Open Theatre: Online Resources
Activities and resources for schools and parents.
In April 2020, we started creating online resources and activities to keep supporting our young people when we couldn’t be together in person.
Our activities and resources are designed for the young people we work with in our partner SEN schools, but are here to be used by anyone who may find them useful! You can also find information about our Creative Clubs – live lockdown zoom sessions for young people.
About the resources:
Designed to be able to access at home, or with teachers in the classroom outside of Open Theatre sessions, the resources are put together by our experienced practitioners.
Our practitioners regularly work with young people with learning disabilities and/or autism using our non-verbal physical theatre technique, to encourage connectivity, play, and improvisation using music, props, and movement.
Our work is usually strictly non-verbal, but Covid-19 has meant we have had to adapt our practice so that we can stay connected digitally when we can’t be together in person.
Though some of the activities here are different from what we would do in schools, one thing remains the same – connection is key!
We ask that you use these resources as a stimulus to engage and connect with your young people in a creative, open, and playful way.
In other words, just have fun with them!
Open Theatre Open’s Up
If you’re looking for a way to get to know Open Theatre’s work, these videos are a great place to start!
Open Theatre Open’s Up are a set of 5 videos that guide you through what Open Theatre practitioners do in schools. Starting with our signature warm-up and finishing with some fun activities you can try at home.
‘What’s In The Bag?’ and ‘The Newspaper’
Two of our classic activities that we love to run in schools! We filmed examples of these activities in action by our practitioners.
Check out the videos to watch them in action and then give them a try yourself! All you need is a newspaper or book, a bag, and your imagination…
Workshop Activity Sheets
We’ve put together some themed workshop activity sheets that our practitioners have been using as inspiration for their online sessions for young people in school and at home.
Each sheet has a different theme and suggestions for activities you can do during the workshop, and afterward.
Why not have some fun trying these ideas out at home?
It’s a simple idea that’s lots of fun. Walk in the silliest way you can! During lockdown 1.0 our practitioners gave it a go and put together a video filled with silly strolls to keep us all moving and having fun!
Watch the videos below for some inspiration, then try some silly strolls out at home. You can try a silly strolls race or you could get dressed up and create some fun characters who have different silly walks!
Live lockdown sessions – Creative Clubs!
Lots of our young people and participants are really enjoying our Creative Clubs! We’ve been running weekly extra-curricular workshops on zoom since January as a chance for young people to engage in fun activities outside of school.
Our Creative Clubs include:
- Dance Fitness
- Film Club
- Chill and Chat
- Sing and Sign
- Music Hang-Out
- Sensory Storytelling
If you’d like to get involved in one of our creative activities, check out our timetable and simply email the practitioner that runs the club to book a free place!
Not technically resources, but we think you’ll enjoy them… If you’re looking for some free entertainment for all the family, check out our films.
Some have bonus activities and creative ideas to inspire you after you’ve watched them.
They’re all available to watch online, for free!
The Twisted Tale of Hansel & Gretel
A truly imaginative version of Hansel and Gretel. With live music, hilarious performance, and mesmerising design.
For resources and activities to accompany the film you can click here.
You can watch the recording of the live show here:
WhoDunnits! Is a series of 4 short, silent films inspired by the board game Cluedo. The game itself was invented by Anthony Pratt from Birmingham!
The films were shot at West Midlands heritage settings including Aston Hall and The Black Country Living Museum.
To find out more about the films go to:
Watch the films by clicking the links below!
You could even play your own game of Cluedo to really get you ready in the mood for solving a mystery…
Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors is a short film by Open Theatre Associate Artist Jake Jarvis.
The film was created alongside our Open MAC group during summer 2020 and was inspired by the mystery of what could be hiding behind a closed door…
For more information about the film and for extra resources click here.
You can watch the film here:
Cops & Robbers
A silent movie made in partnership with the wonderful ‘Told By An Idiot’ theatre company!
We released the film during the first lockdown in 2020. It was released as an at-home film premiere, inspired by the fact that we couldn’t share the film in real-life.
To make it as accessible as possible you can download an easy-read description of the film, and a guide for creating your own Relaxed Screening. We have also produced two versions of the film, the original and an audio-described version.
As a fun resource to use after watching the film, download our ‘How To Make A Custard Pie (For Throwing’ worksheet!
To download the resources, and watch either of the films, simply click on the links below…
Home Movie Makers
Here’s something a little different… during lockdown 1.0 we ran Home Movie Makers. A project for our participants to create films at home!
For the project we created 3 prompt films to spark our movie makers imaginations and get them started on a new film.
You can watch the prompt films below – maybe they’ll inspire you to make your own home movies…
‘The Bag’ – Channel 4 First Acts Film
Not dissimilar to our ‘What’s In The Bag’ schools activity (which you can find at the top of this page) – this short film was commissioned by Channel 4!
Created by, and starring, our Associate Artist Jake Jarvis, the film was shown on TV and is a fantastic piece of artistic work.
You can watch it here:
Looking for more ways for your young people to get involved with Open Theatre?
We run a variety of groups and projects throughout the year. The groups meet up in person (when restrictions permit) and online.
Unbounded is our newest project beginning in March ’21. We are creating 5 new physical theatre groups for young people who live in one of these five areas; Erdington, Edgbaston, Hodge Hill, Northfield, and Selly Oak.
For more information on Unbounded click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Open MAC – a group for school-aged young people with learning disabilities and/or autism, and their siblings. The group meets weekly at The MAC in Birmingham and parents are also welcome to stay for the session to meet new people and share in the experience. At the moment we run weekly zoom sessions for our Open MAC young people.
For more information about Open MAC email email@example.com
One Of A Kind – a group for older young people and young adults with learning disabilities and/or autism. The group meets weekly to enhance their theatre skills and to work towards larger performance projects. At the moment we run weekly zoom sessions for our OOAK members.
For more information about One Of A Kind email firstname.lastname@example.org