30,000 children, 1200 schools, 130 theatres, 1 Festival
The annual Festival is Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s flagship project and the world’s largest youth drama festival. We use the unique power of performance to develop self-esteem, articulacy, literacy and teamwork; skills that transform lives. In autumn 2017, a new generation will discover that by performing Shakespeare on a professional stage, they can gain the confidence to aspire and achieve in any walk of life.
Connections is the National Theatre’s annual festival of new plays for youth theatres and schools. It gives young people experience of professional theatre-making. Their experience mirrors that of a company producing a new play in any theatre in the country. They create marketing campaigns, design sets and costumes, operate lighting and sound boards, stage-manage their performances.
Each year the Connections team travels the length and breadth of the country to support and encourage the participants – the drama teachers and youth theatre directors who take on the challenge of staging a new play, and the young theatre companies. Each year we are thrilled by the skill, creativity, commitment and passion that go into each production, often on a shoestring budget and a rehearsal schedule carved out around school commitments.