in performance and entrepreneurship with some of the leading young Hip Hop artists in the UK. 

It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock is a product of THEATRE IS…, the leading organisation for young creative talent in the East of England. It brings its unique approach to developing young talent to Thurrock along with key partner support from Thurrock Council, Children, Education and Families Department and Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation.

The assured success of the first year of It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock is due in large part to the strength of the successful partnerships between THEATRE IS… and its delivery partners.

Lois Bowser from Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation commented; “It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock implements a wealth of opportunities for the Thurrock community with an innovative strategy of work for a range of young people. Core activities have ignited ambition, aspiration and career progression for young people, whether it is working towards an arts award or continuing to college or further training. The project enhances skills across Thurrock and directly supports the Development Corporation’s regeneration remit.”  

The Frontline Crew will now take an important role leading It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock forward with their own workshops, slam nights and community based opportunities. Most recently the crew volunteered to run hip hop style informal workshops for young children at the Orsett Show, Thurrock on Saturday 4th September. The workshops went down a treat! Workshops were a free introduction to some simple hip hop moves for young visitors to the Orsett Show.

It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock will be led by young, professional Hip Hop artists from THROWDOWN UK, one of the leading Hip Hop outfits and inspirational role models. Over the past year they have been developing the skills and talents of youngsters in Thurrock who have formed their own ‘FRONTLINE CREW’.

Now in its second phase, It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock will provide opportunities for young participants to work towards securing Arts Awards with dedicated one-to-one career guidance sessions and mentoring opportunities. Describing the method of how It’s Our Theatre works Terry Hammond from Thurrock Council comments ‘‘The community backbone to It’s Our Theatre, develops in young people the skills to take ownership, participate in and manage projects for their own locale. This is just one of many facets that underpin the success of our partnership with THEATRE IS… Extending the already strong relationship into 2011 will open up further access to a range of opportunities for the young people of Thurrock and ensure that we can support and celebrate their talents.’’

A recent sign of project success is the invitation for It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock, along with partners at The Hat Factory to perform in Brussels for the European Open Days week in October (4th-7th), an exciting opportunity to bring youngsters face to face with key European policy makers as part of an international showcase opportunity.

Enthusing on the outcomes of the first year participating with It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock, Roxy Jonson, 17, a member of the frontline crew stated; ‘‘It’s Our Theatre: Thurrock really get people to do what they might not do otherwise but might enjoy anyway. I’ve learnt a lot of positive outcomes can come if you work hard.”