A Little Bit About Us

Our vision

For all individuals to have a voice that is listened to, the confidence to stand and be seen, and the heart to hear and see others.

Our mission

To use the transformative power of the performing arts to engage, challenge and empower children and adults to be actors in their own spiritual, social, cultural and educational development.

Our aims

To enable our clients to develop...

- Emotional well-being, confidence, self-esteem and a positive self-image

- Communication skills and confidence in expressing themselves

- Independence, by encouraging ownership though decision-making, problem-solving and risk-taking

- Self-awareness and critical reflection

- Positive relationships, social skills, team work and leadership skills

- Motivation, self-belief and aspirations

- An emotionally, spiritually, socially, culturally and physically healthier lifestyle

Furthermore, in schools we aim to:

- Increase enjoyment of learning and encourage enquiring minds

- Increase engagement, achievement and attendance

Our values

Square Circle Arts (SCA) prides itself on its flexible and exploratory approach which tailors to the needs and dynamic of each group we work with. Our workshops are inclusive, process-based and participatory. We work collaboratively with staff (e.g. teachers, community leaders, key workers) by drawing on their strengths, in order to get the most out of both staff and participants. Our user-led ethos, for which we place the participant at the centre of his or her own learning or development, has proven to have long-lasting results in terms of engagement, motivation, understanding and confidence. By combining capacity- and confidence-building, we always aim to leave each project with a sustainable legacy rather than just 'a nice memory'.

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Meet the team

Shuna Beckett - Director of SCA, Drama and Storytelling Practitioner

Shuna has spent over a decade developing her drama and storytelling practice extensively in the UK and abroad, working predominantly with socially excluded children and adults in community and educational settings. She has spent a total of four years living and working with children and young people in some of the most deprived areas of South America, many of whom lived and worked on the streets. Shuna has many years' experience of working with children and adults with special educational needs, as well as with young people not in education or employment. She has worked with many ethnically and socially diverse groups and has designed and delivered several arts projects which aim to celebrate this diversity and promote social integration.

Shuna has a Masters degree in Theatre and Development Studies from the University of Leeds, for which she studied participatory and human development and explored in-depth how the performing arts can empower children and young people. She is trained in forum theatre and image theatre techniques, dramaturgy and facilitation, acquired at the Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro. She has also had training in the Reggio Emilia approach to pre-schools, Mantle of the Expert, and various other training in improvisation, physical theatre and methods of theatre facilitation.

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Techniques explained

Theatre of the Oppressed, forum and image theatre

Theatre of The Oppressed is a political theatrical form founded in Brazil by Augusto Boal, and originally used in radical education movements. Among its many different theatre modes are image theatre, and forum theatre. The latter is an interactive form of theatre whereby the audience is invited on stage to work out a series of possible solutions to a problem. The technique can be adapted and made relevant to a variety of different settings. Learn more...

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia is a place in northern Italy which has created its own educational philosophy focussed on pre-school and primary education. It is being more widely used around the globe now, and is based upon the following principles: Children must have some control over the direction of their learning and have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves. Learn more...

Mantle of the Expert

Mantle of the Expert is a dramatic-inquiry based approach to teaching and learning invented and developed by Dorothy Heathcote in the 1980s. The idea is that the class do their curriculum work as if they are an imagined group of experts. Learn more...

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