Tailor-made services to suit your needs

We offer high quality, engaging, participant-led performing arts activities tailored to the specific needs of your clients.


Please click on the links below for more details:

Who we work with

- Youth and community groups

- Children, young people and adults with learning difficulties, from moderate and severe to profound and multiple, to those with speech and language difficulties and autistic spectrum disorder. Please see our Learning Disability Guide for more information on our aims and methodology, interventions, techniques and finer details.

- Children, young people and adults with mental health problems or emotional and behavioural difficulties.

- Youth and adult offenders.

- Young people and adults with a history or substance and alcohol misuse.

- Young people in care.

- Refugees and asylum seekers, BME and EAL.

- Any other at-risk group who live with negative thought patterns or discrimination.

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Confidence-building is intrinsic to the way we work and is the main focus of every intervention. Our user-led ethos gives a voice to those who often feel they are not listened to, and a platform to those who often feel on the periphery. By taking possession of the physical space and having their ideas acted upon, participants learn that they have an important role to play within the group, thus developing a sense of identity. They will, as a result, start to value and believe in their own self-worth.

Capacity-building: life-skills and emotional intelligence

Activities are designed to develop emotional intelligence and life skills, such as empathy, self-awareness, reflection, non-violent communication and social skills, team-work and cooperation, leadership skills, problem-solving, decision-making and independence. Drama can also help with public-speaking and interview skills.

Talking about feelings

The performing arts can be an extremely powerful vehicle of expression for those clients who find it challenging to talk openly about their feelings. We use drama, movement, music, storytelling, puppetry and mask work as tools for people to communicate their innermost thoughts and emotions, which in turn leads to the understanding and management of feelings.

Challenging negative behavioural patterns

We use a mixture of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, image and forum theatre techniques, to enter into a process of critical reflection. Exercises are designed to deconstruct familiar thought and behavioural patterns, explore different internal strategies, and examine alternative behaviours, actions and outcomes.

Issue-based projects and awareness-raising

We are able to develop interactive, thought-provoking activities around a certain theme that is relevant or important to you (the client) or the participants. Workshops may lead to the creation of a devised performance (often, but not exclusively, forum theatre) around the issues, which would in turn help to educate and challenge attitudes, change perceptions, dispel myths and raise awareness. In addition, we can deliver awareness-raising workshops directly to the target audience, using interactive techniques which challenge their thought processes

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- Improvisation and devised theatre

- Image and forum theatre

- Mask-work

- Puppetry

- (multi-sensory) storytelling

Please see our Guide for Voluntary Organisations for more information on our aims and methodology, techniques and finer details.


Staff training and consultation

As well as working closely with staff during the project to transfer skills and ideas, we offer training and consultation in:

- Building confidence and capacity using drama games and exercises and improvisation techniques

- Exploring issues and raising awareness through forum and image theatre

- Challenging negative behavioural patterns using mask work and image theatre

- Multi-sensory storytelling

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Examples of past projects

Refugees and asylum seekers - confidence and capacity-building, issue-based and awareness-raising

Side by Side: Our Director, Shuna Beckett, founded and ran the user-led grassroots drama group, Side by Side, until 2011. Side by Side aims to promote intercultural understanding, cohesion and integration between people of all social, ethnic and faith backgrounds, whilst raising awareness about the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers. Side by Side uses drama as a tool for building confidence, developing self-expression and building friendships, as well as exploring themes that are important and relevant to its members. It devises performances which it takes out to school, college, community and public venues. In 2009 and 2010 we won two consecutive Awards for Bridging Cultures from the National Institute for Community Cohesion (ICoCo). To find out more, please contact sidebysidearts@yahoo.co.uk or visit it on facebook www.facebook.com/#!/groups/hopscotch/

Youth Offenders - challenging negative behavioural patterns

South Leeds Youth Offending Team: Over the Summer 2008 SCA contributed towards an 8-week long summer school for youth offenders (most on an Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme) on the theme of conflict, run by photographer Les Monaghan www.lesmonaghan.blogspot.com/. Drawing on forum and image theatre techniques, we encouraged responses to world conflict as well as conflict within their own communities. We addressed issues that related to their own experiences, looking at the reasons behind, and the repercussions of, 'postcode wars'. After some background work using image theatre techniques, the participants improvised their own scenes and responded to the impact that gang warfare can have on individuals and communities.

Substance and alcohol misuse - confidence-building, talking about feelings, changing negative behavioural patterns

Phoenix Futures: SCA worked with a group of women at Phoenix House Residential Rehabilitation Centre over a period of four weeks. We used different drama techniques to celebrate participants' strengths and accept their weaknesses, to confront their demons and surmount any mental obstacles, to look at their lives from different perspectives, and to think about their aspirations for the future.

Learning difficulties - confidence and capacity-building, and talking about feelings

Spectrum Active: Shuna has been working with adults with severe learning difficulties twice weekly since June of this year. So far they have used singing and music, basic circus skills, multi-sensory storytelling and puppetry to explore identity and feelings, and to build communication, confidence and motor skills. Participants take the lead and make the creative decisions. There has been evidence of increased enjoyment, engagement, motivation and participation by members - several of whom were reluctant or lacking in confidence to begin with - as well as improved language skills and memory. Sessions are lively, fun and unpredictable!

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